Miter saw won't cut through knots in wood


I have a question for you woodworking experts, especially those who make log furniture.
I'm trying to cut up apple tree branches that are about the thickness of a baseball bat with my Makita miter saw (I'm cutting them into smaller chunks to use as wood for meat smoking ... but you don't want to use a chainsaw because then chain oil would get on the wood). Nine out of 10 times the miter saw cuts the small log into cross sections just fine, but about 10% of the cuts I hit a knot and it totally stops the saw blade -- sometimes jambing it. There are a lot of knots that are hidden in these branches, so you can't really avoid them. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with the saw, and I've heard of others having similar problems using miter saws to cut through freshly cut small logs.
I don't want to buy a new band saw or new power tool or anything, so I was hoping to find a way to cut these branches using the miter saw. Is that possible? Anyone have any tips? The miter saw blade I have on now is a multi-purpose carbide-tipped blade with big teeth. Would a blade with smaller teeth that are closer together be able to cut through any and all knots? Anyone have any suggestions?
--
DK



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You probably just need to jut slower. Yes a finer blade will cross cut better however this saw was not designed at all for this operation. It's likely safe but just not efficient.
I'm not sure the chain oil would really be that much of an issue but to each is own. If you did want a different tool I might suggest a sawzall for this operation.
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SonomaProducts.com wrote:

I always jut in time with music. To each his own.
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I'd be inclined to buy a $10 bow saw at Home Depot and do them by hand... I've had one of those saws for over 30 years and have found it to be a wonderful tool that cuts fast on green branches. I prune my fruit trees with my saw so I know it works on fruit tree branches. ;-) Alternatively, a 12" blade in a Tiger Saw works pretty good also.
John
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I use the bandsaw. You can buy chain oil that is vegetable based and would be OK to use for smoking. You can also use the sawdust from the saw. Do your cutting over a small tarp to gather it up. Sawdust is good for cold smoking with a hotplate as it will smoke easier than chunks. You can see what I do on my web page.
--
Ed
http://pages.cthome.net/edhome/



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Not to ask a silly question, but how old and what kind of blade are you using? A sharpening maybe? Perhaps a 10 inch blade in the 12 inch saw to get a bit more speed behind the cut?
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A 10" blade will have lower tip speed than a 12". Maybe you were thinking about reducing the load on the motor?
Bob
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Cut, don't chop, always the best policy. That's why it's not an axe, I guess.
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Replace the blade with a sharp one, or maybe the blade is just in backwards...

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I use my sawzall (reciprocating saw?) to cut green wood such as you are trying to do. You might try a different blade on your miter saw, but that saw is not made for cutting green banches. Do be carefull.....
Craig
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DK wrote:

At the risk of sounding like a smart-ass, have you considered cutting where there is no knot?
--
Morris Dovey
DeSoto Solar
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DK:
Your saw is fine. Cutting green wood is a chore using any method (with the exception of a chain saw), even hand saws will bind. The problem is bracing... keeping the log from moving while the blade rips through it is what's causing you the trouble. I use wedge scraps. As you know, every cut changes the position of the remaining stock. When I position a non-uniform board (or branch) on my saw's table, I'll push some wedge scraps (shims) around the top (fence) and bottom table to create a solid seat for the stock. This way, neither you nor the pill of the blade permits the stock to move - thus solving the blade binding problem.
Good luck...and watch those fingers :-)
Log Man
www.LogFurnitureDirectory.com/ Directory of log and rustic furniture manufacturers, companies, craftsman and retailers in the United States and Canada. The most complete log and rustic furniture directory online (or off).
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