I bought a sliding compound miter saw on eBay (because I'm dumb).
July 21, 2010 1:54 PM   Subscribe

I bought a sliding compound miter saw on eBay.

And, because I have the foresight of a lungfish, I let work, and more work, keep me from trying it out immediately after receiving it. When I tried levering it down on a workpiece, I realized an important thing doesn't happen. The blade guard does not automatically retract. Because of that, nor does the saw travel downward when I start it and try to make a cut.

I can bring the saw down by manually retracting the guard, but this is ... problematic for me.

Since I'm stupid and stuck with a non-working saw that isn't rightly worth selling, I'd like to try to fix it. But I have no idea which part has gone bad.

Hitachi C10FS
Hitachi C10FS Owner's Manual
posted by evil holiday magic to Home & Garden (8 answers total)
Hitachi's site has a function that lets you search for a service center. Might be worth giving them a call or paying a visit. I wouldn't mess with safety equipment on a power tool unless I absolutely knew what I was doing.

And, yeah. I know that a miter saw isn't a spaceship. However, after I had a table saw kick back at me this past weekend due to an improperly-repaired fence, I'm a bit skittish about these things. I'm OK, but God, was that terrifying and bewildering.
posted by schmod at 2:18 PM on July 21, 2010

Have you contacted the seller about this? It was their saw, so they might have some advice for you about how to fix it, or they might even be willing to take it back.

Also, how long ago did you buy it? You can open an Item Significantly Not As Described claim with Paypal up to 45 days after purchase. If it hasn't been that long, opening a claim and getting your money back might be an option. A credit card chargeback is another option, assuming you funded the payment with a credit card -- credit cards often have a much longer time limit.
posted by vorfeed at 2:40 PM on July 21, 2010

It shouldn't be that hard to figure out the mechanism that makes the blade guard retract. I'm not familiar with the particular model of saw that you have, but it looks reasonably similar to the power miter (non-sliding) that I own. The mechanism is hard to describe, but it uses a sort of off-center pivot attached to a bar that pushes the blade guard out of the way as you move the saw down.

I suspect that if you look, somewhere there will be a pin that's popped out or something that's not connected the way it ought to be. If you can't figure it out on simple inspection, it might be useful to go and see if you can find a similar saw (even if it's not the exact same model, similar ones by the same mfr might use the same blade guard mechanism) to play with, take photos of, etc.

My suspicion is that the previous owner may have had the blade guard removed, or permanently raised, and put it back together improperly when they went to sell it... a lot of people do that to saws, for various (bad) reasons.

If you find you are missing parts you might be able to contact the manufacturer; generally they won't hassle/overcharge you too badly for safety-related items. (I had a friend who bought a table saw without a blade guard; the manufacturer sent him one for free when he wrote to them.)
posted by Kadin2048 at 3:45 PM on July 21, 2010

If you look at the Parts List PDF on the third page you will see a return spring labeled "201" I suspect this is the problem. While I don't think you would have any problem accessing this spot by removing the belt cover, I would recommend against it. Hitachi is very squirrelly about selling parts to individuals because of liability issues. As this is a safety device, you are well advised to take it to an authorized repair shop for diagnosis and repair.
posted by Old Geezer at 4:49 PM on July 21, 2010


Why yes, I have made this mistake before

And I do still have all my fingers, thanks for asking.
posted by Aizkolari at 5:51 PM on July 21, 2010

Have you used a sliding notetaker saw before? Because you are supposed to pull them out then push the blade back away from you to make a cut. When mine is in "slide mode" it won't work like a regular chop saw for safety reasons.

I'm not explaining this properly but YouTube does. Summary: it's possible its not broken its just on slide mode.
posted by fshgrl at 6:03 PM on July 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks guys for the answers and advice.

I've never used this kind of saw before, and have only a tenuous grasp of what I'm doing. I've looked at the manual, and tried screwing with everything again. I was hopeful, but no joy.

As far as talking to the original seller, you underestimate the scale of my ineptitude. I bought the thing maybe three years ago. And, um, didn't mess with it until last year. Sigh.

I'm going to call around to the local tool and appliance repair dungeons, and get some quotes.

However! In the interest of science and reclaiming my manhood, I'll take one last crack at figuring this out before throwing my hands up in despair. If I can identify the problem, maybe I can fix it (rather than just opening it, and kinda looking at it, and not remembering how it all fit together).

I took a photo of a part that might be relevant. It seems to be the lever that reaches from the pivot to the blade guard. I've read somewhere on the interwebs that there's some kind of thing common to miter saws that goes from the pivot to the guard. It's supposed to keep the guard level, I guess, as the saw tilts.

This thing's just sorta hanging out, not really doing much of anything. If I push it up as I bring down the handle, the pivot unlocks and it travels normally; but the guard doesn't retract. It just sits there, in the way.

I've tried finagling that pivot thing into different spots on the guard where it can sit, but none of that's really helped. I'm thinking maybe it does go on the guard, but inside the body. Or maybe it's the return spring as the Old Geezer suggests.

But I'll get this thing fixed if it kills me, and everyone around me. I'm slavering already at the thought of cutting things at specific angles.
posted by evil holiday magic at 10:57 PM on July 22, 2010

Response by poster: Oh yeah, and the photo is of the right side of the saw, while the diagram is the exploded view from the left. So the lever is facing in opposite directions between the two.
posted by evil holiday magic at 11:46 PM on July 22, 2010

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