|LASERKERF Installation Tutorial for a Miter Saw|
|LASERKERF SAW BLADE GUIDE
Bring your saws into the 21st Century
|Have you ever seen Norm on The New Yankee Workshop use his laser sighted miter saw and say "Man, I wish I had one of those!!" Well, here's your chance and you don't even have to buy a new saw. Laserkerf is quite possibly the best retro-fit add-on laser for your miter saw or radial arm saw for only about $79 US and the installation couldn't be easier. I've made this tutorial to hopefully help you make an informed decision on whether to purchse this amazing product. You can take the time to read my tutorial and then make-up your mind if you want more information or you can simply go directly to the Laserkerf Web Site and get any additional information there. This product fits almost any miter saw or radial arm saw out there and you can check for your model type on the Laserkerf Web Site.|
|LASERKERF SAWBLADE GUIDE TUTORIAL|
|I recently received my Laserkerf for my miter saw and thought I would share my experience with the installation process and practice cuts I made to "tune-in" the Laserkerf once I got in installed. I hope you find this tutorial helpful, to give the Laserkerf a closer look, visit the Laserkerf Web Site for additional information and to find out which Laserkerf model best fits your current miter saw or radial arm saw. There are several models available - AC power or battery, full kerf (1/8") or thin kerf (3/32") and I'm sure you will find one that fits your needs.|
|What You Get|
|Here is what I received when my order arrived. Starting with the Laserkerf itself and moving clockwise, we have the installation instructions, on/off switch and power adapter plug, mounting bracket, and finally 2 plastic self adhesive wire retention clips.|
|Here is a closer look at the Laserkerf itself|
|INSTALLING the LASERKERF|
|Installing the Laserkerf is pretty straightforward, but you'll want to be sure and read the instructions a couple of times to fully understand them before you just jump right in and start putting it on your saw. If you want your new Laserkerf to improve your cutting percision, you need to take your time and install it properly.|
|Here is a shot of my miter saw before insallation of the Laserkerf, it is an older Sears Craftsman 10 in., 3-hp compound miter saw. I mention this just to show you that the Laserkerf can be retro-fitted to not only the newer saws, but older saws as well.|
|OK, enough of that, the first thing you need to do is to cut a shallow kerf into a 3/4" x 4" piece of wood. It is very important that you clamp this piece of wood in place so it can NOT move during the installation process.|
|Once the piece of wood is secure, now you need to cut that shallow kerf. Make the cut at 90 degrees and do not cut all the way through the wood, you really only need to make your cut about 1/8" deep at the most.|
|If you haven't already, you'll want to UNPLUG YOUR SAW for the next step.|
|Now that the kerf has been cut, you need to place the Laserkerf in the proper postion and attach it to the saw. First off, plug in the Laserkerf and turn it on (do NOT look directly into the laser). Now I position the Laserkerf behind the blade guard, moving it up and down and left to right until it lines-up with the kerf previously cut in the board (note: it does not have the line-up exactly at this point) The idea here is to find the best position to mount the Laserkerf. It is best to have the Laserkerf eye shielded by the blade guard, however I was unable to accomplish this due to the guard position and the lack of room between the guard and the body of the saw. With my Craftsman Saw I was unable to use the mounting bracket that came with the Laserkerf, so I made one myself, which for my saw was just a straight piece of 1" aluminum about 3" long.
Next, I secured the Laserkerf to the bracket and to the blade guide, then took a short break to give the adhesive time to semi-cure. After an hour or so I then realigned the Lasekerf and bracket so that the laser beam was still lined-up as before. You can just see the mounted Laserkerf in the top left corner of bottom picture.
|ALIGNING the BEAM|
|Now before everything is completely dry and cured, I proceeded to "tune-in" the laser beam for my saw blade. The good thing about the Laserkerf is that you can get it in 2 different kerf sizes - full kerf (1/8") thick blade or half kerf (3/32") thick blade. I got the full kerf model and the beam is exactly the width of my saw blade, so I know that where the beam hits the wood is how much wood will be removed by my saw blade.
OK, let's turn it on and align this puppy...this couldn't be easier, there are 2 types of adjustments that you can make (1) The hex stem you see in the first pic (actually you see it both) this is the horizontal adjustment of the beam and (2) The angular adjustment is that little yellow wheel you see at the bottom of the Laserkerf in the second pic. This wheel adjustmnet is protected by a small rubber band that covers it to keep out dirt and sawdust. Make sure that you replace the rubber band after you've aligned the beam to completely cover the openings in the body of the Laserkerf.
Now, what your looking for when you align the beam is that the beam is exactly in the center of the kerf you previously cut in the piece of wood. Now the hard part, after your satisfied with the positioning of the beam - Walk away and let the whole thing set-up overnight to make sure that the adhesives have cured and that your new Laserkerf won't fall-off in the middle of a cut.
|Next, I finished-up by securing the wiring and the on/off switch to the body on my saw and to the power cord coming from my saw to the plug/outlet with wire-ties and the provided self adhesive wire clips.|
|Next, I made several shallow cuts to practice using my new Laserkerf. I made 5 different cuts; 3-90 degree cuts and 2-45 degree cuts (one from each side). Here you see all the cuts, but let's break them down. The center 90-degree cut is my original cut. The one one the left is using the beam to the right side of my mark and the right one is using the beam to the left side of my mark. I did this to make myself comfortable with cutting on either side of the beam, because my pencil marks are NOT the same width as my blade kerf.|
|Here are the 45 degree cuts. In these pictures the beam falls directly in the middle of marks and as you can see (hopefully) the laser is right on target.|
|Here is another look at the completed set-up of the Laserkerf Saw Blade Guide on my Sears Craftsman 10 in Miter Saw. Personnally I feel that this has been a great improvement to my miter saw and since I installed it, my confidence level in making accurate miter cuts has improved drastically. I am confident that, if you use this product, that your ability to make accurate miter cuts and your confidence to do so, will improve as well.|
|I hope this tutorial has been helpful and that it shows how easily you too can retro-fit your miter saw with the Laserkerf, as well as, how you can gain confidence in your miter cuts. You can also retro-fit your radial arm saw. For more information and to order a Laserkerf Saw Blade Guide, please visit the Laserkerf Web Site. If you order one, be sure and print out any instructions that pertained to your type of saw just to be on the safe side. Please be sure to let the good folks at Laserkerf know that you saw it here at The Saw Horse Workshop|