Popular Woodworking 2005-06 № 148, страница 27

Popular Woodworking 2005-06 № 148, страница 27

Tool Test

Hitachi C12LCH Digital Readout Compound Miter Saw

Not having to decipher hash marks to determine where your miter saw is set to cut? Priceless. (Well, actually it's $370.) Hitachi now offers a 12" compound miter saw with digital readouts for both the miter and bevel settings, right up front, where you need them. But wait, there's more! The C12LCH also has a laser to guide your cut!

OK, enough marketing. We found the saw in good condition out of the box, but we needed to tweak the fences to align them with one another and with the blade. This wasn't a crisis because the fences are separate castings and are easily adjusted independently.

The digital display is easy to read and offers a backlight feature to allow for changes in ambient lighting. The scale reads out in half-degree increments, except when you need to cut crown moulding and need a 35.3°, 31.6° or 33.9° setting. Then the scale is able to read in tenths of a degree. Hmmm.

We also found some play (about one-quarter of a degree) between digital settings that could be a problem when you're tweaking a

miter setting (as we all do) and you're relying on the digital scale.

The readout also has a feature you need to be aware of. It resets itself to zero each time the power is turned on. So if you put the saw away and bump the miter or bevel by 1°, you could end up with every cut off by a degree.

The laser is adjustable and operates without the blade running, which we like. We weren't as fond of the fact that the blade hides the laser line as it enters the cut.

We also found the saw loud (97 dB) and it could have benefitted from a soft-start feature - the tool exhibited a strong jerk at start.

As a cost-saving option, Hitachi offers the C12LC ($345, with just the digital readout) and C12FCH ($289, with just the laser).

Bottom line: It's a decent saw and we think the digital readout is a very good addition. Some of the features are almost what we want, but they fall short. And for a saw priced at the top of the category, we'd like a little more.

— David Thiel For more information, circle #162 on Free information Card.

AngleMag Sets the Amateur Sawyer Straight

Learning to handsaw to a line is a fundamental woodworking skill. And I routinely see many new woodworkers struggle mightily with making straight and square saw cuts.

The Australian-made AngleMag is an interesting jig that acts as a guiding hand for your saw's blade. Four magnets buried behind a plastic cover keep your saw cutting in a straight line at virtually any angle imaginable.

The AngleMag is clever and it allows you to quickly switch between one angle and its complement, a feature designed for cutting dovetails. The three screw clamps hold the jig rigidly on stock up to 2" thick. And the fit and finish, instructions and online tutorial at the distributor's web site are first-rate.

I have only three real complaints with the jig. First, it's expensive - $125. Second, you can use it effectively only with saws that are perfectly set and don't have a back on them. If the teeth of your saw are set even a little off, the cut is difficult: The saw will try to wander but the magnets will try to correct it. The result is a less-than-optimal cut. Luckily, most (but not all) Japanese saws are well-set

by the factory.

My third gripe is philosophical. I think sawing by hand and eye is one of the most worthwhile skills woodworkers should develop. It frees you from jigs and even your table saw. I fear this jig will slow the acquisition of this skill.

That said, the AngleMag really delivers the goods: Within minutes of opening the box you can be sawing straight and clean lines, even if you have little experience with a hand saw. Plus the joints you can cut with ease with the jig are pretty amazing.

So if it's this jig that opens your mind to the wonders of handsawing, then in the end, it's a thing worth owning.

— Christopher Schwarz For more information, circle #163 on Free Information Card.

SPECIFICATIONS

Hitachi C12LCH 12" Miter Saw Street price: $370 Motor: 15 amp, 4,000 rpm Miter range: 0° - 52°, left and right Performance: •••OO Price range: $$$$

Hitachi: 800-829-4752 or hitachi.com/hpt

SPECIFICATIONS

AngleMag Street price: $125

Cutting angles: -1° to +46° in four planes: 0°, 90°, 180° and 270° Stock capacity: 2" Performance: ••••O Price range: $$$$$

Tools for Working Wood: 800-426-4613 or toolsforworkingwood.com

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