I need to reach in between my floor joists and cut off the now rotten deck
joists that were "sistered" to them. Problem is, I have a nice floor above
and a nice ceiling below the joists which I don't want to open up. The
front where a header/blocking would go is open though. What can I use to
reach into the opening (10" high and 12" wide) to cut the buggers about 3"
short of flush--leaving room for double blocking to support a ledger board?
Not enough room for a sawzall (unless they have them with a 90 degree neck)
or a jigsaw. I was thinking of maybe a rotary cutter, but they have a hard
time cutting all the way through a 2x8. Someone else must have solved this
dilemma. Any ideas will be appreciated.
porter cable does make a recip saw with a rotating head. even with
that it's hard to picture cutting off the sistered joist and leavng the
main joist. not sure why you couldn't cut both off and insert a new
i guess before i rushed off and bought a fancy new tool, i'd consider
avoiding that cut. why does the end of the sister have to go? can't
you just leave it and have your blocking go in between?
There is a saw that will cut in tight places, but it is not a
woodworking tool, it's a medical tool for cutting bones and the like.
As a past orthopedic PA, I became aware of its use for some
wood-working jobs in very tight places. These operate by compressed
air. Here is a link to one type of saw:
Do a search for orthopedic bone cutting saws and you will find other
companies that make these saws. I thought Midas Rex made these, also,
but I didn't see any on their site. Ebay may have some used ones, but
these are outrageously expensive.
Also, a cast cutting saw will work the same way and may be much
cheaper. A cast cutting saw is also a reciprocating type saw. It
usually has a circular teflon coated blade, but bone cutting type
blades can be installed on it, allowing for getting into tight spaces
for cutting. I have a used one (we had in our medical office) that we
replaced because a bushing wore out (which I fixed). I have reason to
use it, maybe, once a year. Twenty years ago a Stryker cast saw with
vacuum attachment went for about $200.00. I see today (I just did a
search) just the saw, new, is about $900.00. WOW, that's some
difference! Maybe a used one can be found on Ebay for a reasonable
price. I should go into business reparing broken ones. They are easy
to fix, few moving parts, etc., but alas I'm retired, so.....
I dare say, I doubt if my post is encouraging for you, with these
prices noted. Maybe there is a similar tool, for woodworking (that I
am not familiar with), that is more cost effective.
Many thanks to you and others for the suggestions... opened up whole new
areas I had not thought of. I will go look at the PC and Fein tools
immediately--the little LV chainsaw head for grinders looks good too.
To answer your question, the main floor joists are already cut far enough
back and they do support an exterior wall, so I don't want to cut them
further back. But I would like to cut the sistered joist further back to
put in double blocking--floor joists are 2x10, sisters are only 2x8. The
whole area is cantilevered out over the supporting wall, and I need good
blocking and rim/header to support a deck ledger board. It is something of
a mess really, the previous builders even used DougFir for the deck joists,
which rotted out in short order... thanks again for your help.
Take a look at a Fein Multimaster. I'm not clear on the geometry of your
situation so can't say for sure that it's what you need, but worth a look.
The "Precision E-cut" and "Standard E-Cut" blades have a 1-9/16 cutting
depth and shouldn't have any trouble going through a 2x8--if they do you
can finish up with the "Universal E-Cut" blade that can cut more than 2
inches. The circular and segment blades can only cut to 1-1/16 so can't go
all the way through.
The overall length of the tool is a little over 10 inches excluding the cord
and depending on what blade is installed, so it may fit into your
space--the blades can be attached at an angle as well.
Personally I'd probably start the cut with the HSS segment blade, then cut
through with the Standard E-Cut, and if it doesn't quite get deep enough
finish with the Universal E-Cut. I think that would give a neater job than
doing it all with the E-Cut.
If you're going to get one get the XL or the "Top" kit (a _lot_ cheaper than
getting the tool and accessories separately) and add a pack of E-cut
Precision or Standard blades. Coastal Tool <http://www.coastaltool.com
had the XL at a very low price a while back--don't know if that sale is
I'm still not entirely clear about how you're approaching these joists.
if it's what I think, that the cantilevered deck has been removed and
you're reaching through the band joist space from outside the building,
I'd say remove the remainder of the joist the way it was installed. if
it was nailed, lever it out with a crowbar. if it was bolted, get in
there with a rachet and unscrew the bolts.
'course, I may be misunderstanding the situation entirely.
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