Circular saw

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The circular saw is a metal disc or blade sometimes with saw teeth on the edge as well as the machine that causes the disk to spin. It is a tool for cutting wood or other materials and may be hand-held or table-mounted. It can also be used to make narrow slots (dados). Most of these saws are designed with a blade to cut wood but may also be equipped with a blade designed to cut masonry, plastic, or metal. There are also purpose-made circular saws specially designed for particular materials. While today circular saws are almost exclusively powered by electricity, larger ones, such as those in "saw mills", were traditionally powered by water turning a large wheel.

Contents

Process

Typically, the material to be cut is securely clamped or held in a vise, and the saw is advanced slowly across it. In variants such as the table saw, the saw is fixed and the material to be cut is slowly moved into the saw blade. As each tooth in the blade strikes the material, it makes a small chip.[1] The teeth guide the chip out of the workpiece, preventing it from binding the blade.

Characteristics

  • Cutting is by teeth on the edge of a thin blade
  • The cut has narrow kerf and good surface finish
  • Cuts are straight and relatively accurate
  • The saw usually leaves burrs on the cut edge
  • Saw setting should be done geometrically.

Invention

Various claims have been made as to who invented the circular saw:

  • A common claim is for a little known sailmaker named Samuel Miller of Southampton, England who obtained a patent in 1777 for a saw windmill.[2] However the specification for this only mentions the form of the saw incidentally, probably indicating that it was not his invention.
  • Gervinus of Germany is often credited with inventing the circular saw in 1780
  • Walter Taylor of Southampton had the blockmaking contract for Portsmouth Dockyard. In about 1762 he built a saw mill where he roughed out the blocks. This was replaced by another mill in 1781. Descriptions of his machinery there in the 1790s show that he had circular saws. Taylor patented two other improvements to blockmaking but not the circular saw.[3] This suggests either that he did not invent it or that he published his invention without patenting it (which would mean it was no longer patentable).
  • Another claim is that it originated in Holland in the sixteenth or seventeenth century.[4] This may be correct, but nothing more precise is known.
  • The use of a large circular saw in a saw mill is said to have been invented in 1813 by Tabitha Babbit, a Shaker spinster, who sought to ease the labour of the male sawyers in her community.[5]
  • The Barringer, Manners and Wallis factory in Rock Valley Mansfield, Nottinghamshire also claims to be the site of the invention.

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