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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please go easy with me, I've not used a circular saw before so may be asking a stupid question...

I'm near to finishing an octagonal deck for a gazebo and was planning on laying the decking on the base in simple parallel lines across the surface of the deck, but to trim the outside perimeter of the deck with the same decking at tangents to the main area to contrast the main area of the deck and to give a nice finish to the edge.

I've allowed plenty of surface area for the joists around the outside edge of the deck but my question is, can I screw the deck down and then use a circular saw to trim the decking to make room for the decking. Just to clarify, the decking is 25mm thick and what I was hoping I could do with the circular saw is set the depth of cut to 25mm (or thereabouts) and cut through the decking over the top of the joists, without cutting through the joists themselves.

Is this possible ? ...or safe ? ...if not is there a better tool for the job. ...as I've said I've not used a circular saw before so might be asking a really dumb question. I only ask as I don't own one (yet) and don't really want to buy one now if its not the right tool for the job. My concern is there seems to be a protective guard that I guess retracts as you push the saw through the material, but does this guard retract all the way ? ....I guess it must if you can use a circular saw to cut through the middle of a sheet of ply.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Jamie
 

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Circular question

Sounds to me loike you already know the process. The only suggestion for you is to temporarily fasten down an edge guide to aim and direct your saw. Put it down so that your saw is on the waste side of the guide. That way, if you vere off the guide, you will not damage the keeper side of the project. Set the blade just a little deeper than the material thickness and have at it.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, that was quick, Thanks Ed! had'nt thought about the guide before but seems rather obvious now you mention it. Much better than my original plan of laying down a chalk line...

...do any of you have any recommendations for tools. Have to admit to having a bit of a penchant for Makita power tools, and there seem to be a few good comments online for their 7 1/2 " circular saw. Was looking at one of these: http://www.screwfix.com/app/sfd/cat/pro.jsp?cId=101378&ts=10522&id=96393

...havent yet found out if these have a minimum depth cut yet ?

Jamie
 

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The base or shoe of all circular saws should adjust the blade depth to zero. Much like you can set the depth of the blade on your table saw to zero. I have been a proud owner of Skill brand tools for years. I love my worm drive saw. I recently purchased a new Porter Cable circular saw and have really liked it as well. If you invest in a tool make sure it is of the quality you need. There are many inexpensive circular saws available but you will still get what you pay for. I recommend avoiding plastic parts. The main things I look for are good amperage and a solid base. I recommend a saw close to 15 Amps. Another thing to consider is what side of the saw you want the blade on. The main thing I use my circular saw for is climb cutting countertops. Since I am right handed I need the blade on the right side of the saw. You can get it on the left if that is more comfortable for you.
 

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I've allowed plenty of surface area for the joists around the outside edge of the deck but my question is, can I screw the deck down and then use a circular saw to trim the decking to make room for the decking. Just to clarify, the decking is 25mm thick and what I was hoping I could do with the circular saw is set the depth of cut to 25mm (or thereabouts) and cut through the decking over the top of the joists, without cutting through the joists themselves.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Jamie
This just doesnt make sense to me. Maybe I'm thick today. Why do you want to cut on top of the joists? You should leave a small overhang an inch or so, past the joists so water will run off the deck and not onto the joists.
 

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Hi Jamie

The "25 mm" and the "screwfix" are telling me that you are from UK.

The Makita is very good saw, I bought one, second hand, 10 years ago and it's still running like a devil.
Usually, they come with "Blade Brake", that means that, from the moment that you release the switch, the blade stops within less then a second...very good safety feature.

You can make yourself the guide...have a look here
http://members.aol.com/woodmiser1/sawbd.htm

I made it from "Floor Panels"

niki
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Hi Dansbell

Some small clarification about the "other side of the pond" :smile:

In Europe (and all the EU), the tools power is not given in Amperes or HP but simply by Watt that is Voltage x Amperes

That does not give the manufacturers too much space to cheat with "Pick 5 HP"

The Makita on the Screwfix site is 1200 Watt that is 5.2 Amperes on 230 Volts...the same saw power (Wattage) in US would draw 10.4 Amperes. (10.4A x 115V = 1196W)

So, 15A in EU (or 230V) is equal to 30A in USA (or 115V).

Regards
niki
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the tips everyone.

...I'll be adding a saw-board to the arsenal this weekend ;o)

Jamie (from blighty!)
 

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In Europe (and all the EU), the tools power is not given in Amperes or HP but simply by Watt that is Voltage x Amperes

The Makita on the Screwfix site is 1200 Watt
Niki, you are exactly right. I did not make the geographic connection. I use the metric system regularly. I even carry a metric tape. I still prefer a heavier duty saw. I do not want that blade to slow down at all while I am cutting. I suppose it is because I do a fair amount of climb cutting and that is harder on a saw.
 

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Hi Daniel

You are correct, for a professional like you are, the stronger the better (you never know what will be the next job) and I can see them also here with the 1800W - 9½" saw blade (equivalent to the 15A in USA) and variable speed like this one
http://www.festool.co.uk/mediandowe...&ID_O_TREE_GROUP=1631&PARENT=1690&AKTIVPROD=1

Or the American version
http://www.festoolusa.com/ProductDetails.aspx?id=3&prodid=561188

Of course, for an amateur like me, they are very expensive but, for pro's they worth the money

Regards
niki
 

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Thanks for the link Niki. Another installer was just telling me about Festool. I had not heard of them. That looks like a nice saw but it is more than I would want to spend either.
 
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