Ever gotten super into a woodworking project only to be stopped by a seemingly simple part of the process? This article will take it back to basics and help showcase the various ways to cut a 4×4 using nothing but a handy miter saw. We will cover this one process on all different types of miter saws:
- Compound Miter Saws
- Sliding Compound Miter Saws
- Single Bevel Miter Saws
- Dual Bevel Miter Saws
Check out our guide on the Best 10-Inch Miter Saws, because this sort of work load doesn’t require anything more powerful, like a 12-Inch Compound Miter Saw.
What is a Compound Miter Saw?
If you are new to woodworking or just Miter Saws in general, let’s explain what a compound miter saw is and why it is one of the most versatile tools in a woodworkers arsenal.
A Miter Saw consists of an arm with a blade head and a miter table base. Compound Miter Saws come with bevel and miter adjustments. This means that you can cut pieces, like crown molding corners, at a bevel and miter angle at the same time. That is what a compound cut is.
The Compound Miter Saw is a great tool to have in the workshop because it is easy to use and transport. They have optional accessories, like specialized miter saw stands, which add even more range to an already feature packed product.
Miter Saws are so popular that there are a range of options to choose from, some that are more suited for industrial use cases and some that are so inexpensive the general masses can buy them for their backyard woodworking projects. There are also different types of miter saws available:
Standard Compound Miter Saw
The standard compound miter saw does not have rails and can therefore accommodate a limited width of material. A 10-inch Standard Compound Miter Saw can cut materials up to 6-inches in width. If you want your saw to accommodate larger materials like lumber or blocks of wood, you would have to consider upgrading to a 12-inch saw.
Sliding Compound Miter Saw
A sliding compound miter saw has the main blade arm on rails. These saws can accommodate pieces with larger widths compared to the standard compound miter saw. The saw achieves this through its sliding mechanism which allows the blade arm to move forward and backward.
Dual or Single Bevel Compound Miter Saws
Both standard and sliding compound miter saws come with dual or single bevel options.
In the image above you will notice that the blade is tilted at an angle to make a particular cut. The bevel mechanism allows this angular cut. A single bevel miter saw can be adjusted in only one direction between 90° to 0° bevel angles, whereas a dual bevel miter can go in either direction.
Cutting a 4×4 Piece of Wooden Material
If you are looking to cut 2×4 or 4×4 we assume that you simply want a straight 90° cut. In that case all you will need is the standard miter saw with a single bevel. Angular adjustments do not come into play in this scenario.
Step 1- Safety
Always remember, when handling power tools your own safety should be your first priority. Remember to wear:
- Safety Glasses
- Heavy Duty Gloves
- Noise Reduction Ear Muffs
Step 2- Bevel and Miter table adjustments
Check the bevel adjustment on your saw and make sure it rests at 90°. Your miter angle should be at 0°.
Step 3- Label the Length at Which You Want to Make the Cut
Position your workpiece on the saw table after you have labeled the point at which you want to make the cut. Lower the blade arm and make sure your marking and the blade align.
Step 4- Flip the Safety Switch and Get to Cutting
If your saw has a safety mechanism disengage it and rev up the saw to full speed before you lower the blade arm to make the cut. Once the saw is spinning at full speed gradually lower the blade arm and let it cut through the block of wood. There is no need to apply excessive pressure. Let the blade guide you through the cut.
Once the cut is complete let go of the trigger and make sure that the blade comes to a full stop before you raise the blade arm.
That’s All Folks
These are all the instructions you require to cut up a 4×4 with your miter saw. Miter saws are ultra precise therefore you can rest assured that you will get a perfect cut every time.
Good luck on your woodworking ventures!