Square-trimming face frame stock

      Woodworkers share their secrets for getting dead-square cuts on the ends of face frame members.

Question
Is there a general consensus on the best way to cut face frame stock to length in order to get a perfect 90 degrees from the side and face of the stock and with minimal tear out? I'm sure there are industrial machines that do this perfectly but I am looking for the small shop setting to obtain good tight joints with no gaps.

I am using a 12" DeWalt mitre saw with a 72T blade. After a lot of fiddling and some masking tape shims, I can get it to do a good job with squareness but I can't avoid tear out without wrapping the cut line with masking tape.

Forum Responses
A backer board fastened to the fence would give the blade a surface to cut against, like on a shapers miter gauge when making the coping cut. You would need to remove it when making miter cuts.

You may also check the flatness of the base and fence of the saw. Mine has warped over the years to the point where the fence drags the base when adjusting the miter angles, and needs to be ground to get it back to flat



I agree about checking the base and fence, but before you use a backer, check your blade. If it's the one that came with your saw, it's most likely a thin kerf, general purpose. In my personal experience, thin kerf blades lack the stiffness to make a clean cut. I suggest you replace it with a standard kerf ATB with 80 or more teeth.


How much time and fooling around have you wasted because you were not willing to spend the money for a good saw and blade? In the long run you will make money with the right tool. I have two saws made by OMGA, they are first class and you will not need to replace them in your lifetime. Cost was about $1500.00, but worth every penny and you won't have a minute of wasted time as you now do on contractor saws.


I gave up using the chop saw and use a table saw miter. Try combining one of the many accurate miter gauges on the market with a Forrest blade.

I find the Dewalt 12" to be inaccurate and underpowered. I have been told by a tool dealer that the motor is not powerful enough to continually power a non-thin kerfed blade.



I have a small shop and we use a slide miter saw. We score the top edge, pull it past the stock, drop it to full depth and push it back through. This process leaves a clean surface on both sides


We are a small shop with a sliding miter saw. To keep cuts square, we make a separate top to cut on. It is an L-shaped piece made out of 3/4" plywood bottom and back fence, glued and stapled together, any length you want. This screws to the saw fence and gives a nice straight deck fence. You can move it when you want to have new cut marks to index. Make sure you adjust the cut height to cut only 1/8" deep.


I added a Tiger Stop to my chop saw station about 3 months ago. My face frames have never fit my cabinets better and the increase in productivity will pay for the equipment in 6 months.


To make sure you saw has no wobble in the blade, pull your guard back without sticking your fingers in the blade, and check and make sure the blade does not have any movement to it. If it does, only use it for 2 x's and buy the best fine cut blade you can find. I use a Forrest Chopmaster and get almost no tear out on hickory and I have no gaps in my face frames.



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