Hello! I’m Ana, a mother and homemaker from Alaska.
Skeching
100’s of FREE plans!!
You can make ANYTHING!
stick
img
sticks
img

Cutting 4x4 lumber?

September 1, 2010 |
9 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined: 2010-08-30

Hey, I was wondering if anyone had any best practices for cutting 4x4 lumber nice and evenly.  Is that something that you'd just have BLUE or ORANGE do for you, or what?  We currently don't have any kind of saw that can handle that kind of width and depth for a cut.

 

Thanks in advance for any help and replies!

Carrie and 3Chicks's picture
Joined: 2010-08-29

Hi!

I used to have to cut  a lot of 4x4's back in college building lofts for my dorm rooms!  All I had was a skil saw.  If you have a triangle square (speed square) you can mark your cut on all 4 sides.  Then cut the first as deep as your saw will go then flip to the opposite side, ritght side then left side until it is  cut through.  You can the sand the heck out of the cut end until it is all flush.  

Decide before you cut if you are going to cut in the middle of your line, leave the line or take the line and do that on all 4 sides.  

Leave the line means when you cut the line is still on the piece you are going to use.  Take the line means cut just before the line on the piece you want to use.

 

I hope that helps!

Carrie

Offline
Joined: 2010-08-30

Yeah, that's what I did when the wife and I built our back deck.  Apparently I don't do too well with it, though.  Haha!

 

I might just get ORANGE or BLUE to cut 'em for the short-term for now.

anawhite (not verified)

Our sliding compound miters saw will actually cut these (barely!), but if you don't have one, Carrie is right. Love the idea of asking the hardware store too!

Offline
Joined: 2010-08-30

Yeah, I really need to get more skilled with straight free-hand cuts with a circular saw.  Ah well.  Ana - what size blade does your miter saw use?

 

The wife and I are hoping for a nice 12" sliding miter saw (this one) as a joint-gift this Christmas from my parents!

 

And Ana, thanks for giving the advice on getting as expensive a miter saw as you can realistically afford in your "getting started" section of the site.  It's very telling that you would recommend that when your whole premise behind this site is to save money and such, so it made my wife and I really sit up and take notice of that.  That's why we're trying to get the one I linked above.  It also proved to us that it really is important - you're not the type to just throw a ton of money at a tool just because.

Carrie and 3Chicks's picture
Joined: 2010-08-29

I have a Dewalt 12" sliding compound miter saw.  I  LOVE it.  I got it in 2002- for building the girls a playset.  That was my "bribe" for building it myself instead of ordering a $5k Rainbow Playset!  

It's the tool most loaned out too.  My sister and hubby did all the trim in their addition with it.  A friend re-did all his trim before selling his house with it.  Another friend used it to trim out his kitchen when he re-did it! Someone asked if they could buy it from me- of course I said NO-WAY!  Instead, he loaned me his table saw.  What a great friend!

I advise looking at reconditioned.  The cost savings is substantial.

Here's just one site I get info from:

http://www.reconditionedsales.com

 

Have FUN!

anawhite (not verified)

So my husband referred to me as cheap the other day, and I was quite offended, because I am very generous and would never go out to eat with friends without the intention of taking the tab and one of the great motivating factors of selling a book is the ability to leave large tips when we do go out to eat :) BUT he does have a point, I spend next to no money. So you are quite right in assuming that the saw is worth every penny. And I recommend buying the most expensive one you can afford because later on, you will most likely wish your saw was a slider, or had the larger blade (mine is a 12") or does the double bevel (in case you are doing crown moulding). I have a Makita (it's actually the hubs but I call it mine) and I have used our Uncle's Dewalt, and both are great saws. If you can, the stand will save your back and probably lengthen the life of your saw too. And thanks Carrie for recommending the reconditioned sources - great idea!

Offline
Joined: 2010-08-30

Fantastic.  Yeah, I had my eye on the stand as well - it seems like it'd be worth the price maybe!

claydowling's picture
Offline
Joined: 2011-01-26

Recently I had to do this, and I don't have a powered saw that can handle it in one pass. I've used Carrie's trick in the base (on my deck, for instance), but the insane amount of sanding is no fun, and I was doing it for something where getting it flush mattered. Fortunately I had seen an article by Christpher Schwarz about how to do this with a hand saw a couple of months earlier. I had also picked up a decent hand saw on ebay at about the same time, because this looked useful.

The original article is here: http://blog.woodworking-magazi.....+Deep.aspx

The trick, if you're going to try this, is to start looking now for the hand saw. Because you can't buy a good new western crosscut saw without dropping a couple hundred dollars. I bought mine on ebay for less than $40, and I've used it for a lot of things. This is the kind I bought: http://www.disstonianinstitute.....3page.html (mine is a D-23, because those are the easiest to find).

The real advantage of this became aparent when I needed to pick up a couple of 4x4s from the local big box store, and only had my Honda Accord available. I threw the saw and a tape measure in the car and cut the timbers in half (I actually needed them to be 30", so 48" was a safe size) on a bench outside the store. Pro-tip: if you are going to do this, throw in your speed square too, and a pencil or knife (I prefer to mark cuts with a knife). I had to go back into the store and pick up a small square. Fortunately I frequently have a use for more than one square at a time, so getting a spare didn't hurt.

Also, if you're going to try this, get used to using the hand saw at home first. It's possible you'll get a small audience because most people at a big box store have never seen a hand saw in use, and they may be concerned that you've taken leave of your senses. You get left alone more if it looks like you've done this before.

Offline
Joined: 2010-09-05

Dynamic Duo said:

Yeah, I really need to get more skilled with straight free-hand cuts with a circular saw.  Ah well.  Ana - what size blade does your miter saw use?


Those don't happen unless you are making very short cross-cute.

Clamp a guide to the plywood and slide the saw's base plate along the guide.

Recent comments

Social

Let's Connect

Tweets

  •  

User login

Not Much >>

What's going on up here in Alaska.

Momplex Cam >>

Momplex Cam >>

We are DIYing our moms a Duplex in Alaska! Check out our progress so far as we owner build a home, step by step. Read the Momplex blog here.

Special Thanks

The free content provicded by this website is made possible by the following current sponsors.  Thank you!


   

Momplex Vanilla Kitchen Plans and How-Tos


Check out how we DIYed a full kitchen here!

Momplex
Momplex
Momplex
Project Plan
Momplex
Project Plan
Project Plan
Momplex
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Momplex
Momplex
Project Plan
Project Plan
Momplex
Project Plan
Project Plan
Momplex
Momplex
Momplex
Momplex
Project Plan
Momplex
Video
Momplex
Momplex
Momplex
Project Plan
Momplex
Momplex
Project Plan
Momplex
Momplex
Project Plan
Project Plan

Handmade Holiday Gift Plan Tutorials

Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan
Project Plan