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Dewalt 705 12 Compound Miter Saw (2000)

Dewalt DW705 12" Compound Mitre Saw. Wow. Incredible. Just purchased this saw this year to replace a well-used Craftsman 10" CMS. Not that the Craftsman was a hunk 'o junk, but it left much to be deired when accuracies tighter than +/- 0.5 degrees were required. The Craftsman was great for carpentry and framing work, but it was frustrating for furniture building. The motor assembly flexed easily from side to side, so no matter how carefully you adusted the degree settings the saw drifted off as soon as you pulled it down for a cut.

This Dewalt is like a breath of fresh air. It required only slight calibration out of the box (I'm quite finicky with exacting calibration), and hasn't drifted out yet. It cuts (for all intents and purposes) perfect angles. I mean perfect. It'll do picture frames with no problem. I've equipped it with a many toothed carbide blade that leaves a glass-smooth cut.

The picture above shows the dust collection hood I built for this saw. Its made out of scrap plywood, and includes a register boot in the underside of the table. Its connected to a full 6 drop from my dust collector piping, and the downdraft collection with the hood does an outstanding job. Its my third attempt at a reasonable dust collection system for the CMS, and this is by far the best design. It gets about 95% of the dust far better than my previous attempts. You can get more details about this hood on my DC Hoods page.

You'll notice a set of Peltor ear muffs hanging on the saw. I wear those whenever I'm using the CMS because it can get quite loud - especially if I'm also running my Dust Collector at the same time. These Peltor muffs are great.

One of the more significant tool choices I've made is to do without a radial arm saw. The main reason I get by without it is because of the capacity and accuracy of this saw. For anything really large I'll use a sled in the table saw with excellent results. With the combination of tools at my disposal, I have no desire for a radial arm with all of it's innacuracies and safety issues.

Copyright 2006 Chris Billman