Can you believe that this is a real advert? Sadly, it is, and not from too long ago. I wonder how many they sold?
I spied this beauty right at the end of my visit. It looked largely unused.
I've been curious about mitre saws for some time, but now I have my fantastic table saw, it's been a tool that I've been able to live without.
There is a difference in application: Table saws are designed for ripping (so cutting with the grain); Mitre saws are designed for cross-cuts. You can do cross-cuts on a table saw, but its a bit tricky to hold it straight if your stock is long. Mitre saws are the tool for this job!
I did check out the name as I inspected the saw at the carboot, but "Challenge" didn't ring any bells. My guess was that it was a cheap knock-off. I've since learned that Challenge tools are sold by Argos. I wouldn't say they're cheap knock-offs, but they are certainly aimed at the budget market. You can see here that this one was made in 2002 and it isn't sold anymore by Argos. I haven't been able to uncover anything on the internet to show that they even existed: I would have expected to have at least to have been able to download a manual, but no.
But they do exist... I have one!
What I did see in my searches however were some very unhappy mitre-saw buyers all complaining of receiving saws that didn't cut straight. There were some for Challenge saws, but it seems to be a trend irrespective of what brand of saw was being bought. Oh dear, what could be going on here? and, would I have the same problem?
My heart dropped when I got the saw home and started to examine it a bit more closely. Whilst the blade looked virtually unused I could see that the arm was at an odd angle and had even cut into the base-plate at some point. NOOOO!!!!
Much googling later and I found a wonderful article on how to tune up mitre saws at the This is Carpentry site. What a god-send!
What I learnt is that mitre saws are big heavy tools that get banged about and are prone to chop arm alignment issues. It's a bit of a design flaw, but one that can be fixed. Suddenly the penny dropped... could it really be this simple... all those unhappy mitre saw purchasers sending their mitre saws back because they'd got bumped about in transit?
With my new-found expertise I set to tuning my saw...