Sound­ing Board

WOOD - - IN THIS ISSUE OF WOOD - —Mark Strahler MGS Op­tions, LLC Au­gusta, Ga.

Your voice, your projects, your shop.

While read­ing your re­view of slid­ing com­pound miter­saws in is­sue 256 (Oc­to­ber 2018), I was fas­ci­nated with some of the im­prove­ments in this tech­nol­ogy. But the mar­gin note on page 45 about the first slide saw is in­cor­rect: The first one was ac­tu­ally the Rock­well/Delta Saw­buck, and I worked on it dur­ing its de­vel­op­ment and in­tro­duc­tion in the late 70's and early 80's.

The Saw­buck was the pre­cur­sor of the whole slide-saw genre. We used front and rear trun­nions that re­quired the user to slide the wood in from the side. (The Saw­buck is still the only saw ca­pa­ble of a 16" cross­cut.) Our cus­tomers loved it be­cause it was the first “ra­dial-arm saw” that could be eas­ily taken to a job site. It had its own wheels and stand built in so you could roll it in and set it up quickly.

Hi­tachi, which was de­vel­op­ing tools specif­i­cally for con­struc­tion in­stead of wood­work­ing shops, eclipsed the Saw­buck when they in­tro­duced the open front slid­ing miter­saw by uti­liz­ing lin­ear bear­ings. Other tool com­pa­nies fol­lowed suit, and Delta fi­nally launched an open-front saw in the 1990s.

So there you go, an un­re­quested his­tory les­son from some­one that lived it.

Photo: Phil Stevens, Bloom­field Hills, Mich.

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