Quantcast

Heath Robinson resawing advice?

UKworkshop.co.uk

Help Support UKworkshop.co.uk:

julianf

Established Member
Joined
10 Nov 2017
Messages
325
Reaction score
0
Location
devon
I have an old beam here. It's probably oak or elm. It's already been cut into about 3 foot lengths, so no good as a beam and I'm not into wood turning.

I'd like to plank it up as best as possible, but don't really have suitable kit. I won't be able to pay anyone else to do it either, unless I could convince them with a suitable metal detector.

I'll measure up, but it's probably about 8 or 9 inches square.

I have, at my disposal -

Wadkin AGS 10
Walker turner 14" bandsaw (well, will have it next week)
DeWalt dw1251
Chainsaw
Hand held circular saw (evolution rage thing)

But none of that is going to help me out on this, I suspect. The WT bandsaw is said to have about 7" capacity. The DeWalt and Wadkin both have 10" blades.

Is there some way I could bodge this for a 1 off? It won't be a repeat thing - I have this beam and I won't be getting more. I just want to make it useful.

I'd rather not use the chainsaw on it really, as I'll get so much wastage, but I guess my best current option may be to take it in half using the chainsaw, and then rip into small boards on the bandsaw. Or take a 2" slice off the side and rip to larger boards?

Any more suggestions?

Thank you!
 

oakfield

Established Member
Joined
7 Oct 2009
Messages
277
Reaction score
0
Location
East Sussex
I would cut through from both sides with circular saw/ table saw and finish the middle inch or so with a hand saw.
 

rafezetter

Troll Hunter
Joined
11 Jun 2013
Messages
2,711
Reaction score
12
Location
Bristol
oakfield":34g14kvu said:
I would cut through from both sides with circular saw/ table saw and finish the middle inch or so with a hand saw.
wot he said.

Just make sure you add a tall sub-fence to the tablesaw and low & high set featherboards pushing the bottom and top of the beam (or as high as the fence will allow) against the fence to avoid tipping or the cuts will be diagonal and you'll end up with the worst case of having thick sides and a thin centre - or vice versa - wasting twice as much wood.

Definitely worth doing, but take your time - rip blade and SLOW FEED!!

Also be aware even though they are old, ripping a beam like this can cause internal tensions to release - which can be all fun and games while resawing - keeping this in mind will prepare you and hopefully prevent a "change of trousers" moment, if it happens.

if you do it - pictures please! - the resawing not the other.....
 

Woody2Shoes

Impressive Member
Joined
5 Jan 2015
Messages
1,519
Reaction score
53
Location
Sussex UK
rafezetter":23gfhsgz said:
oakfield":23gfhsgz said:
I would cut through from both sides with circular saw/ table saw and finish the middle inch or so with a hand saw.
wot he said.

Just make sure you add a tall sub-fence to the tablesaw and low & high set featherboards pushing the bottom and top of the beam (or as high as the fence will allow) against the fence to avoid tipping or the cuts will be diagonal and you'll end up with the worst case of having thick sides and a thin centre - or vice versa - wasting twice as much wood.

Definitely worth doing, but take your time - rip blade and SLOW FEED!!

Also be aware even though they are old, ripping a beam like this can cause internal tensions to release - which can be all fun and games while resawing - keeping this in mind will prepare you and hopefully prevent a "change of trousers" moment, if it happens.

if you do it - pictures please! - the resawing not the other.....
+1 for the above. If I'm concerned that the blade is in danger of being pitched, I whack in a wooden wedge or two, just behind the cut, as a way to try and keep the kerf open. Cheers, W2S
 

woodbloke66

Established Member
Joined
17 Sep 2018
Messages
1,126
Reaction score
2
Location
Salisbury
rafezetter":l8921lfu said:
oakfield":l8921lfu said:
I would cut through from both sides with circular saw/ table saw and finish the middle inch or so with a hand saw.
wot he said.

Just make sure you add a tall sub-fence to the tablesaw and low & high set featherboards pushing the bottom and top of the beam (or as high as the fence will allow) against the fence to avoid tipping or the cuts will be diagonal and you'll end up with the worst case of having thick sides and a thin centre - or vice versa - wasting twice as much wood.

Definitely worth doing, but take your time - rip blade and SLOW FEED!!




Also be aware even though they are old, ripping a beam like this can cause internal tensions to release - which can be all fun and games while resawing - keeping this in mind will prepare you and hopefully prevent a "change of trousers" moment, if it happens.

if you do it - pictures please! - the resawing not the other.....
Yep, what others have said, but take it very, very slowly. The saw dust will build up inside the kerf and it's got nowhere to go, so there's the potential for blade 'binding'. I'd advise planing three square side as well which will then give you a datum on the table saw fence and two square faces on the tabletop when you turn it over - Rob
 

Trevanion

Greatest Of All Time
Joined
29 Jul 2018
Messages
3,599
Reaction score
413
Location
Pembrokeshire
If it's really straight-grained stuff you could probably split it with a sledgehammer and some wedges without too much fuss.

Some say the old ways are best!
 

julianf

Established Member
Joined
10 Nov 2017
Messages
325
Reaction score
0
Location
devon
Things to note -

I guess these are between 2'6" and 3'6" or so long. Theyre a bit thicker than i thought, as shown by the calipers.

As a strengthening bodge at some point in the past another couple of smaller timbers were riveted on the sides. So the beam will have a series of holes through it, which will control the plane of my sawing if im not to get holes in every plank.

The notching will create a lot of wastage also.

I dont know what timber this is (i have no skill in identifying) but its probably from the mid 1800s, and certainly pretty hard now.
 

sunnybob

wysiwyg
Joined
11 Oct 2014
Messages
8,399
Reaction score
155
Location
cyprus
Something that old and with those "attachments" needs to run over with a metal detector before risking an expensive blade on it.
It will be amazing if there arent buried nails in there.
 

novocaine

Established Member
Joined
21 Jul 2014
Messages
2,263
Reaction score
98
Location
Warrington
It looks like English oak from the way the grain has opened up.
It's got a lot of heart wood in it (you can see the core in the end grain)
It's not going to plank to well and is quite likely going to fall to pieces in your hands.

I'd go with trying to quarter saw it with a hand held circular saw, cut 2 slices on the top face with the second slice in line with a full saw blade depth. turn it on side and cut the 2 2.5" planks off. hopefully this will bury some of the shakes it has. repeat on all 4 sides the run your saw against the edge to take of the ends of the cross and repeat the process.

Sorry to say, but you are quite likely going to trash a saw blade, you can see the nails in the last picture.
also sorry to say that other than an experiment in cutting up a beam I think your on a hiding to nothing it's to narly to be a whole lot of good.
 

AJB Temple

Finely figured
UKW Supporter
Joined
13 Oct 2015
Messages
3,211
Reaction score
423
Location
Tunbridge Wells
The cost of replacing a blade versus a few new planks at that length? Honestly, this is not worth the effort. There are lots of splits, shakes and nails. Ideal for a log burner. 8)
 

julianf

Established Member
Joined
10 Nov 2017
Messages
325
Reaction score
0
Location
devon
In truth, what you are saying comes as almost a relief.

This beam had been in the yard for a while as I've not had the heart to chop it up. I've felt like I should do something with it, without actually having application.

If you say it's not worth the bother, then that's fine with me. Makes for a simple life at this end.
 

rafezetter

Troll Hunter
Joined
11 Jun 2013
Messages
2,711
Reaction score
12
Location
Bristol
julianf":8i1j4q7g said:
In truth, what you are saying comes as almost a relief.

This beam had been in the yard for a while as I've not had the heart to chop it up. I've felt like I should do something with it, without actually having application.

If you say it's not worth the bother, then that's fine with me. Makes for a simple life at this end.
Having seen the pics I agree slabbing is a lot of effort for dubious return, but there is another alternative.

Cut two sections off either end with a notch in the centre (or whatever equals seat bench height) - flatten the ends, throw another slab on top = bench.

alternatively, alternatively - did you say you had more of these? Grab 4, cut to equal lengths, place in a rectangular shape - throw on a sheet of ply - nail it down = workbench that ain't going anywhere.

or, give the legs a good whack with a belt sander, throw a fancy slab on and call it a rustic dining table "with period features". A table made from a beam that came from your house - what more provenance do you need?

That's oversimplified of course but you get the gist.

or you've got 4 corners of a rustic seat...

You could even try quatering them lengthways...

There HAS to be more options than just burning it imho. If I lived closer I'd consider taking it off your hands to do one of the above myself.
 

novocaine

Established Member
Joined
21 Jul 2014
Messages
2,263
Reaction score
98
Location
Warrington
It's certainly not useless, it's just not suitable for planking.

find yourself an "I saw you coming" shop and over 4, bespoke, aged base glass topped coffee tables for a reasonable price but they have to be quick as Casandra was showing interest for latest property. ;)
 

julianf

Established Member
Joined
10 Nov 2017
Messages
325
Reaction score
0
Location
devon
Sure, it's not useless, but I have more projects than I can complete in my lifetime, so spending time on one that is, ultimately, likley to be unrewarding will be, well, unrewarding.

If I spent 5 hrs driving around to shops that sell foolish things I might make a few quid out of it... But my hourly wage would probably not work out too good, for, again, unrewarding work.

If I could have gotten the chainsaw running this morning, it would have already been in the log pile.

As can be glimpsed in the photo, there is so much stuff here that may come in useful somtime... And getting shot of the stuff that probably won't can't really be done soon enough!

Thank you again.
 

Latest posts

Top