What kinda saw?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Cabin Fever, Nov 22, 2006.

  1. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    I want to make some wood slabs out of small diameter logs. These slabs will be used for various crafts. This past weekend I tried cutting some slabs from a 3" birch log. I set my radial arm saw to 60º and attempted to cut some 1/4" thick oval-shaped slabs. The saw binded and stopped running etc. many times like this was too much of a job for it. My question is would I have more success with a different type of blade? If so, what type of blade? Or should I try a different type of saw....maybe like a chop saw?

    I would really like to cut some slabs from 3-inch (+/-) diameter birch logs at an angle to make oval-shaped slabs having approximate dimentions of 3 inches by 5 to 6 inches. Any suggestions?
     
  2. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My guess is the birch log wanted to rotate, & the angle cut locked up the blade real quick. Any regular r-a-s can handle a 4x4, and your birch is smaller.

    Can you rig up a jig to stablize the mini-log so it can't possibly turn? Cutting round stock does that.

    A chop saw would do it more easily, but the r-a-s should do.

    --->Paul
     

  3. CatsPaw

    CatsPaw Who...me?

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    both should do it. It was rotating. A V shaped jig will let them do the job. Although I would prefer the chop saw.
     
  4. Highground

    Highground Well-Known Member

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    If I'm reading this right you want to cut them like you slice bread, only at an angle? Use a band saw.

    I used 4" black locust to make coasters and the band saw did a great job.
     
  5. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    not to hijack the thread, but i have lots of black locust that is normally used for firewood. how well does it work as lumber? i know it would be terrible for tools, but does it split or check or splinter?
     
  6. beorning

    beorning Well-Known Member

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    I'll second the bandsaw. I cut small walnut logs into boards with mine. Works like a charm.
     
  7. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    A non stick cooking spray may help, or a coating of kerosene on the blade.
     
  8. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    I'm thinking if I use my band saw that I won't get the same thickness throughout the slab and the slab's surface will be wavy.

    One thing I should have mentioned, I'm attempting to cut these slabs from green (freshly-cut) logs. Would that cause a problem?

    I'll try the cradle idea, these logs are not perfectly straight. If that doesn't work, I'll have to put a chop saw on my Christmas list.

    This Christmas ornament is one of the things that I want to amke from these slabs:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    The ornament was made from a diagonal cross section cut and needs IMO to be done with a chop saw. A slab is typically a lengthways cut of the outer barked area and a bandsaw is better to accomplish this task. The grain pattern of each method is significantly different and therefore the different methods for achieving the desired end results
     
  10. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    WHat kind of blade do you have in the RAS. If its a steel blade it may not have enough set. A decent carbide blade is what you want. You could build a 90 degree jig about 12-18 long. Screw the limb curved side down so it sets as well as possible in the crotch with two screws about 6 or 8 in from the end. One through the bottom and one through the side. I would be very careful about using a chop saw. if the branch doesnt lay in the table/fence flat you could get a pretty good kick back. if you have a bandsaw you can make a 4in high fence and set it so you get 1/4 cut or what ever.
     
  11. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

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    Yes my radial arm saw has a new 40T carbide blade. I'll give the bandsaw a try. SO, would it be better to tilt the platform to 60º or angle the pushing guide to 60º?

    I'm having trouble understanding the use of a jig with the RAS. WOuld the the limb be longer than the jig so the end of the limb would go past the end of the jig and that would be the portion of the limb that I would cut? Or, would I cut a 60º angle into the jig (like those cheap hand miter boxes) and cut thru that notch each time by moving the limb forward 1/4" after each cut?