Cutting floorboards - cheap reciprocating saw?



Fein Multimaster (or a clone). I have used the Fein and a Bosch copy, I found the Fein much better to use. YMMV.
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I have the Bosch and can't say I am hugely impressed. Plunge cut in wood for example... the blade remains stationary and the tool vibrates!

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Tim Lamb

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On Fri, 12 Oct 2012 09:27:16 +0100, David WE Roberts wrote:

As in another thread: Fein clone at Aldi on 18th. - get there early or they'll be gone! I missed them last time and ended up suffering the indignity of a Bosch Pro instead ;-)
By far the best thing I've ever used for floor boards and, if used carefully, v. low chance of hitting a pipe or cable.
I cut the tongue each side of each joist, slide a knife blade along to find the joist and mark both sides then try to cut in the middle of the marks but missing the nails (ideally, leaving the nails in the bit that doesn't need to come up but...) The semi-circular blade for the Bosch has a depth that's within a gnatscock of the thickness of my boards - YFMV. It can be angled to cut vertically adjacent to the other boards alongside.
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On 12/10/2012 09:27, David WE Roberts wrote:

This is probably one of those cases where for trade use in someone else's place, speed may be of more importance than finish. Hence big saws to get boards up fast. For domestic use where you will not be doing it every day, the multimaster approach has more finesse. The thin kerf takes out very little material, and the ability to stick a cut through at a 45 degree bevel mean that in some cases you can even cut over a void, but restore most of the strength without a nogging simply by shuffling the cut bit up a couple of mm.
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[snip]

Best tools for the job IMO are a floorboard handsaw or a Fein multi tool or clone. Get yourself to Aldi next Thursday? If you use the bimetallic multi tool blades the will go through nails.
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If you are cutting lots in a continuous cut, a circular saw set to the board thickness is quick. But you have to finish the cut with a jigsaw to avoid running on to the next board.
Virtually impossible to take up floorboards over the big area without damaging the tongues and grooves. If it is a big area, better to take up and replace with chipboard. Much quicker too. Remember to leave access traps to get at whatever when you do the job.
You get lots of draught potential in all the cracks between floorboards. Especially if you've ripped them up & put back.
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On 12/10/2012 14:01, harry wrote:

Is today's flooring-grade chipboard the same thickness as our 1970's floorboards though?
Even if you feathered the higher edge and used good underlay you might get a shadow line if it's more than a few mm.
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Only a moron would consider ripping up T&G and replacing it with chipboard. And a moron has considered and advised it.
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On 12/10/2012 09:27, David WE Roberts wrote:

If you have only got a few to do, I would go for a floorboard saw: a sort of small panel saw with a rounded end, and teeth around the curve. One merit over any power tool other than a Fein (apart from delicacy) is that you can cut very close to a skirting board.
The Fein works but is very slow.
The other tool I use is a circular saw set to floorboard depth, after taking suitable care to be sure there are no nails or screws in the way. I find the best way to locate floorboard nails in old floorboards is with a small rare earth magnet.
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newshound wrote:

I got one of these to check used timber for nails before machining.
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F Murtz wrote:

OOPS missed the url
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hot-TERASCAN-Portable-Security-Hand-held-Metal-Detector-Alarm-Scanner-/110869818539?pt=US_Metal_Detectors&hash=item19d05b2cab
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On Fri, 12 Oct 2012 14:55:51 +0100, newshound

How are you supposed to use one of these? I bought one but it didn't come with any instructions. What I have done, rightly or wrongly, is use the saw "upside down": using the rounded nose to cut into the floorboard. It has always worked for me, though I wonder if I am doing it right or if there is a better way?
I have tried the snapped off jigsaw but found that it just bounced around everywhere. One thing with using a jigsaw or circular saw is that you need to know how thick the boards are before you begin.
So then, like the OP, I bought a reciprocating saw, just a cheap one from Aldi IIRC. If you get the angle of the blade wrong, that can bounce like the jigsaw too, to but most of the time it is fine and much quicker than doing it by hand.
I have since bought a multi tool, again a budget Lidl model, and cutting floorboards was one of the main excuses to buy it. I have not done so yet. People say it will be slower but you can get wider (60mm ish) blades from ebay, which might speed things up a bit?
HTH
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On 14/10/2012 11:11, Fred wrote:

I'd almost rather use a router against a straightedge and settle for a 3mm kerf. Certainly fast and neat, and the straight cutters are cheap enough if you hit a nail
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On 14/10/2012 12:01, stuart noble wrote:

If you are going to use a router, there is an argument in favour of creating a lip/step rather than straight through. That is what things like the Trend floor hole cutter thingy does.
Couldn't help wondering what happens to the price of straight cutters if you don't hit a nail. Do they suddenly go up in price? :-)
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You need to grind the blade so it is more like the original end if it doesn't snap in the correct place. And bring the blade to the work slowly but firmly. It does need a bit of practice (and courage ;-)) to develop the technique, but once mastered is far quicker than any other way.
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On Sun, 14 Oct 2012 12:46:15 +0100, "Dave Plowman (News)"

Thanks. I can't remember, I only tried it once, but I may not have grinded the end. I'll have another go next time.
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wrote:

Sorry, ground.
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On 14/10/2012 11:11, Fred wrote:

I find the normal MO is to reach into the toolbox, slash your hand on the curvy bit, and then seep claret all over the place ;-)

I think that is the idea...

I tend to use the narrow blades, and just do either 3 or 4 plunge cuts side by side, or you can plunge in at a tilt and then do a travelling cut if you want. Its reasonably quick. Doing it with the round "segment saw" is a bit slower though IME.
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Cheers,

John.

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On Sun, 14 Oct 2012 16:11:46 +0100, John Rumm

Thanks for confirming I was doing it right.

I wasn't thinking of using the round blade; I don't know how you would cut the edges of the floorboard without hitting the adjacent boards with a semicircular one: the same problem you would have with a circular saw. The ones I had seen were flat blades about 60mm long. Like this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/20x-65mm-Blade-Fein-Multimaster-Bosch-Multitool-/221135687515?pt=UK_Home_Garden_PowerTools_SM&hash=item337cb6cf5b
But I must admit I have not tried one yet.
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On Mon, 15 Oct 2012 11:22:47 +0100, Fred wrote:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/20x-65mm-Blade-Fein-Multimaster-Bosch-Multitool-/221135687515?pt=UK_Home_Garden_PowerTools_SM&hash=item337cb6cf5b
Turn the semi-circular blade so that the straight edge can be paralle with the vertical edge of the board and then the last little curved bit at each end of the cut can be cut straight down.
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