Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 140 total)
  • How am I going to saw 30 oak sleepers in half?
  • Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    They’re 200x100mm, so they don’t fit any of the mitre saws in B&Q. Recommend me a hand held reciprocating saw. The cut ends don’t need to be particularly neat or square.

    Premier Icon dc1988
    Free Member

    Chainsaw?

    Premier Icon Houns
    Full Member

    Cutting sleepers.

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Full Member

    Electric chainsaw.

    Premier Icon ducatimonster
    Full Member

    Chainsaw

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Free Member

    A bigger circular saw will do it. Easier to get straight than a chainsaw. You can run it against a guide for extre neatness and squareness. Or a smaller saw and cut half way through and turn it over.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    I’d have more subsequent use for a circular saw.

    Premier Icon Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    In which case get a circular saw, don’t bother getting something big enough to cut 100mm just cut from both sides as you say a perfect finish isn’t required

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    I did mine as R_B said with a circular saw from both sides.

    If you’re doing 30 of them you’ll probably want to make some sort of jig to save lining them up on both sides. Just a couple of bits of box section for either side, drill some holes and poke some threaded bar through and do it up with wingnuts or something.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    Yeah that sounds ok.

    This is for our retaining wall, which is going to be made of end-on sleepers.

    What chance do I have of making an angled cut accurately? There’s no sort of guide that would help me do this, is there?

    EDIT just thinking, I could clamp my own guide onto the sleeper at the right angle, that would get me fairly close.

    Premier Icon goldfish24
    Free Member

    Looks good, the the tilting base (like mpst other circular saws) will take care of your angled cut (assuming you mean mitre?)

    Edit – I see you probably really did mean an angled cut. Yeah a template built a bit like a set square, but not square, would do the job well.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Mines a cheap-ass MacAlister one from B&Q for about half the price, still powerful enough to go through the metal trestle stands when I misjudged how close I was to them!

    What chance do I have of making an angled cut accurately? There’s no sort of guide that would help me do this, is there?

    EDIT just thinking, I could clamp my own guide onto the sleeper at the right angle, that would get me fairly close.

    Bevel edge or Miter edge?

    Miter should be easy, just make the jig out of some scrap ply cut to the correct angle, just mark up the sleeper manually first, then line the jig up with the saw to work out how far back from the line (and thus how far from the uncut end) it needs to be and make a note for the other 29.

    Bevel edge, it’s probably possible, but you’d have to be very accurate and need a complicated jig. Or just cut one side and finish it off with a hand saw.

    Premier Icon joshvegas
    Free Member

    handsaw, make a day of it.

    stack them three at a time when you are cutting and you’ll only have 10 cuts to do…

    Premier Icon Rubber_Buccaneer
    Full Member

    handsaw, make a day of it

    Swap hands between sleepers or you’ll look like a fiddler crab 😀

    Premier Icon yourguitarhero
    Free Member

    Chop saw?

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Full Member

    just use a handsaw

    it’s only wood, 200×100 isn’t very big and 30 isn’t very many. Oak is resilient but it’s not difficult to saw. Cut one see what happens – if you’re daunted by the prospect of cutting a few more buy a machine

    make a day of it.

    id be surprised if it takes an hour, it’ll certainly take less time than it will to buy a mitre saw and get it out of its box

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Free Member

    You can use a guide for an angled cut. If you can live with a couple of marks then screw a piece of timber to the sleeper. If you want it clean you’ll get away with holding it down with some double sided tape as there isn’t much load on the guide. If you use a larger scrap of plywood then you can lean on it too with your other hand.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Full Member

    I prefer hand tools (digging big trenches for the walls in very stony ground by hand) but I didn’t think it feasible to even try sawing by hand. I assumed the oak would be very hard work.

    Premier Icon timbog160
    Full Member

    Sawing 30 oak sleepers in an hour so 2 mins each! This is why I’m an accountant 😂

    Premier Icon neila
    Full Member

    All depends on how damp they are, handsaw and damp sleepers will be a biatch and not much fun with a circular saw either. If dry a new handsaw will go through easily.

    Premier Icon Greybeard
    Full Member

    Mitre saw from both sides?

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Full Member

    Mitre saw from both sides?

    Yes,I suppose he might.

    Premier Icon maccruiskeen
    Full Member

    Yes,I suppose he might.

    Very good

    Premier Icon tomd
    Full Member

    All dull, sensible suggestions above. How about the cheapest 20″ petrol chainsaw you can get?

    + You’ll own a chainsaw
    + It’ll be quick, one way or another

    Only real downside is the noise.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Full Member

    Festool chain saw, runs on a track so easy to keep straight.

    Premier Icon brads
    Free Member

    Big chainsaw.

    Where are you ? Close enough and I’ll do it for you.

    Premier Icon kimura54321
    Free Member

    @molgrips – I recently made a couple of raised beds from 200mmx100mm treated pine sleepers. Only 8 cuts so used a new handsaw and a clamped batten as didn’t need to be perfect.

    If you have 30 to do then I think an electric circular saw would be the way to go and make a rough jig out of scrap ply or use a clamped roofing square.

    Personally I would go for a smaller circular saw with a soft start, I’ve got the older version of this Makita.

    https://www.screwfix.com/p/makita-hs6601-1050w-165mm-electric-circular-saw-240v/639fx

    What fixings are you using, if it’s oak then stainless is normally recommended due to the acid in the wood, which means predrilling? To protect the fastener as they can’t stand up to the stuff regular ones do.

    Premier Icon kimura54321
    Free Member

    @footflaps – That looks amazing but they cost £1,000 new! 😂 He could get someone in to do it for that…

    Premier Icon funkmasterp
    Full Member

    FFS people, no tools needed!

    Premier Icon stevextc
    Free Member

    just use a handsaw

    it’s only wood, 200×100 isn’t very big and 30 isn’t very many. Oak is resilient but it’s not difficult to saw. Cut one see what happens – if you’re daunted by the prospect of cutting a few more buy a machine

    2 man saw will do it in no time.
    I had 30 XL oak ones and they really do take a couple of mins. My big saw will go through one cut but after trying one wasn’t worth carrying it through the house.

    DO not let em fall on toes !! Speaking from experience!

    Premier Icon mudmuncher
    Free Member

    I’ve also got some oak sleepers coming next week for raised beds. I’ll probably use my circular saw but will have to cut from both sides so I’m tempted by this at just £35

    https://www.screwfix.com/p/titan-ttl758chn-2000w-230v-electric-40cm-chainsaw/719fg

    Premier Icon TiRed
    Free Member

    Chop saw bolted to the cheapest workmate clone you can buy. I think my combined saw and bench was about £75. I use it more than I thought. And at that price it owes me little. For miter joints the clamps aren’t great. But sawing through a sleeper should be fun. If it wins go all the way, finish with a hand saw.

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Full Member

    Electric chainsaw at Screwfix £35, 30% off at the moment. I have this saw and a straight cut is fairly easy to achieve.
    Screwfix electric chainsaw

    Premier Icon lister
    Full Member

    My electric chainsaw was some cheap thing from B&Q and it’s great. Exactly what you need and then you’ll have a chainsaw for other chainsaw duties in the future.

    Premier Icon dyna-ti
    Free Member

    I’m concerned with the number of people recommending a chainsaw, circular saw or chop saw. Basically all these tools are extremely dangerous if you have little to no experience of them. I did a 2 day course in chainsaws and wouldnt recommend one.

    Chainsaw. Plus proper chainsaw trousers(or chaps), boots, gloves ear defenders.
    I would say 90% of those presenting in hospital with life threatening to life changing injuries from a chainsaw, though it a great idea to buy a cheap one from b&q or lidl for just such a job.

    Circular saws.
    Danger of kick back, which is greater as only very large bladed circular saws can cut that deep to do it in a single pass, the majority its 2(55-67mm), one side then the other. Chances are they wont line up and you’ll have a rubbish looking end, but the big danger is you are cutting with the entire blade buried in the timber then that gives the greatest risk of kickback, which even if you are expecting one, can rip the damn thing out your hands and next stop is your legs. the nature of a blade thats spinning upwards means that when a kickback occurs, the saw is going to come back towards you and turn so the blade is facing you(legs,arm,stomach)

    Cross cut miter saw. This is the actual proper tool for the job, but most even the larger 10″ blade will only cut to a depth of about 75-80mm.
    But there are dangers to be aware of. Namely you dont copy joiners and pull the saw forward over the top and try to do a reverse cut on it. Yes thats a way of doing it, but oak is a hard timber, and the saw blade, especially at full depth will have difficulty. It is far safer to pull the saw into the cut than push back on it. The cut MUST be made slowly, its not a hot knife through butter. Believe it or nay, but too quick can have horrific consequences on what happens to the blade and the arm it travels on, it can bend,twist or buckle and the blade likewise, and that all happens in the blink of an eye. Theres a horrible pic of a big industrial radial arm saw where this has happened, on a 400mm blade and the super strong arm has actually bent to the side.
    If molegrips chooses this option, or anyone else. You MUST clamp the timber down, make the cut, allow the saw to return and the guard to close, the blade to stop running, then you remove the clamps, turn it over, reclamp and make the 2nd cut – keeping in mind that one side of the beam is unsupported and may drop or move. You dont rush using this type of tool. Ever ever ever.

    Personally I’d opt for a handsaw. A brand new super sharp out of screwfix for 7 or 8 quid, and a candle for waxing the blade as a waxed blade will make it glide through, even if the timber is dry or green(wet) For 30 cuts I’d probably buy 2 saws. According to my big book, oak,especially the denser, and a sleeper will have been selected to be denser “has a moderate to heavy blunting effect, especially in denser timbers”.

    Premier Icon squirrelking
    Free Member

    @dyna-ti sensible words regarding chainsaws and improper use of circulars. Just confused by this bit:

    But there are dangers to be aware of. Namely you dont copy joiners and pull the saw forward over the top and try to do a reverse cut on it. Yes thats a way of doing it, but oak is a hard timber, and the saw blade, especially at full depth will have difficulty. It is far safer to pull the saw into the cut than push back on it.

    My mitre saw manual specifically tells you to push the saw:

    Push the saw through the workpiece. Do not pull the saw through the workpiece. To make a cut, raise the saw head and pull it out over the workpiece without cutting, start the motor, press the saw head down and push the saw through the workpiece. Cutting on the pull stroke is likely to cause the saw blade to climb on top of the workpiece and violently throw the blade assembly towards the operator.

    Besides which, cutting on the pull stroke means you lose the support of the fence.

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Full Member

    Besides which, cutting on the pull stroke means you lose the support of the fence

    The direction of blade rotation drives the workpiece against the fence as it meets/cuts it.

    Basically, there is an awful lot more to cutting timber safely than people realise and you can get into trouble VERY easily.

    Whatever method you use, understand it.

    Premier Icon dyna-ti
    Free Member

    Bone of contention 😆 Im on a woodworking forum and the action of pushing a miter saw rather than pulling it into the cut always raises strong words from the 2 camps 😆
    I look of how the action of the saw works against the far edge of the board, in that starting from the outside, the up cut motion of the saw wants to lift the board. It doesnt really push it against the fence as that implies that the blade doesnt cut, when in fact there is no resistance and the cutting action slices into the timber very easily and without resistance. It would be the operator pressing a board against the fence that would supply that force, not the blade and not the cutting action.

    Either way is acceptable, but i would stress you need to know what you’re about, and i do use both methods when cutting wide boards. I would always recommend though that the safest option is to pull rather than push if you arent use to this type of powertool.
    All miter saws come with clamps. Best use them, speed isnt your friend here. Safety is.
    PS
    You need fingers to grip handlebars, and even the loss of a single digit, let along three means an end to cycling.

    Premier Icon kayak23
    Full Member

    It doesnt really push it against the fence as that implies that the blade doesnt cut, when in fact there is no resistance

    Don’t agree that there is no resistance. There cannot be no resistance. Changes in density, kerfs opening or closing, material potentially shifting. There’s resistance. If there wasn’t, I’d never need a new blade! 😉

    Anyway, experience counts for a lot. Don’t just go picking up tools without some understanding. 👍

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