Best way to cut BIG lumps of wood.

while I am asking about saws.......
I have a compound mitre saw which is great also as a chop saw for cutting
lengths of wood down to go in the wood burning stove.
However it has a limited 'throat'.
Is there another type of (affordable) saw which can cut large bits of wood
(4" * 4" or larger) and is also suitable for cutting down small logs?
I have a small chainsaw which does O.K. for cutting large logs but it does
waste a lot of wood, and is also not suitable for trimming short lengths if
you want to shake hands with your assistant afterwards.
I have in my head a picture of a saw with a fixed vertical blade, a bit like
a huge jig saw but fixed to a bench or stand.
Is this a band saw?
If so, is is suitable for what I want and reasonably affordable?
If not, what?
Dave R
Reply to
David W.E. Roberts
If you have the space for one, a bandsaw will do what you want extremely well.
Lot's of high quality secondhand ones on ebay:
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the larger ones are cheaper (because of transportation hassles and some may need converting from 3 phase) - go for the old British names like Startrite. There were a lot of these being dumped by schools (I paid =A3200 for an old but perfect 352), but that seems to have dried up somewhat.
Reply to
A reciprocating saw would probably be the next step down from a chainsaw. Stick a coarse blade in it and it will cut 4x4" without any difficulty.
Sounds like it. A larger one would do what you want with the proviso that you have limited "throat" to the side of the blade.
Bigger ones are not that cheap...
Reply to
John Rumm
I have a horizontal bandsaw that will clamp up to 5" wide and as high as you dare put in the vice. I use it for cutting metal, but wood blades are available.
Colin Bignell
Reply to
NEVER use a "chop" saw like this for something as crude as hacking up firewood.
You get careless doing firewood, as it's only "rough work". Far too many people have already lost fingers on these things, and the evidence is starting to suggest that many of them were doing just this. If you've a falling chop saw, you need to keep concentrating on it. The chore of firewood seems to discourage this, to a dangerous extent.
Reply to
Andy Dingley
Can you quote a source for this?
As far as I'm aware, the HSE are mostly concerned about table saw accidents as the most significant source of injury associated with wood tools.
It may be the case that with the recently much increased non- professional ownership of mitre saws that this is a significant issue, but not necessarily from firewood preparation - as only a tiny proportion of mitre saw owners are likely to have woodburning stoves.
AFAIK chainsaws in both amateur and professional hands have a much more serious record of injuries.
Reply to
No, If I could have done, I would have done.
It was in "Scary plant safety monthly" or somesuch publication produced by some governmental offshoot and mailed out to workshops and construction sites, probably a few months ago. I read it whilst drinking tea in a mate's yard.
That was the definite conclusion of their initial look at the data: "Fixed saws surprisingly worse than freehand hobbyist chainsaws"
Reply to
Andy Dingley
Not too surprising... when holding the wood for a fixed saw, the left thumb always sticks out towards the blade (and nobody uses a clamp for rough repeat work).
Reply to
Ian White
I must tend to agree with Andy - using a chop saw for firewood can lead to accidents.
I didn't use a clamp and the saw blade caught in a rough piece of wood, which broke the plasic blade guard.
I do make a point of only cutting scrap wood when I am fresh and reasonably alert; I suspect that chopping a bit of wood for the fire can happen late at night after a relaxer or two when the fire is running low and so is concentration.
A band saw looks potentially more dangerous as there is no obvious guard around the blade.
I think people are more wary of chain saws because of the noise and the large area of whizzing chain; a chop saw looks relatively simple in comparison.
There are probaly several orders of magnitude more chop saws than chain saws as well - anyone vaguely DIY is likely to have a chop saw but you need a wood burning fire and/or an area of trees before you are likely to need a chain saw.
Dave R
Reply to
David W.E. Roberts
I get the same 'vibes' about saws as you do I think.
I have a 'sliding compound' saw, a Skil circular saw and two chainsaws (both electric). The one that worries me most I think is the 'sliding compound' saw, it's just not frightening enough. Though even worse is the circular saw when set up as a table saw (no criticism of the Skil, I think any table saw would worry me the same). It's just *so* innocent looking that saw table with a little bit of blade sticking up.
Things held in your hands that make lots of noise (either the Skil used in the normal way or one of the chainsaws) get much more respect simply because of the way they feel.
Reply to
Wuss. There's nothing like operating a chain saw up a ladder after a large liquid lunch.
Reply to
How about a large spliff ? One of the timbery people I work with always does.
(Scares the beejeezus out of me, I might add)
Reply to
Andy Dingley
It was a cut to the throat that did for the chap up the road, 20 years ago next week.
Reply to

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