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Cutting 4'' thick Ash (Workbench top)

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phillimp

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Hi All,

Any advice for the best tool to make a good clean cut through 4 inch thick ash (width is 24 inches)? This is for the top of a workbench that I need to square off to length.

Thanks, Paul
 

RogerBoyle

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What tools do you have ????

Hand saw/Jig saw/Circular saw and then trim it back with a router along a straight edge from both sides is one option

Bandsaw is another

Roger
 

phillimp

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Thanks for the reply Roger

I have a circular saw and router. I guess for the circular saw cut I just need to ensure that it can cut deep enough and that I have a fence to ensure a nice straight cut?
 

RogerBoyle

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if you use a circular saw cut proud of the line from the face up side and the underside
Most Circular saws cut to around the 2 1/2" to 3" mark
You dont need to run the saw along a fence but if it helps you then by all means do so
Score along your cutting line on the face up side with a good blade and make it a deep cut
this will prevent any tearout from spreading

Use a Router with a long straight Bit I tend to use 13mm * 50mm two flutes for worktops
Use a good solid straight edge that will not flex in the middle
Cut from the back side as far as you can then carefully turn it over and cut fron the face side
take your time and do not be gready in trying to go to deep in any one pass and you will avoid the chatter

Roger
 

katellwood

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My advice would be to use a hand held circular saw running along a straight edge clamped to the timber and set to take a cut just over 2" deep.

You then need to take a cut from each side/face.

With a lump of wood that size depending on its length its far better to take the tool to the wood as the weight of the timber will I guess be unmanagable

I would also take a look at the endgrain and possibly post a photo here as with a chunk of ash that size there is large potential for cupping/movement depending on where the timber was cut from the bole
 

Chems

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Whatever you do with your circular saw, don't just try and go full depth straight away. Nibble away at it until you get to full depth.
 

phillimp

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Thanks all for your comments - circular saw it is then!

As far as a picture of the wood goes - am hoping to have it delivered in the next few days. However, it's worth indicating that it will be 1 3/4 inch laminated.
 

marcros

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if you are laminating 1 3/4", can you not cut them square before laminating? Any final cleanup could then be done with a handplane
 

Steve Maskery

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I wouldn't cut 4" stuff with a CC. They are not designed for that. I'd do it on a bandsaw, or get a good rip saw sharpened up and work up a sweat.
S
 

Chems

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Steve Maskery":3ceb08n5 said:
I wouldn't cut 4" stuff with a CC.
If its not designed for cutting wood what is it for? Chris Swartz himself advocates the use of the Circ Saw for just this in his workbench book.
 

Steve Maskery

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Maybe he does, but I wouldn't. My experience of cutting thick stock is that it is all too easy for the blade to bind. I'm not saying it can't be done, I just think there are much better alternatives.
S
 

Webby

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make sure you have the right saw blade in the circular saw and its sharp :D
 

katellwood

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Steve Maskery":3dwtuvjc said:
I wouldn't cut 4" stuff with a CC. They are not designed for that. I'd do it on a bandsaw, or get a good rip saw sharpened up and work up a sweat.
S
A lump of wood 4" x 24" by the length of a workbench say 6' equals 4 cube

At approx 19kg/cube for ash then this lump of wood is approx 76kg or just under 170lbs

In my experience there is no way you would be able to accurately cross cut this on a bandsaw even with two of you

phillimp":3dwtuvjc said:
Hi All,

Any advice for the best tool to make a good clean cut through 4 inch thick ash (width is 24 inches)? This is for the top of a workbench that I need to square off to length.

Thanks, Paul
I do like the elbow grease option however I think the OP wants to crosscut as opposed to ripping

I still see no problem with using a hand held circular saw with the base running alongside a straight edge (or better still a plunge/track saw if one is available) and cutting in halfway from each face

I would place the ash on two lumps of 4x2 running parallel with the ash the whole lot on a couple of saw stools (the 4x2 in place to support the offcut if it needs it)




I consider this to be the safest way
 

phillimp

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Thanks again all for your comments - and the drawings (a picture speaks a thousand words)

Have just purchased a brand new 30 teeth blade for my CC - hopefully this will do the trick - and should be better than the blade that it originally came with.
 

cutting solutions

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phillimp":ufwxg5w8 said:
Have just purchased a brand new 30 teeth blade for my CC - hopefully this will do the trick - and should be better than the blade that it originally came with.

What diameter is the blade you have bought?
if its 300 mm + then 30 teeth is ok for ripping.
If its smaller then you have far too many teeth for the application you are going to carry out
 

phillimp

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The blade is 184 * 16mm (Dewalt DT1151). Will I be better off with the blade that the CC came with (that I believe is 18)? Or does it depend on how deep I cut through each pass?

Thanks!
 

woodbloke

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katellwood":3tsas9bs said:
My advice would be to use a hand held circular saw running along a straight edge clamped to the timber and set to take a cut just over 2" deep.

You then need to take a cut from each side/face.
I've done this before with a hand held circular saw (trying to cut through a very thick lump of elm) and it's fraught with difficulty. Even cutting through from both sides you may not get the cuts to line up, plus there will be a significant build up of dust in the groove which won't have a chance to clear. My advice, based on experience, is NOT to proceed as it may ultimately be very expensive...trying to cut that elm burnt out the motor on my deW saw, so I had to spend £120 on a new one...get it wrong and it's an expensive mistake. Proceed at your peril!
As SteveM rightly says, hand held circular saws are not meant for this for this sort of job...do it with a decent, sharp handsaw or a bandsaw - Rob
 

cutting solutions

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phillimp":1gjcblwu said:
The blade is 184 * 16mm (Dewalt DT1151). Will I be better off with the blade that the CC came with (that I believe is 18)? Or does it depend on how deep I cut through each pass?

Thanks!
As a few others have said you are really using the wrong machine for the job.
If you are going to do it.....
For 184 diameter I would suggest as few as 12 teeth and cut through very slowly. letting the blade do the work and making as many passes as necassary to not strain the blade or machine.
 

Benchwayze

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By choice, I wouldn't often use a hand-held circular saw for cuts like this. They certainly can bind and kick-back at times, but my reservations are based on the fact you are likely to be asking the saw to work to its full depth of cut. My old Elu would do it, but after 15 years or more of service, despite regular overhauls, it might just give up the ghost. (We have to remember that Schwartz is talking about Pine, (albeit SYP, which is denser than most other pines.) :wink:

Cut just short of full-depth, from each face, leaving a thin web to handsaw through afterwards. Then a sharp Number 5 should make a nice job of the end grain, finishing with a block plane. But then all this is great for us with a good armoury of tools.

John :)
 
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