Ripping fence pickets into thirds with hand-held circular saw?

Page 1 of 2  

I need about 150 6-foot cedar battens, and it turns out the least expensive source would be to buy 50 cedar fence pickets and cut them into thirds.
The pickets are 5/8" thick by 3.5" wide, 6-feet long, and cost about $1 each. So with two cuts, each picket would yield three batts around 1" wide, at a cost of about 33 cents each.
I don't have any equipment to speak of, but do have a B&D model 7308 circular saw which takes a 7.25" blade. It's 5300 rpm, 9 amps, if that matters. The blade on it now is 24-tooth, "combination industrial carbide." The actual cutting tips appear to be about 2.5mm wide.
So I would need to make 100 cuts altogether to get my 150 bats. My only experience with this saw is cutting an occasional 2x4, and I know this picket ripping operation is more properly done on a table saw. But, you know, I don't have a table saw. And none of my neighbors have one. And I don't have a pickup. And I just told you everything I know about wood working. So....
Does anyone here have experience trying to do this kind of long cut with a hand-held circular saw? I know I would need to make up a jig of some kind so the saw would slide along against a stop and automatically make the right cut. But otherwise, is this something I can do with this saw, or are there reasons why it wouldn't work? Well I mean, is the blade going to get hot and warp before one cut is done? Something like that? Is there a better blade I should use for cutting this thin stuff?
Well, I'd appreciate any advice or suggestions.
And for those who'll need to know, these bats will cover the gaps between the pickets of existing "privacy" fences on two sides of my back yard. I have a pool there, and I want it to be private so as not to offend the neighbors.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Peabody wrote: ...

Last first...for this much ripping, the combination blade is ok, but I'd go ahead and invest in a ripping blade; it'll work better. And, yes, as long as you feed the material at a reasonable rate the blade will be just fine.
I've built a little table on which I can bolt down the circular saw upside down and "cobble up" a site-accessible mini-ts for just such things where the job's not big enough to take the actual construction saw, etc. It's not hard but does take some time/effort to do.
Alternatively, as you say, simply make a fixture to run the saw along. Probably easiest would be a piece of plywood on which you fasten a straight edge to place the pieces against, widest point first. Then a second layer to run the saw against on top of that. Use a set of spacers of the right width to place between the fixed fence and the edge of the material to move it out. Alternatively, and probably easiest, set up for the first cut and do all pieces then move the guide and repeat (twice't).
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

re: "I've built a little table on which I can bolt down the circular saw upside down"
I still have my Hirsch Saw Table out in the shed, buy I've attached a piece of plywood to the top and use it as portable table for my miter saw. It was my first "table saw" and I got my money's worth out if it before buying a real one.
This guy's selling his for $100 (Canadian?) which I think is way too much...
http://toronto.kijiji.ca/c-ViewAdLargeImage?AdId=190488101
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A table saw would be your best choice. Cedar is fairly soft so even one of the table top models would work well if you did not force the material into the blade.
Every circ saw I have ever seen has a slot for an under $10 rip fence. They are not all the same size but another brand may work on your saw. The hardest thing about this method is holding the wood so you can make a long smooth cut. A shallow blade set and screwing it to some wood sawhorses with a spacer board to protect the horse has worked for me in the past.
You might be able to find a wood worker in your area who would do the cuts for a small fee. Cedar is not hard on the tools.
--
Colbyt
Please come visit http://www.househomerepair.com
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Colbyt wrote: ...

Especially so for ripping narrow stock as OP wishes to do. The rip guides work "sorta-ok" for taking a strip off a larger piece but tougher when work is narrower than the base of the saw as one loses stability.
Which is why I suggested the "make a support bed of a piece of ply" technique... :)
And, of course, if there were somebody somewhere close w/ the TS that would be a clear winner, agreed... :) ...exceptin' OP sorta' threw water on it... :(
--
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
dpb wrote:

OP may be re-evaluating what his time is worth after the first 20-30 rips with a skilsaw and home-brew jig on the sawhorses, especially if he had to buy material to make the jig. That 1x 5/8 cedar trim stock may start to look real cheap.
Just sayin'
--
aem (who ripped plenty of cedar fence boards as a kid, taking the skinny
scrap to Grandma for rot-resistant plant stakes) sends...
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Naw, if you rig up a jig to guide with it won't be bad. Cedar cuts very easily.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I missed the post where the precuts were priced but to be honest I still recall many times in my life where $30-40 was worth a few hours of my time.
I would not take the time to run them through the table saw now to save $50 but that time may come again some day. Who can ever know.
We each have to do what we have to do.
Colbyt
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
aemeijers says...
> OP may be re-evaluating what his time is worth after the > first 20-30 rips with a skilsaw and home-brew jig on the > sawhorses, especially if he had to buy material to make > the jig. That 1x 5/8 cedar trim stock may start to look > real cheap.
The first thing I did was check with the biggest lumber yard in town and ask if they had anything I could use. They told me all they had was 1x2 cedar in 16-foot lengths, for $4.64 each. Plus delivery of course. Well, I think I could get by cutting those into thirds, at 5'4" each, but it's still $1.55 each vs 33 cents the other way. And unfortunately, money does matter.
So am I not asking for the right thing? I specifically asked the guy at Mill Creek if there was anything else I might use that was less expensive, and he said no. I'm not a glutton for punishment, and would love to find something that would work that's at least already the right width, but that 1x2 stock is the closest I've found. Is there anything like maybe cedar lattice strips or furring strips that might be cheaper?
Thanks for everyone's comments. They were really helpful.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Try calling around looking for lattice or lattice strips. Usually 1/4 x random sizes depending on where you buy. Lattice is not planned and sand as smooth as trim board so it should be cheaper if you can find it.
The Lowes web site has 1/4 x 2 x 6' redwood listed, not stocked at my local store.
A few years back I know I bought 1/4x2x8 treated lattice from the same store.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Peabody wrote:

For what you are doing, 3/8 or 5/16 lathe stock or screen mold would work, if you can find it in the right wood and profile. (Look in the aisle where they sell the honeycomb panels to trim under porches and decks.) Doesn't need to be strong, just pretty. If you can borrow or rent an electric or air stapler, it would go up real quick- just bang - bang - bang down one side. (you don't want to fasten this on both sides of gap anyway, so it can move when fence flexes in the wind or sun.)
Are you putting this up on the pretty side or ugly side of the fence? (I assume the pretty side faces the neighbors. ) If you are putting it on the ugly side, and you can live with the white stripes for a year till it fades, pretty much any fence wood would work.
--
aem sends...

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Use the right tools for the job (table saw) and the right safety equipment or have someone else do it for you.
Otherwise you might have some very expensive medical bills should you cut some fingers off! Handheld circular saws can kick back easily.
"Peabody" wrote in message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

== I'd be damned careful even using a table saw. Those light slats can take off like a bullet if one is not careful. ==
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

*Never* stand behind the blade/work when ripping on a table saw.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Contact your local high school woodworking shop
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Sounds like you should have a paramedic on speed dial

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

That amounts to 600' of cutting. Can be done, but you'll be curing after the first 10 or so cuts with that saw.
Look at your local shoppers paper or Craig's List for a cheap used table saw. Buy a Freud Diablo rip blade. Do the job and then sell the saw for about what you paid for it. There are plenty of $50 to $100 saws around that will do what you want. Be sure to use it properly and use a push stick. Repetitive, monotonous work is the most dangerous no matter what saw you use.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 3/28/2010 8:56 AM Peabody spake thus:

Sorry, not what you wanted to hear, but I'd say: forget the circular saw. Beg, borrow or steal a table saw.
Doesn't need to be a good one, just a working one with a decent blade.
You can probably rent one for a day, which would be money well spent. This operation is *so* much easier, faster (and safer!) using a table saw, assuming you follow common-sense safety procedures.
You might decide to buy a table saw, which you will no doubt use many times in the future if you do any more woodworking at all.
If you're in a place like where I live that has a tool-lending library, you can borrow one for free. Or maybe one of your friends or neighbors has one, in which case you might have to tender payment in the form of a 6-pack or three.
--
You were wrong, and I'm man enough to admit it.

- a Usenet "apology"
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Coupla things going on here.
First off, you can forget about using a circular saw to accomplish your goal, unless you make a jig to hold the saw upside down, effectively making it a table saw - remember, you'll have to lock the trigger switch down so it runs hands off (not a good idea), and you'll never be able to keep the blade from binding if the saw is hand held ... simply cannot control it reliably.
But, even with the above set-up, and using a push stick, you're courting disaster.
You need a table saw, and it must be equipped with an anti-kickback device to assure the pieces you're cutting don't fly back and injure you.
All that said ... even if you, or someone else does succeed in ripping those 3.5" wide pickets into three pieces - factoring in kerf loss, the resulting battens would probably warp all to hell.
Don't do it. Period.
Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Sun, 28 Mar 2010 19:39:19 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (J O E) wrote:

Nah, it could be done with a shooting board sort of jig. It will be a PITA with that many cuts no matter how he does it. A circular saw will be the pits.

No more so than 1" strips, perhaps less.

Agreed.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

    HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.