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Sawing up Wood

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Neil6712/07/2016 18:39:38
202 forum posts
3 photos

I have access to a large supply of building timber off cuts for my wood burner. Mainly, 6x2, 4x2, etc. I thought a circular saw would be best to chop it up but have been advised by builder guy circular saw only suitable for ripping thin wood. He suggested a reciprocating saw but again there are many negative comments e.g. slow, poor cut, no TCT teeth etc. Chain saw, yes, but inherently dangerous, high maintenance etc. Maybe a bit over the top.

Any practical advice welcomed.

Tony Bennett12/07/2016 18:49:23
5082 forum posts
129 photos

i use a reciprocating saw to chop up the wood for our open fire.

works well if a bit slow.

john stones 112/07/2016 18:58:46
11504 forum posts
1516 photos

Curious as to why you describe a chainsaw as inherently dangerous Neil ? all power saws fall under that description if handled badly, high maintenance ? not really, sharpen chain, keep bar in good order, choice of petrol or lecky.


Don Fry12/07/2016 19:13:21
4557 forum posts
54 photos

Chainsaw, with a good table is good. Lidl do good, manufacturers chains for 16 inch Oregon type saws, sell leccy saws for same. Dremel do a very good chain sharpening attachment.

Dangerous for the silly, yes, but you either cut wood, or you don't. With a bit of basic care, a chain saw is not dangerous, and my saws chew through about six cubic meters of seasoned oak, sycamore, a season, with two sharpen jobs, 30 minutes the two, to do. Not exactly a high maintainable issue. But a good table to hold the victim is good.

One point, you don't want one of the big saws. A small 16 inch jobbie is light, and a kick back is not an issue, and will still slice through a 10 inch log.

Old Geezer12/07/2016 20:00:04
670 forum posts

Whatever you use to cut your wood, you should have the timber properly secured. I got a folding metal sawhorse off eBay for just over 20 quid delivered, means I can use my leccy chain saw safely, and equally useful when using my bow saw. When you've cutting the lighter stuff, the bow saw is probably quicker than waving the powered hobbies about. Wouldn't be without my sawhorse tho', whatever I'm doing the cutting with.

Edited By Gurth Scriven 2 on 12/07/2016 20:01:03

Steven Shaw12/07/2016 20:27:49
366 forum posts
191 photos

A standard home workshop table saw will definetly cut 2x4 and 2x6 offcuts to length. Just hold the piece tight up against the mitre gauge and cut.

Martin Whybrow12/07/2016 21:11:37
884 forum posts
33 photos

I'd suggest the chainsaw as well along with a good strong saw horse; I have a 16" saw and I made the saw horse up from 2" angle iron, it's strong enough to take a 6' x 10" dia hard wood log without deflecting. The chainsaw has the added bonus that you can take it to somebody's house / field to remove a tree if it's offered to you.

One thing to make sure of is that any building timber you're given isn't pressure treated, the chemicals used are very bad for burning in a log burner; OK to burn in a chimnea or fire pit though.

Edited By Martin Whybrow on 12/07/2016 21:11:56

Shaunie12/07/2016 22:31:02
949 forum posts
78 photos

Something I would add is to only use a chainsaw if the wood is of a decent length, cutting an eighteen inch length into two nine inch pieces can be tricky as it is difficult to hold.

You may get away with a 12 or 14 inch saw, my Stihl only has a 14 inch bar which is plenty for a general purpose and logging saw.


stu knowles12/07/2016 22:32:47
606 forum posts
49 photos

I have a regular supply of joiner shop offcuts. I also have a chainsaw and table top circular saw which came from Aldi with a coarse cut blade.

Timber offcuts are much more easily cut and processed by the circular saw. I only use a chainsaw for tree wood in the round.

The Aldi saw cost about £40 a few years ago and I'm on the second blade

John F12/07/2016 22:43:17
1316 forum posts
51 photos

Get a table, a clamp and a Jack saw. That way you get warm while cutting so you don't need to cut as much wood!smiley

​To my mind a chainsaw is very much OTT. A circular saw would work well but I've only ever cut by hand anyway, free exercise!

Old Geezer12/07/2016 23:22:40
670 forum posts
Posted by Martin Whybrow on 12/07/2016 21:11:37:

One thing to make sure of is that any building timber you're given isn't pressure treated, the chemicals used are very bad for burning in a log burner; OK to burn in a chimnea or fire pit though.

Edited By Martin Whybrow on 12/07/2016 21:11:56

I'm afraid I have to take issue with that statement - I have an inexhaustible source of treated timber off cuts of varying diameters. The important thing with this stuff is to get it properly dry before you start using it, I sort it as I cut and stack, the heavy wet stuff might need 3-4 months at least before I feel it's ready. I think you have been unlucky with your log burner - ours ( made by the same folk who make Agas, and not expensive ) draws well enough not to bother with what goes onto the fire bed as long it is reasonably dry. ( I'm not quite so 'anal' as some of our Scandinavian cousins on the subject of stacking and storing wood for the fire, but it does need to be sorted by size and apparent moisture content for the best results - my wife describes this as another aspect of my OCD! )

Martin Whybrow12/07/2016 23:46:55
884 forum posts
33 photos

Feel free to take issue Gurth wink I for one will not be using treated wood in our woodburner, this comes at the recommendation of our stove supplier, chimney sweep, stove manufacturer and the guy who fitted the chimney liner!

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