Wood too hard to saw - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-01-2019, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Wood too hard to saw

My sister-in-law has been working on renovations in our house. She is very handy and has laid laminate floors for several people. Our house was built in 1940. She is having a very difficult time sawing through the doorframe to notch out to slide the flooring board underneath. She said the saw starts smoking and is barely cutting, even with a new blade. How can we get this to cut?
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-01-2019, 09:24 PM
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Welcome to the forum, Melissa! Add your location to your profile so it shows in the side panel. That often helps us to help you.

First question - is the blade on correctly or is it backward? That happens a LOT more than you would think...

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post #3 of 15 Old 05-01-2019, 09:38 PM
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as David mentioned.

depending on what part of the world you live in, would offer some
info on the wood used.
like in the Southeastern U.S. states, heart pine was the wood of choice
for most of the older homes. very high rosin (pitch) content which
could account for gumming up a dull blade and producing smoke.

.

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post #4 of 15 Old 05-01-2019, 10:01 PM
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Something must be wrong, even if there was a knot there a power saw shouldn't have that much trouble with a new blade.
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-01-2019, 10:03 PM
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What kind of saw are you using?


In woodworking there is always more then one way to accomplish something.
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-02-2019, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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I live in Tennessee. She has tried 2 or 3 different saws and even tried a concrete blade. What type of saw do you recommend?
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post #7 of 15 Old 05-02-2019, 08:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa View Post
I live in Tennessee. She has tried 2 or 3 different saws and even tried a concrete blade. What type of saw do you recommend?
Most people today use a oscillating tool for that purpose. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Genesis-...-205463751-_-N In the old days a flooring person used this type saw. https://www.homedepot.com/p/Undercut...C518/303058291

I don't know what kind of saw you have been using. A saw has to pass through the wood in a straight line. If you start bending the blade because it's an awkward position this can generate heat and smoke. Since a new blade has been put on the saw I suspect that is what is going on.
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post #8 of 15 Old 05-02-2019, 09:21 AM
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Can you post photos? They would help a lot. Show us the door frame that you want to notch, but also include photos of your tools with installed blades, please.

Something isn't right, but there is not enough information to understand the problem fully yet, let alone offer a good solution.

A concrete blade works differently and is not appropriate for cutting wood. It will not help. You get an A for effort and creative thinking. ;-)
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-02-2019, 09:30 AM
where's my table saw?
 
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Tool rental stores have this .....

Flooring installers use a "jam saw" like this to trim under the jams for the added thickness of flooring:
https://www.northerntool.com/shop/to...hoCQKQQAvD_BwE




It should be easy enough to rent one locally. They can be a little scary to operate at first. I made my own from a battery power Dewalt saw by removing the base and raising the motor on a wood block. It was a short run of siding about 6 ft that was resting on the concrete slab.... not good.
Of course, a hand saw will work raised up on a wood block also:




The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 05-02-2019 at 09:40 AM.
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-02-2019, 10:17 AM
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my guess is one of two possibilities. the saw is hitting a construction nail - are you getting dulled teeth? or there is heavy down pressure on the door frame.


in either case, you don't have to cut through the entire jamb for the flooring. you can make a recess, just cut into it about 1/2" and remove a 1/2" thick chunk with a chisel. then lay your floor in about 1/8" - 1/4" into the recess. this should leave enough for expansion...


lay a piece of the flooring down upside down to act as a spacer, and run your saw on top of that. oscillating tool? unless your saw has a wide kerf...

Last edited by TimPa; 05-02-2019 at 10:20 AM.
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post #11 of 15 Old 05-02-2019, 10:34 AM
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Yes we do really need clarification on what saw being used>>>>> Hand saw, reciprocating saw , circular saw, Jig saw.
. My son uses a Fein multimaster for this sort of work. I have put circular saw blades on backwards. They will cut soft woods.
No wood known that can resist a modern TC tipped circular saw.
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post #12 of 15 Old 05-02-2019, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melissa View Post
I live in Tennessee. She has tried 2 or 3 different saws and even tried a concrete blade. What type of saw do you recommend?



Is this the first time she has ever tried this type of cut? Trying a concrete blade to cut wood reads to me like she has never done this before and each saw/blade that she has tried has been inappropriate.


More information/pictures needed.


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post #13 of 15 Old 05-02-2019, 11:03 AM
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Jam saws are generally available at most tool and equipment rental stores.

Gary

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post #14 of 15 Old 05-04-2019, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for all of your help! We are going to to either buy or rent a jamb saw. If that doesn't do it, I'll hire a professional. You guys are great!
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post #15 of 15 Old 05-04-2019, 11:23 AM
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Jam saws are also known as toe kick saws in different parts of the country. I've used them, but recently have been using
one of the oscillating saws like the Fein Multimaster.

There are many brands of these saws available now that Fein's patents have run out. There are even a couple of versions available from Harbor Freight now and for less than you would pay to rent a jam saw. The single speed is more than adequate and for less than $20 it will pay for itself several times over, and could even disposable at the end of the job if you won't ever be needing it again, but I think it will prove so handy that you, or she, will always have one in the tool kit from now on. It's amazing how many other jobs they can do, and do very well. They are very handy for renovation work. I've also cut some already installed baseboard in order to provide clearance for an air conditioning register. The cut was so clean that only a little touch-up painting was necessary.

To use one of these saws for cutting a door jam I lay a piece of scrap flooring against the door jam and then place the blade of the saw on top of it. The oscillating action of the saw cuts the door jam the thickness of the flooring scrap plus the thickness of the saw blade. Since these blades are quite thin this leaves a cut that makes it easy to slide the flooring under it without binding, yet is almost invisible when the flooring job is complete. I prefer cutting the door jams this way over using a jam saw because it is less aggressive and leaves a much cleaner cut.

Charley

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