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Why a -1 degree cut on my Makita track saw?

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Forum topic by Tony1212 posted 05-26-2022 05:11 PM 544 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tony1212

709 posts in 3228 days


05-26-2022 05:11 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question track saw bevel cut miter

This may seem like a total newbie question, but I just got the track saw yesterday. While reading through the manual to see what all the knobs and levers did, I read that I can set the saw to cut a -1 degree cut. I can’t figure out why this is needed.

The best I can think of is that you need a slight angle behind the front face to account for butting up against a slightly uneven surface. But you’d have to be cutting from the back of the lumber to do it. But I feel like there is probably something more that I’m missing. One degree just doesn’t seem to be enough for this case.

It can also cut a 48 degree bevel, that I assume is to make sure the outside corners meet up seamlessly without any interference from the back side of the cut. I see that done often with miter cuts.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs


11 replies so far

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

3485 posts in 2082 days


#1 posted 05-26-2022 07:39 PM

1° increases manufacturing yield as it guarantee’s that no unit will be SHY of 90° … AKA “slight overtravel”

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

8617 posts in 3698 days


#2 posted 05-27-2022 05:33 AM

Floor boards were originally cut like that to ensure close butt joints.

-- Regards Rob

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

631 posts in 1091 days


#3 posted 05-27-2022 01:32 PM

Add a bevel to the (non-hinge) edge of a door…. It slides into the jam, and keeps a smaller reveal.

Although, admittedly, I usually use 3 degrees.

Every now and then you need a very slight back bevel on things to make sue they sit tight against each other, as you mentioned.,

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View Tony1212's profile

Tony1212

709 posts in 3228 days


#4 posted 05-27-2022 01:35 PM



Floor boards were originally cut like that to ensure close butt joints.

- robscastle

So they were cutting it from the back side, not the face side, right? That way the faces would meet up tight?

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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Tony1212

709 posts in 3228 days


#5 posted 05-27-2022 01:44 PM


Add a bevel to the (non-hinge) edge of a door…. It slides into the jam, and keeps a smaller reveal.

Although, admittedly, I usually use 3 degrees.

Every now and then you need a very slight back bevel on things to make sue they sit tight against each other, as you mentioned.,

- Axis39

See, I don’t understand why you wouldn’t just set the saw for a 1 to 3 degree bevel and cut from the front. That way you KNOW you’re cutting on the line that you want. Setting a -1 degree bevel and cutting from the back side of the door seems like it would take a lot longer to make sure you’re hitting your line.

For example, I need my door to be 36” to fit a doorframe. I mark my 36 inches, set my saw for a +1 degree bevel, and set my track along the marks I made. Make the cut and I have a 36” door with a back bevel.

If I do it from the back with a -1 degree bevel, I have to either figure out the distance to mark my cut line, or I have to make marks on each end of the door near the front edge and push the saw blade down to line the blade up with the mark. Then do it again at the other end.

Edited to add that I don’t work in the trades, just a weekend warrior. So I’m just having a bit of trouble seeing a viable use case for this feature.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

View Chenier's profile

Chenier

77 posts in 1201 days


#6 posted 05-28-2022 12:39 AM

My guess is the -1º feature is to let you actually set the blade square, using a physical square. If the tracksaw, as manufactured, isn’t perfectly square to within a jillionth of a degree, some customers are going to use their own squares to set the blade angle – as I do on my table saw. If the tracksaw can’t go “beyond square”, the woodworker is hosed if the inscribed angles come up short of square as measured by the physical square.

View Rich's profile

Rich

8289 posts in 2083 days


#7 posted 05-28-2022 03:14 AM


The best I can think of is that you need a slight angle behind the front face to account for butting up against a slightly uneven surface.

- Tony1212

You’re on the right track. You use the -1º setting when you are sawing flush to a vertical surface, like you would if you were trimming installed flooring along a wall. For those cuts, you don’t use a track—the saw is directly on the surface you’re cutting, and you use the vertical surface as a guide with the saw’s housing against it. The -1º setting tilts the housing slightly away from the vertical surface (wall) for clearance. That way only the bottom edge of the housing rides against the wall.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View tvrgeek's profile

tvrgeek

2408 posts in 3143 days


#8 posted 05-28-2022 09:14 AM

FWIW, almost all track saws have that feature. It is mentioned in most of the U-Tube videos. It is not for sloppy manufacturing.

View Axis39's profile

Axis39

631 posts in 1091 days


#9 posted 05-28-2022 02:15 PM


Add a bevel to the (non-hinge) edge of a door…. It slides into the jam, and keeps a smaller reveal.

Although, admittedly, I usually use 3 degrees.

Every now and then you need a very slight back bevel on things to make sue they sit tight against each other, as you mentioned.,

- Axis39

See, I don t understand why you wouldn t just set the saw for a 1 to 3 degree bevel and cut from the front. That way you KNOW you re cutting on the line that you want. Setting a -1 degree bevel and cutting from the back side of the door seems like it would take a lot longer to make sure you re hitting your line.

For example, I need my door to be 36” to fit a doorframe. I mark my 36 inches, set my saw for a +1 degree bevel, and set my track along the marks I made. Make the cut and I have a 36” door with a back bevel.

If I do it from the back with a -1 degree bevel, I have to either figure out the distance to mark my cut line, or I have to make marks on each end of the door near the front edge and push the saw blade down to line the blade up with the mark. Then do it again at the other end.

Edited to add that I don t work in the trades, just a weekend warrior. So I m just having a bit of trouble seeing a viable use case for this feature.

- Tony1212

Ahh, I see what you mean, I wasn’t thinking negative 1 degree. I would, in fact, set it to 1-3 degrees, and cut from the front.

I think Chenier may have hit on it.

-- John F. SoCal transplant, chewer uppper of good wood

View Rich's profile

Rich

8289 posts in 2083 days


#10 posted 05-28-2022 02:19 PM


I think Chenier may have hit on it.

- Axis39

Ummm, no. It’s a setting. There is a -1º mark that you have to release the zero degree stop for the saw to get to. It’s not an allowance.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

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Tony1212

709 posts in 3228 days


#11 posted 05-28-2022 03:15 PM

I can only speak for the Makita track saw that I just got, but it has an adjustment screw to make sure the blade is perpendicular to the plate of the saw. And another to dial in the 45 bevel. So when I set my saw to 0 degrees, it is square. No need to compensate with a -1 degree bevel.

My Makita saw says 0 degrees is perpendicular to the surface. Positive bevels undercut the surface. Standing behind the saw and pushing it away from you, the blade would look like /. The negative 1 degree kicks the bottom of the blade out to the right, like \.


You re on the right track. You use the -1º setting when you are sawing flush to a vertical surface, like you would if you were trimming installed flooring along a wall. For those cuts, you don t use a track—the saw is directly on the surface you re cutting, and you use the vertical surface as a guide with the saw s housing against it. The -1º setting tilts the housing slightly away from the vertical surface (wall) for clearance. That way only the bottom edge of the housing rides against the wall.

- Rich

OK, I can kind of see this. You don’t want the whole blade cover up against the wall in case the wall isn’t plumb or you don’t want to scratch up the paint. You’d want the smallest contact possible to use as the guide. But it’s almost close enough to 90 degrees that it is imperceptible. But it seems like an added expense in design and manufacturing that could be solved with a couple layers of masking tape on the bottom, just inside of the blade.

-- Tony, SW Chicago Suburbs

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