15" saw blade


Jun 3, 2005
Dallas, Texas
Need some help. Let me introduce myself. I have had a retail frame shop for 5 years specializing in photographic art. A year ago I opened a whosale side to the bussiness. We market strictly to other photographers and provide them with one stop shopping for mouldings, mats, glass, and finishing supplies. We are Bratton Framing located in Dallas Texas. Now my question. Just got a hitachi 15 mitre saw and set it up with a Phaedra fence system. I need a good quality carbide blade for this saw. I have looked at several companys but no one advertises a 15" blade. Also would anyone have any hints to setting up the Phaedra. I got the fence up and square, but still have to layout the grids.

I appreciate all of you grumblers out there and have enjoyed researching many topics here. I am sorry if I have misspelled.

Thanks for the help

Kyle Bratton
Bratton Framing
It came with 100 tooth blade, but it is not carbide tipped. The blade is thin and the few cuts I have made are not as near smooth as the cuts from my Ultamitre blades on my Ledsome saw.

Welcome to the Grumble!

It's too bad that you didn't ask some of these questions before you bought your chop saw, you may have saved yourself some money and alot of headaches by asking first and buying based on the answers received.

(That's as delicately as I can get this early in the morning!)

I doubt that you will find a half dozen framers who would recommend buying a saw that large for the average sized frameshop. There are alot of problems with buying a saw that large including price, availability of blades, runout while operating the saw, and a few more which probably will come to mind later.

The most common sizes for chop saws are 10" and 12" and either will handle up to 85% of the mouldings sold in most of your average sized shops. If you sell alot of large moulding, say up to 4 1/2" or so, I would recommend the 12" saw but, in my dealings with photographers over the years, I haven't had the pleasure of selling that many large expensive frames to them. It is usually the other direction that they head.

I have had a Phaedra setup since I started framing in the late 80's and am totally pleased with its operation and maintenance. But I wouldn't recommend it for any type of high volume output of frames. I have 2 saws set up on it in tandem but there are still too many extra cuts to be made per frame to warrant using it over a dedicated saw system built to make 2 cuts per pass on the moulding.

Setting up the Phaedra was simple if I remember correctly. It's been many years ago since I set the decals on my calibration table (when I bought mine they only had one set of decals on the left hand table). I think I simply mitered something like a 12" length of moulding to exact measurement, lowered the saw blade down, butted the moulding against the blade, and slid the decal under the moulding until the 12" calibration mark lined up exactly with the edge of the moulding. Then I carefully removed the backing and applied the decal down to that same spot. Once you have it set up for any given length of moulding, it should be right for all other lengths and widths of moulding.

I am sure that there are a few easier methods of aligning the decals today but that seems to be the way we did it back then. ;)

Good luck.

Thanks for the info. I do have a double mitre ledsome saw now for the bulk of the work. This saw is only for very large mouldings 5" and up that won't fit in the ledsome. I have about 90 photographers throughout texas and many are ordering large fat mouldings. I will try your advice about the grids which sounds much easier than the six pages of instuctions.

Duane, what do you love about Forrest blades. I looked at the site. Like the price, but do you use their stiffner and what is that about?
I have used Forrest sawblades for many years and I like their overall quality and trueness of cut. There is minimal runout on the 10" blades and Forrest does a superb job of microgrinding the teeth which greatly adds to the overall life of the blade. I had a good set of chop saw blades completely ruined by another well known sharpening firm because they apparently didn't use a computer controlled sharpener to get the job done.

I would highly recommend sending any of your blades back to Forrest for regrinding as needed. I have gotten added years of life out of all my blades by using their precision grinding techniques. All faces of each tooth are checked and reground if needed. They will remove only enough stock to restore the edge/face of the tooth, sometimes only .0001", which is why a computer control/laser measurement system is so important.

Regarding stiffeners or stabilizers, they add to the rigidity of the saw blade and are more important on the larger diameter blades as runout is more prevalent. But, you cannot use stiffeners on most chop saws because of the way the blade is attached to the saw and the overall length of the saw arbor.

Hope this helps you make an informed decision.


Oh, and if there are any "Woodworking Shows" (That's the name of the show, not a generic term for any wood show) coming to your area in the near future, you can save a bundle on Forrest blades at these shows as they almost always run show specials on them. I use the Forrest MiterMaster blades and have saved up to $75 - $85 per blade at these shows.
got a line on a used/double pistorius that the guy said was 14"....never heard of a 14" saw.....anyone have info/thoughts on this???? source for blades? is this saw soooo old it isnt made anymore????
Hi Baer,

It was great talking to you at the show! And yes, I told mom you said "Hi". She says "Hi" too.


I have this same setup. I only use it for 5" plus mouldings and multi-sided frames and it works very well. I have tried CMT, Freud, Jesada, and the Hitachi blades, the Forrest is the best. Just about any blade Forrest makes is top notch. And as Framerguy said, you won't be able to use a stablizer on this set-up, and it would limit the cutting capacity anyhow.


The 14" Pistorius is a current model. I haven't used the 14" saw but I have owned 2 Pistorius saws and they are very solid.

Hope this helps!