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Ripping Jarrah wood - which saw blade is best?

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fnlchris

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I'm new on here, an amateur but experienced DIYer living down in Devon near Totnes
I've seen other posts about people planking reclaimed Jarrah wood sleepers but couldn't find anything on which blade to use
I am contemplating buying nearly 40 of them to plank to make raised beds, which would mean making about 250 cuts along the 2.6m lengths. I have enough depth if I go in from both sides
With that amount of ripping to do I would love a recommendation for the best blade for the job and will it cope with the odd nail or two?
I found one with only 6 teeth that looked promising from Austsaw called a Redgum blade under their sleeper blades section but it is 235 x 25 and I have a DeWalt D23700 hand circular saw which takes a 235 x 30. They are also in Australia ...
Or is the TCT 24 tooth blade that came with the saw going to be up to the job?
Love to hear your thoughts - thanks

(And why are all the decent reclaimed tropical hardwood sleeper suppliers in the Midlands or even further north!)
 

Pete Maddex

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Well that's a whole load of work to do with a circular saw, not something I would attempt with out a serious band saw or a resaw with a TCT tipped blade.
The best saw blade would be one with the least teeth, Cutting solutions are often recommended here so give them a ring and see what they suggest.

http://www.cutting-solutions.co.uk/

Pete
 

lurker

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I wasn't aware there were any jarra sleepers in the northern hemisphere.
Would be interested in their origins.
 

Inspector

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lurker":lb8h9054 said:
I wasn't aware there were any jarra sleepers in the northern hemisphere.
Would be interested in their origins.
Ditto. Unless they are in bad shape I’d use the Jarra for furniture / turnings and find something else for raised beds. That wood is virtually impossible to buy here. Each to their own I suppose.

Pete
 

marcros

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Weren't they used as ballast coming back from Australia. I bought some sleepers a few years back. A mixed bag but one or two were Jarrah. Damn hard stuff to cut, I wouldn't fancy making a handful of rip cuts into it, let alone 250. That is even without the embedded grit and metal that generally comes with used sleepers.

You will probably need a dozen blades. Seriously!
 

Trevanion

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Generally, there's a reason they use certain timbers for railways sleepers or sea barriers. It's damn tough stuff!

It would be seriously hard work to push through with a handheld circular saw, no matter what blade you put in it. It's hard, it's gummy, it loves to close up once it's being cut and will bind and the saw will kick back.

A PCD (polycrystalline diamond) blade with very few teeth would hold up best for the longest time, like this one: https://www.scosarg.com/cmt-236-sawblade-pcd-d-190-d-30-z-4-b-2-1-2-2
 

adidat

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fnlchris":2b2y2ud6 said:
which would mean making about 250 cuts along the 2.6m lengths. I have enough depth if I go in from both sides
:shock: :shock: :shock:

adidat
 

fnlchris

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lurker":2ah10kef said:
I wasn't aware there were any jarra sleepers in the northern hemisphere.
Would be interested in their origins.
Two places I found - railwaysleepers(dot)com definitely have them
and KJBownes and Sons say they have Jarrah on their Ebay entry, though they say Azoba in the title, it says Jarrah in the description. It doesn't specify on their web site and I haven't rung them yet to check
 

fnlchris

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Thanks for all the info and yes, you are making me think twice about this. I knew it was very hard but sounds even worse than I thought it would be
So help me think of other options - what type of wood from reclaimed sleepers would be a bit easier to cut and would also last for decades in rainy Devon? I have had bad experiences in the past of oak sleepers rotting out
 

Trevanion

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Just buy some Iroko in the sizes you want and save all the hard work of getting it out of sleepers. Used sleepers tend to be fairly expensive compared to buying raw stock anyway.
 

Ttrees

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It would be a waste of a precious resource IMO to build raised beds from the stuff.
What would be a comparable equally dense timber.., purpleheart?
Not only that, a right pain to maintain.
Have you thought about making them from concrete, and if you really wanted a timber facing,
incorporate that into the design, so you have little to pay for/make/maintain/replace/care about.
and keep the Jarrah for another project.

A few videos ago, in the Tally ho boat build, Leo had dropped 10K on about three sleepers worth of purpleheart.
Just trying to give you an idea of what you have, fair enough Jarrah probably isn't as expensive, but it's a safe guess these timbers are getting rarer and more expensive because of it.
I wonder how much the equivalent amount of purpleheart would have costed Leo, say 20 or 30 years ago?

Just my 2cents

Tom
 

Woody2Shoes

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Another point - and I'm sure it's something you've already considered - is that nearly all reclaimed timber, and especially reclaimed sleepers will have foreign objects embedded in it. So even once you've fired up your neclear-powered, jet-propelled, laser cutter you will encounter grit/pebbles/steel etc. I wouldn't use a blade/tool I wasn't prepared to replace/repair. Cheers, W2S

PS Concrete is an ideal material for the sort of application you're thinking of. You can stain it and give it different surface textures (including timber) e.g. embedding gravel/shingle/chippings if you don't like plain grey. Here's a DIYer making planters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AAeOszVu4Vo

PPS I made raised beds using riven sweet chestnut (a 'sustainable' timber, local to me and very inexpensive) eight years ago and they're still rot-free
 

Keith 66

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We used to use a lot of sleepers at our yacht club for blocking boats & some of these were Jarrah, i tried cutting some up once, The saw was a big old Dankaert circular saw with a 24" carbide rip blade & a 5 hp three phase motor. Even that found it hard work. Loads of embedded grit & simply not worth the hassle. I would give a handheld circ saw about ten minutes before the magic smoke comes out of it!
 
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