|photo by Chance Agrella|
The portable power saw is very much a muscle-and-time saver that it ranks a high place in the home workshop. The portable electric saw is made to substitute electrical power for muscle power. Generally, it saves 50 to 90 per cent in time for most procedures, and a proportionate measure of energy. But most important, by removing some of the drudgery out of your work, it makes home woodworking more interesting and fulfilling. Your own effort is confined to lifting and guiding the saw along the markings.
Cutting where the saw must be taken to the work, or cutting lumber down to a size which your other saws can handle are the primary functions that this saw does better than any other.
The portable saw can be found in shops that already carry table saws. There is a great variety of saws made but the 7-inch is the perfect one for the home workshop.
By using certain blades, you can, cut other materials other than wood—Fiberglas, corrugated sheet metal, slate, and more.
Irrespective of your accuracy with a handsaw, the power saw would provide a more exact cut after you have adjusted your own skills and learned to use the built-in guides and other guides that can be bought or improvised. These will help accomplish true and even cuts.
Saws are sorted by the size of the blade they carry. A blade 6 inches in diameter is regarded a small saw, one 10 inches in diameter a large saw. A 6 1/2- or 7-inch saw will cut 2 1/2 inches vertically. At 45 degrees, it will cut 2 inches. Thus, the cut is enough for cutting a 2-by-4.
Using the Portable Saw
Depth of cut is determined by an adjustable base that supports the saw on the work and is bound in place by a handy tightening device, like a winged nut. A notch in the forward edge of the base enables you to saw a straight line without the use of a guide. Just follow a penciled cut line "free hand," keeping the line in the notch. The base also leans laterally, allowing the means of accurately controlling the bevel angle of your cut. Here once more, a handy tightening device, like a wing nut, holds the base at the cutting angle you choose, and the angle is shown in degrees on a scale. Also on the saw is generally a ripping guide that enables you to make a straight cut a quantified distance' from the edge of a piece of material. The guide can be removed when not in use.
The saw is turned on and off through a trigger type of switch situated in the pistol-grip handle. This placement is an efficient way to grip the saw, work with it, and control it having minimum fatigue. The weight of the saw makes a big difference, naturally, in how rapidly you tire when using it. For this reason, don't select a saw with excessively heavy construction or one that is not well balanced. Such a tool will be too tiring to use. Heft it in the store before you buy it and feel the balance.