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Unread 02-06-2020, 02:08 AM   #1
man-o-media
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10" vs 7" saw and blade deflection

So I'm really curious... Has anyone ever had issues doing fairly long rip cuts (between 12 and 24" and found that even though everything was measured accurately, the actual cut was not accurate?

I've only ever used three saws, a super crap 5" or 7" mini table saw style wet saw, a quite old 7" MK (started life as a Home Depot rental) and a new Harbor Freight 10" Diamondbback.
I did two bathrooms with the MK. It had to be used outdoors as it was a disaster for water control and it could not rip more than about 15" so I made a custom table top with adjustable fence to sit on top of the standard table that allowed ripping up to 24". That made water control even worse but it always cut exactly where I told it to cut.

The MK was no longer available so I bought the HF. I know myself and our home life - these projects go slow so renting was not in the cards.

Generally I'm really happy with the saw BUT, when I do long rips, the end result is always 1/16" off at the end of the cut. It took a while to figure out what was up and I have now done enough cuts that I can accurately compensate for the issue but I'm still unsure exactly why it's happening.
If I lay a straight edge on the table and slide it the full length, the distance to the blade remains the same and I modified the above noted rip table to fit this HF and can securely set a rip with the same width at both ends yet the cut will be off so my best guess is that the torque is slowly making the blade deflect. I'm not cutting fast but even going slower does not seem to make a difference.

It makes sense to me that a 7" blade could / would be stiffer than a 10", simply because its smaller yet the same thickness. Am I crazy, is it just deflection? Are some blades more flexible than others? Are there thicker 10" blades?

Some side notes about the saw...
The rubber table makes controlling the tile very easy though I'm not sure how well it will to with 1" mosaic mats as the cut and water groves are pretty big.
Water control is really good so I have it upstairs in the room next to the bathroom. I did lay out some plastic tarps and such for drips and in case of accidents but there is virtually no over spray.
The laser and LED light are quite nice though a second light under the arm would be nice.
Its reasonably powerful though the motor is definitely not as strong as the MK. I suspect doing a piece of 30mm granite would be a serious challenge.
The track is not full length and when the outer wheels cross on and off the track there is a slight shift but it is not seen in the cuts.

Thanks... DP
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Unread 02-06-2020, 09:38 AM   #2
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Identifying the saw you bought might help, DP. I expect Harbor Freight likely sells more than one.

Identifying the blade you're using would also be helpful.
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Unread 02-06-2020, 10:17 AM   #3
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Harbor Freight basically has 4 sliding table wet saws, two Chicago Electric "just OK" grade and two better "Diamondback" saws. This saw is the HF 10" Diamondback.

The blade is the 10" continuous rim Diamondback blade that came with the saw (it can also be purchased separately).
No complaints on cut quality through 12x24 porcelain wall tiles, 18x6 ceramic floor tiles and 12x24 10mm marble. The blade runs true meaning no noticeable wobble. There is a bit of vibration but again the cuts are clean and as smooth as expected.

One of the blades I had on the MK was also a Diamondback but 7" instead of 10".
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Unread 02-06-2020, 11:23 AM   #4
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I don't have your saw but on all the ones I have had, I only notice deviation in long rips if I am trying to push the tile to fast and it pushes the blade outboard a touch. I figured this out because if I was ripping say 18" of a 24" piece, it would be spot on but if I was ripping the whole 24" then it would be off. I figured out that when I was doing the one that I marked I was focused on the line so I was going slower and the full rips I just made a mark at the end and then was cramming it through. Now I am not saying that's what you're doing but something to think about
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Unread 02-06-2020, 12:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smifwal
Now I am not saying that's what you're doing but something to think about
That makes sense and is probably what is happening however...
I'm taking about 25 to 30 seconds to do a full length 24" cut on this saw, probably a bit slower on the marble. [That was a guess and wrong - I was just doing a cut and actually the time is more than double so over a minute to do a single 24" rip] Does that seem fast to you?
It is certainly significantly slower than on the 7" MK - the difference is, mostly because of the power difference. When using the MK on tile and 10mm marble there was not much of a change in speed when cutting vs when the blade was just free spinning so it was totally my choice how fast I went. On 10mm granite it did need to work a bit harder so slower cuts. On this HF saw, there is a noticeable speed change when cutting so I naturally go slower to allow the saw to maintain speed. I would guess the MK would do the same rip in about 20 seconds or less - with no deviation. That's why I wonder if the biggest difference is simply the larger blade flexes more.

I will add that initially I was using complete lines and then switched to just two marks but I was not happy with my accuracy. I use a grease pencil (at least I think that is what its called) to mark the tiles which makes rather fat lines so you also need to decide if you are cutting direct on the line or on either side. Mind you, this was before I realized that the 1/16" errors were not actually my measurements. Because this rubber table grips the tiles so well I find it easier and accurate to raise the blade just over the surface and measure directly from the blade to the tile edge. I have a nice folding stainless steel ruler that's been in the family for decades that is great for this kind of work, albeit the reflectiveness can make it tough to read at times.

What do you use to mark the cut lines?
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Unread 02-06-2020, 03:54 PM   #6
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DP I remember reading on another post a while back if the blade has a tapered profile instead of flat it can wander as it travels through the tile.

I've had this happen on some tiles regardless of blade profile and the best remedy is to raise the blade and cut into the tile a 16th or so as a first pass, then put the blade back down and make the cut. The first groove keeps the blade on point.
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Unread 02-06-2020, 05:06 PM   #7
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I use a china marker or a fine or ultra fine tip sharpie. On the china marker I cut a nice with a utility knife so I don't have that far line you speak. Keep in mind with the sharpie you don't want to mark all over the tile just where you are going to cut. Some times the sharpie marks won't come off
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Unread 02-06-2020, 08:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just In Tile LLC
best remedy is to raise the blade and cut into the tile a 16th or so as a first pass, then put the blade back down and make the cut. The first groove keeps the blade on point.
Now that is a very interesting idea Shawn. I will give that a shot as it should also somewhat confirm if indeed the issue is blade flex though I cannot imagine what it would be if it's not blade flex.

I've never seen a blade with a tapered profile, not sure I see what the use would be.
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Unread 02-06-2020, 08:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smifwal
I use a china marker or a fine or ultra fine tip sharpie.
I just looked it up and a "china marker is what I call a grease pencil. Yea, I too have trimmed the tip to make fine lines but don't keep it up so each line gets thicker.
I know I cannot be trusted to not mark in the wrong place with a sharpie
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Unread 02-06-2020, 08:54 PM   #10
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Sure you can and it will save you time in the long run. On the initial marks that will not get cut out the ones on the short sides, If using a sharpie. I use a plastic speed square. You just don't mark where you will not cut
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Unread 02-06-2020, 10:13 PM   #11
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I like to use white masking tape and mark with a dark pen exactly where you want to cut. You have a sharp line with high contrast to follow. Keeps chips in check as a bonus.
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Unread 02-07-2020, 07:23 AM   #12
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The tapered blade profile comes with uneven wear of the blade. I have a dedicated glass blade that came new with a V shape on the diamond rim. Glass is another animal altogether though.
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Unread 02-07-2020, 08:35 AM   #13
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Uneven wear can cause the blade to wander to one side. Have you sharpened your blade lately?
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Unread 02-07-2020, 11:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smifwal
You just don't mark where you will not cut
Shawn, that's exactly the point. I'm notorious for initially, mistakenly, making marks in the wrong place, like hitting the 5/8" mark instead of 7/8". I usually catch the error before cutting but with permanent marker, the deed would already be done...

I think part of the issue is ageing eyes and converting from English with the insane fractional markings, to Metric and back to English. I lived in Euro land for 20+ years where I only used metric. I occasionally still use it but I find it's easier to keep the brain in one mode or the other, especially as most purchasing must be calculated using English gibberish - I still hate it.

Another issue may be that I'm used to table saw wood work where I'm always planning cuts on one side of the blade or the other. With the tile work I tend to do the same but this blade deflection question kind of threw a rock into that mix.

That all said, I have lots of pencils and a wall mounted sharpener in the garage for wood, I do like the idea of a nice fine line - I still might give the sharpie a try!
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Unread 02-07-2020, 11:17 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexander H
I like to use white masking tape and mark with a dark pen exactly where you want to cut. You have a sharp line with high contrast to follow. Keeps chips in check as a bonus.
Hmmmmm, that is also a good idea!
Could get a bit frustrating when working with damp and dusty tile but still, a nice way to get started, especially with tiles that have colors or patterns that hide cut marks.

I have to say (except for occasional situations where I need to taper like a 1/16" off an edge) the only time I've had any regular issue with chipping was when using my first saw which was one of those small table saw models. I'm convinced the shaft of the motor was a bit bent or something as I could never get a blade to run true. That thing did drive me to drinking a few times...
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