Why not? George Goble had a gas guitar. :-)
(George Gobel was a stand up comedian who had as a prop, a Gibson L5CT
acoustic guitar. When someone asked him why he didn't use an electric
guitar, he said it was a gas guitar).
Northern Tool used to have a big chop saw meant to cut metal. You cut
probably put a big blade on one of these to cut wood. That would
probably be without a guard So make sure children and pets are far
away when using. As I remember the saw was less than $100 US last I
saw of one.
I would just use a normal circular saw, making a cut on one face then
flipping the beam over and completing the cut. This will produce a
cleaner and more accurate cut than a chain saw, and will be a LOT less
work than trying to lift a beam into position to cut with a power miter
saw (if you could even find one that can cut that big of a beam).
If you're really concerned about the appearance, you could clean up the
end after the cut using a hand plane, sharp chisel, or a belt sander.
If it were me, I would use long screws instead of nails. Most home
centers stock landscaping screws like this in their hardware area. A
driver drill would have no problem driving these.
I think most of the landscaping screws are self tapping, so you wouldn't
need to drill pilot holes. But for the rebar (and pilot holes if you
choose), just use a good drill with a long drill bit (self feeding bits
help if you can find them in the size you need). You don't need the
accuracy of a drill press for this application and it would be a lot more
work trying to position a large beam in a drill press anyway.
I have a DW246 drill for these kinds of tasks. It is small and compact
but very powerful. With a 2" self feed auger bit you really have to
brace yourself or it will rip your arm off if it hits a knot or
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
If that's the case, you certainly don't want to haul a power miter saw
and drill press to the area and try to set up work stations for each
machine out in the dirt and rain. These are shop tools, not remote
Of course, you will need to figure out some way to get power to the site,
even with the portable circular saw and hand drill. If you are close
enough, you could use heavy gauge extension cords (10 gauge) to go a
couple hundred feet or so. If you're farther than that, you should
probably buy or rent a generator.
Alternatively, you could use a cordless drill and saw if you have lots of
If you don't have access to power and don't have cordless power tools,
you can always do it the way our ancestors did. A handsaw and manual
auger drill bit. It's slow and laborious, but it works.
One final thought... Have you considered prebuilding your "squares" in
your shop, then hauling the finished sections to the site? You could get
really fancy with the joinery if you wish, half laps at the corners or
mortise and tenon if you feel it's necessary. Build everything in your
shop to get the accuracy you're wanting, then you would only need a
hammer, shovel, and cordless drill on the site to fasten them in place.
Good points here Anthony... thanks to you and all others. Yes, I am
planning on making the squares off-site.
Others have made good points, and I will take all of them into account. Some
of you have already made me re-visit some of my original thinking. So, I do
take note of what you all say......
Thanks to all !!
BTW, am in mountains of NC
It sounds like a pretty big project. You might consider that pt 6x6's
don't last all that long in the ground. I just replaced as 17 year
old retaining wall made of them and many were rotted to the point of
falling apart. One of the problems is penetration of the
preservative. A lot of the rot started on cut ends.
I know that anecdotal examples don't always hold, but I have some similar
steps in the ground now for ten years, and they appear to have no wear or
deterioration whatsoever. I am 66 years old, and if they last 20 years
for me.............. you know the rest...
BTW, since you mention it, what type of preservative would I ask for at the
big box stores, for me to paint/coat the end cuts ??
Do a Google search on 12" miter saws. There has a to be a tool review
or tool comparison for 12" miter saw.
My experience with a limited number of 12 inchers says that you'll
need to jump to a 14" miter saw to make that cut in a single pass.
Otherwise use a beam saw or a hand saw in a miter box.
Did that not too long ago for clothes line and mailbox post.. I just
used my circular saw and a speed square as a saw guide. This didnt cut
all the way through but finishing with a hand saw was a piece of cake.
Probably could have done the same with my chop saw. BTW my nephew was
with me and I was trying to show him how to use the speed square as a
guide...he has some coordination problems and was having trouble
holding both the saw and the square so I had him clamp the square in
Late to the party, but just saw this today. What you need is a Beam Saw
An interesting collection of power tools for working big lumber, but not
If you can't fix it with a hammer.......you have an electrical problem
Those won't work for the OP. He has stated in no uncertain terms that
he won't use a chainsaw.
Since those beam cutters are nothing more (said with jest) than
electric chain saws, he won't be using one of those.
He's made up his mind. Don't go confusing him with facts.
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