It can be frustrating when you want to make that crosscut and your Miter saw falls short for the board you need to cut.
Thankfully there are some easy but safe tricks you can use to cut wide boards with a miter saw.
In this guide, I'll show you several methods you can use to cut a wide board with a normal miter saw.
Things You'll Need
- Miter Saw
- Speed Square
How to Cut Wide Boards with a Miter Saw
I'll be using a normal 10-inch miter saw to demonstrate these cuts on a 1x12 board.
The more expensive solution for cutting very wide boards is to use a sliding miter saw.
Method 1- Using a Stop Block
Place the wide board on the bed of the miter saw.
Using a speed square and a pencil mark your intended cut line.
Lower your miter saw blade and adjust the board until the blade falls on the cut line.
In fact, the blade should fall just next to the cut line, on the scrap side to account for the kerf loss.
Next, use a scrap piece of wood to make a stop block for the miter saw.
The stop block can be of any size really as long as it's thick enough.
Now place the stop block at the end of the board and clamp it to the miter saw fence.
The board should be resting firmly against the stop block.
Turn on the miter saw and make the cut along the cut line.
As the board is wide compared to the miter saw blade size, only a part of the board would be cut as expected.
Next, turn off the miter saw, and flip the board.
Place the board again such that it is flush against the stop block.
Lower the miter saw blade and you'll see that it falls in the same line as before.
Turn on the miter saw and make the cut.
Due to the stop block being fixed, the cut will be straight.
With that step, the wide board cutting is complete using the miter saw.
This method essentially lets you cut double the width of the board you can normally cut with a miter saw.
Method 2- Placing another Board Underneath the Board to be Cut
You can use this method if your miter saw falls short by a couple of inches when cutting a wide board.
For very wide boards (like a 1x12 board), use method 1.
Place the board to be cut on the bed of the miter saw.
Make the cut as usual with the miter saw and say you fall short by an inch or two.
Keep another block of wood underneath the board to be cut to bring it closer to the blade.
Make sure the board underneath stops short of the groove for the blade to go in.
This will prevent the board underneath from being cut.
Mark the cut line on the board above using a speed square and pencil.
Lower the miter saw blade and adjust the board such that the blade aligns with the line of cut.
While keeping the boards firmly in place, turn on the miter saw and make the cut.
With that, you'll have completed cutting the wide board using a miter saw.
If you need the miter saw to cut even wider, place a thicker board or two boards underneath the board to be cut.
However, there is a limit to the extra width you can cut using this method.
But it's really useful when you just need a few extra inches of cutting width.
Safety Tips When Cutting a Wide Board with a Miter Saw
- Always try to clamp the boards in place before cutting.
- Do not lower the miter saw blade until the blade has reached its full speed.
- After making the cut, raise the miter saw blade only after the blade has stopped spinning.
- If the offcut piece is very small it can be thrown towards the user by the spinning blade. This is known as kickback.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can you cut very wide wood on a miter saw?
You can cut very wide wood on a miter saw by making the cut from one side and then flipping it to make the second cut. You need to use a stop block to ensure that the two cuts align with each other.
Can you cut a 2x12 with a miter saw?
You can cut a 2x12 with a miter saw in two steps. Making the first cut and then flipping it to make the second cut. Another option is to use a sliding miter saw.
Can a 10 inch miter saw cut a 4x4?
A 10-inch miter saw can cut a 4x4 in two steps. You need to make the first cut and then flip it to make the second cut.