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Precision sawing: Mind the miter

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Today, with virtually the touch of a button, a quality miter saw can produce finished parts that are cut efficiently and within extremely tight tolerances.

In precision miter cutting of tube, beams, and other material, the costs of inaccuracy can mount quickly

Miter cutting tube and other workpieces can be extremely critical, especially when dealing with frameworks and other large assemblies. One seemingly small error in a miter cut can throw a large assembly significantly out of tolerance. This is where automation and precision control in sawing come into play.

If you are a fabricator, or a supplier to a fabricator, you are unquestionably in the business of sawing steel, including steel tubes and pipes. Further, a sizable percentage, if not the majority, of that sawing requires miter cutting, be it on a cold saw or band saw.

This in and of itself should not create any particular problems, but surprisingly, saw manufacturers often hear about the additional challenges fabricators face when trying to saw miters accurately, consistently, and efficiently. Incorrect miter angles, wrong cut lengths, and cutting out of square are just a sampling of the errors that occur. Put two of these errors on top of each other and what was supposed to be a simple welded frame is now completely out of alignment. Many of these same issues can occur with straight cutting as well; however, they are exacerbated when dealing with intricate miter cutting and the tighter tolerances that miter cuts often require.

Fortunately, because of the continued technology developments in both saws and saw controls, the need for detailed calculations, tape measures, marking, and manual alignment of the material under the blade is eliminated. Today, with virtually the touch of a button, a quality miter saw can produce finished parts that are cut efficiently and within extremely tight tolerances. Depending on the cut quality required, accurate miter cutting can eliminate secondary operations that address finish and squareness.

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