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Cross cutting oak beam

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Chris152

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Is it better/ safer with a table saw (with sliding cross cut rail) or track saw? The beams are 8" x 8". (I plan on cutting four sides and finishing with a hand saw.)
Thanks.
 

El Barto

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Depending on the length of the beams I'd be inclined to use the track saw. Probably easier and safer than trying to manhandle it through a table saw!!!
 

Trevanion

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These boys cut down a 30-foot tree with a handsaw and yer complaining about an 8x8 beam!?



:lol:

As El Barto said, I'd rather take the saw to the wood than the wood to the saw if it's a massive piece.
 

Chris152

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El Barto":3a8akstg said:
Depending on the length of the beams I'd be inclined to use the track saw. Probably easier and safer than trying to manhandle it through a table saw!!!
Sorry - that was silly of me - they're offcuts, only 2 and 3' long. Table saw?
 

AJB Temple

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Track saw useless for 8" by 8". For short bits like that, well supported, table saw will be OK if it has sliding table. I cut green oak beams quite a bit and I mainly use my portable circular saw (big Hilti in my case) and rotate the beam to do the cuts. If necessary I finish with a hand saw.
 

MikeG.

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By the time you've asked the question on here and received your answers you could have run a hand-held circular saw over the pieces and then finished with a handsaw, or done it all with a handsaw.......working on sawhorses, obviously.
 

Chris152

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I get nervous around spinning blades, Mike - I set it up with the track saw, looked at it and started wondering what might go wrong! But I want a clean cut, too, so my hand sawing probably isn't the answer.
I'll take it to cut on the table saw Monday. Thanks all.

ps Trevanion - what an amazing photo, I keep looking at it, wondering about the world they lived in.
 

Trevanion

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Chris152":2krfjbwz said:
ps Trevanion - what an amazing photo, I keep looking at it, wondering about the world they lived in.
A world where they didn't give a damn about the fact the tree had been around longer than the rise of the Roman Empire and when it was planted Stone Henge hadn't been thought of yet, It just made for good 4x2s for building houses :lol:.



[youtube]5f_FjfIQQfo[/youtube]
 

Inspector

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I built my decks this past summer and needed some shorter posts and braces. I rough cut the 6x6 posts with the electric chainsaw and then took them to the bandsaw to cut to size. Another option for you. For most people the chainsaw would have been good enough.

Pete
 

Osvaldd

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@Trevanion

You cannot apply 21st century morals to past events. These were great men who had to survive the harshest living conditions in the new world. I’m sure you would’ve done the same.
I'd rather cut the tree down and build a house from it then hug it and die from cold.
 

MikeG.

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Classic false dichotomy, Osvaldd. And if you think California has the harshest living conditions in the world, I suggest you never visit, say, Svarlbard, or Marble Bar, or Chinguetti.

I don't think anyone was blaming the woodcutters for doing what they did. I think that if blame is to be assigned it is to their bosses, and to the politicians who didn't exercise any control.
 

Suffolkboy

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I have recently cross cut and planked some 8x8 inch oak beams with a skil saw, then finished with a hand saw.

It was easy. If you are worried about a straight/square edge clamp a straight edge to the piece of wood to act as a guide.

I used an old spirit level.
 

Trevanion

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Osvaldd":px1r8p75 said:
@Trevanion

You cannot apply 21st century morals to past events. These were great men who had to survive the harshest living conditions in the new world. I’m sure you would’ve done the same.
I'd rather cut the tree down and build a house from it then hug it and die from cold.
Jees Osvaldd, Take a chill pill. :lol:

I wasn't saying anything negative about it or trying to apply any kind of morals at all! I have a healthy interest in industry from times gone by (Which you might've found out if you read any of my posts :wink:) The video is a good example of real men, with real skill, doing real work to survive.

Here's another good one:

[youtube]zAvurSjBVW8[/youtube]
 

Bm101

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Chris take a look at this fella doing a scarf joint for inspiration. Circular saw dropping the blade deeper as you repeat the cut. Trying to cut at full depth will increase the risk of kickback.
Heartstopper. Approach it carefully and prepared and you will be fine.

https://youtu.be/6j-U1P49r8U
 

Chris152

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Enjoyed watching that Chris, tho I get the heeby-jeebies just watching saws used like that - lack of experience on my part, for sure.
 

El Barto

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Chris152":2d52i07k said:
El Barto":2d52i07k said:
Depending on the length of the beams I'd be inclined to use the track saw. Probably easier and safer than trying to manhandle it through a table saw!!!
Sorry - that was silly of me - they're offcuts, only 2 and 3' long. Table saw?
I guess it comes down to what you think feels safe. I'd probably still be cutting them on trestles tbh.
 

Alex

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I use tracksaw a lot when I'm oak framing, cutting similar 8"x8" beams. Cross cutting on table saw is do able but I'd choose tracksaw everytime. Few things to make safer/simpler. Never used tracksaw/plunge saw without track. Gang up beams so track has more support. If you can place beam before and after piece been cut, just under track so not cutting support bits.
 

Chris152

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While you wrote that, Alex, I was cutting it on the table saw! It went fine, not sure what I was worried about - the table saw is now my friend. :)
IMG_2275 (1).jpg
 

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Nelsun

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A few folk have mentioned cutting beams on trestles / saw horses specifically. Compared to working with them on a bench:

  • It's easier manoeuvre the timber.
  • You're far less likely to trap fingers against mostly thin air (homer)
  • Working with bowed timber and not pinching a blade because of it will be easier.
  • Offcuts will drop on the ground / toes.

Any other reasons? The reason for asking is I'm about to start working with some 1300x200x100 oak for which I've made some horses specifically. But it's s*dding winter up here and I'd far rather be working on them in the shed where... there's only benches and no room for said horses.
 

El Barto

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That pretty much covers it I reckon. Working with large pieces of oak is often difficult on a bench because, aside from getting them up there, everything ends up being too high. Whereas with trestles you can basically have any height you want.
 
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