Accurately cutting a 4x4

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Forum topic by JakeK posted 05-17-2018 03:05 PM 636 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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48 posts in 1488 days

05-17-2018 03:05 PM

Topic tags/keywords: 4x4 bosch axial square

I am building some farmhouse tables with untreated fir 4×4’s from home depot. I am milling them down to about 3 3/8. My issue is how to cut them down to length accurately. I have a Bosch 12” axial glide, which I kind of hate. I have never been able to get it to cut accurately enough for my needs. I’m probably expecting too much of a SCMS. I cannot get it to cut square in both directions. I have messed with the settings quite a bit. If I put a square on the table and fence, it looks looks perfect to the blade in both directions but it doesn’t cut square. This saw has been replaced with a new one by Bosch once already, FYI. I’d love to use my 10” table saw to cut these down but the cut capacity isn’t enough. I’m wondering if anybody has any other ideas on how to square up the ends of these boards. Thanks

12 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3406 days

#1 posted 05-17-2018 03:36 PM

Have you tried a new, and or different blade for the Bosch? Maybe you are getting deflection?

View JakeK's profile


48 posts in 1488 days

#2 posted 05-17-2018 03:49 PM

Yeah i have 2 aftermarket blades. A freud full kerf and an infinity. Both nice blades. I think the issue is more with the table. If you research this saw you’ll find a lot of complaints about the side tables not being at the same height as the main turn table. if you lay a straightedge across it there is a small gap under the side tables. This is my 3rd one from Bosch. The first replacement they gave me was clearly used. It had bigger problems than the table. The glide wasnt tracking straight. The 2nd replacement was a brand new unit, but the tables were not on the same level. I even tested the demo unit at Menards and found the same issue. With smaller pieces of wood, you can push down on the main table to keep it registering off of there only, but with a long 4×4, that doesnt really work. Here are some of the reviews i was referring to.

View jmartel's profile


8988 posts in 2958 days

#3 posted 05-17-2018 03:52 PM

Use your tablesaw if you know it cuts square. Then use a handsaw or sawsall to take out the little bit left in the middle. Clean up with sharp chisels.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View JakeK's profile


48 posts in 1488 days

#4 posted 05-17-2018 04:05 PM

That’s not a bad idea, although i suck with a chisel. I do need the practice I guess. I was thinking something more along the lines of a shooting board although i’m sure most planes wont cover that stock thickness.

View NeophyteGrant's profile


134 posts in 1317 days

#5 posted 05-17-2018 04:10 PM

Can you use a marking gauge, undercut the ends on whatever saw, then just back up to the line with some method? Chisels maybe? It sucks, but if you establish a register line, you can get close and nail it by some other means.

View JakeK's profile


48 posts in 1488 days

#6 posted 05-17-2018 04:18 PM

Thanks for your reply. Am I expecting too much out of my chop saw or would I get this quality of consistency even out of something like a Kapex? I have no experience with something like a radial arm saw, but would that be more accurate/consistent? I’m pretty disappointed in this Bosch. It’s more or less a rough cutting saw at this point.

View LesB's profile


2576 posts in 4251 days

#7 posted 05-17-2018 04:23 PM

Make a cross cut sled for you table saw. Even wiith a 3/4” base on the sled it should give you at least a 2” cutting height on the blade so you cut the board from opposite sides being careful to line up the second cut and you should be fine.

-- Les B, Oregon

View JakeK's profile


48 posts in 1488 days

#8 posted 05-17-2018 04:26 PM

Yeah, maybe I am overthinking this…

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3406 days

#9 posted 05-17-2018 04:38 PM

What about a sacrificial fence/table for your Bosch? One that it true, flat and square.

View Ripper70's profile


1378 posts in 1716 days

#10 posted 05-17-2018 04:38 PM

I’ve heard about the accuracy issues that you’re reporting having with your Bosch SCMS, but most of what I’ve read about that saw are overwhelmingly positive reviews from professionals who use it. If I were in your shoes, I’d do everything I could to resolve the issues with the saw. You’ve got an top-of-the-line machine that should be able to serve you for this project and many others that you may undertake in the future.

I know it’s frustrating to have to tweak and finagle with a machine that is expected to just work the way it’s expected to. I’ve been in that boat myself. But after the hard earned dollars that were spent and the expectations that you had for the saw, perhaps you should focus on getting those issues resolved. Make that your top priority project so that all the other projects that will follow will be easier to accomplish.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View MrRon's profile


5925 posts in 4051 days

#11 posted 05-17-2018 04:46 PM

It would seem to me that you should be able to get an accurate cut using your table saw. Set a positive stop on your miter gage; make your first cut; flip the 4×4 over and make the finish cut. The stop will ensure the 2 saw cuts line up perfectly.

View JakeK's profile


48 posts in 1488 days

#12 posted 05-17-2018 04:49 PM

I like the sacrificial fence idea. I will give that a try.

Regarding tweaking the chop saw – believe me, i’ve spent countless hours with saw 1 and saw 3 (2 was obviously not going to work). I’m not sure how you can overcome a saw that isnt flat besides either replacing it (now out of warranty and it seems to be a common problem) or as Shane said, using a sacrificial base/fence.

MrRon, i see what you’re saying, but if the reference surface touching the stop on the miter gauge isnt square, that will transfer into your cut. I have tried this method and you end up with a ridge.

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