I found 30 secs cutting with a sharp pullsaw did the trick nicely. It
would be more hassle trying to get a power tool in there I would have
(normally it does not matter if the cut is not exactly square since
often the stump will be used for fixing a spigoted newel post into, and
it is getting the hole for the spigot upright that matters more)
Straight cutting with a hand held circ saw - you need a saw board
Dead easy to make, dead accurate in use. A short one for cross cutting
needs to be long enough to carry the saw right through and past.
Pullsaws are growing on me. Though for ripping through a long length of
ply a traditional saw still works best in my hands for smaller more
delicate stuff like tenons and lap joints the pullsaw cuts cleaner, has
a thinner kerf and wanders less.
Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
If this is to fit new rounded newels to a square base you'll presumably
be slightly radiusing the "stump", so it doesn't need to be too flat -
except in the middle section.
When I replaced our old square newels with rounded ones from Burbridge I
thought about making all sorts of jigs to get a flat top (including a
masterpiece that gave support on all 4 sides so I could use a router)
but eventually just used a regular handsaw (pull saw may have been
better) and got a reasonable result.
Before cutting I marked all the way around, then marked a second line
10mm below the cut line and used compasses to draw an arc to join the
two at the corners. Once the cut was done I bored the hole and sanded to
the arc. Now it's all stained to match it's barely possible to tell
what's been done.
The only awkward bit was that the cut happened to coincide with the
mortice for the old ranch style rails(?) - but with careful cutting and
fitting of a filler piece from the bit that was chopped off (fitted
before boring the hole) the filler piece is almost imperceptible.
Short answer - no.
You could make things easier for yourself by fixing straight scraps of
timber along the lines you mark on and using them as a guide, but other than
that it's down to the elbow grease.
Great minds! I've been thinking about it and thats what I came up with.
Re elbow grease I recently bought one of those bright orange Tri-Cut Toolbox
Saws from Toolstation.
The blurb says "Tri-cut saws cut on both the forward and reverse stroke, the
triple ground teeth cut faster than any conventional saw". And it's bloody
right! Never used anything that cuts so fast & easy.
Didn't need to cut it down after all, it was much lower than I remembered.
Simply attached a new post on top.
Old post wasn't cut square and also wasn't level anyway, so some imaginative
use of a mitre saw was required!
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