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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am building a decorative piece out of 4x4 fir. I need to cut out a section in the middle, but I can't get any tools into such a tight space.

Does anyone have any tips or tricks to make this cut?

Here are a few renderings to better explain. I want that center section to have a cutout in it as you can see in the attachment in this post.
 

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I'd cut the center slice with hole separate from the main piece, then glue it into the large notch. Carefully done it would be hard to tell it was done that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
4DThinker - That would work, however I should have mentioned that the main point to this piece is the fact it needs to be all from one block of wood. Thanks you for responding though.

The cutout doesn't have to be that clean, with 90 degree corners, but it does have to have the same amount of open space.
 

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How tall is this piece of 4 x 4? I think a dremel tool and some patience could accomplish this cut out in Fir. That's a fairly soft wood.
 

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Get yourself a drill motor and a 90 degree chuck. The chuck can be found at Sears, Lowes, and Home Depot. I'm sure any big box store would have one also.

Drill the four corners, then use a coping saw to remove the waste and clean things up with a chisel. Beauty of a coping saw is the fact that the blade can be turned to fit inside your work piece.

It will be slow going as it looks like you don't have a lot of room to use the saw, but its doable if you angle the cuts to get space.
 

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where's my table saw?
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Is this an academic exercise? OR...

4DThinker - That would work, however I should have mentioned that the main point to this piece is the fact it needs to be all from one block of wood. Thanks you for responding though.
Why? What's the reason for that restriction? The grain direction shown in the illustration will make the whole thing very fragile, and any of the ledges may split off under pressure. Why not just make the thing in separate pieces to start with and solve the problem? :blink:
 
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I am building a decorative piece out of 4x4 fir. I need to cut out a section in the middle, but I can't get any tools into such a tight space.

Does anyone have any tips or tricks to make this cut?

Here are a few renderings to better explain. I want that center section to have a cutout in it as you can see in the attachment in this post.
Your picture depicts the wood with the grain on the front and top in the wrong orientation. Is that a drawing error? If you hog out the two areas with a band saw (a hand saw would work for some of it), you could use a multi-function tool to do the cutout section.






.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Why? What's the reason for that restriction? The grain direction shown in the illustration will make the whole thing very fragile, and any of the ledges may split off under pressure. Why not just make the thing in separate pieces to start with and solve the problem? :blink:
I will be selling these and I will be placing an object in that cutout space. This will be sold as an "impossible" piece. The strength in that claim is the fact that this is all one piece of wood.

As for the grain, I know it is a potential problem, because I have broken off a few already. I might add some sort of hardware to strengthen it. Either that or cut a new block with the grain in he other direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Your picture depicts the wood with the grain on the front and top in the wrong orientation. Is that a drawing error? If you hog out the two areas with a band saw (a hand saw would work for some of it), you could use a multi-function tool to do the cutout section.






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Yes, the wood grain on there was a drawing error. The wood grain on the piece goes top to bottom.
 

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If it were me, I'd cut out the top piece with whatever tool(s) you have available. Then mortise out the middle section using a good sharp marking knife and chisel to the depth you need. Finally, cut out the bottom piece.
 

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I'm confused

I will be selling these and I will be placing an object in that cutout space. This will be sold as an "impossible" piece. The strength in that claim is the fact that this is all one piece of wood.
Just so I understand, you've posed an "impossible" situation or puzzle and you'd like us to solve it for you? Nothing is impossible, usually just more difficult/costly. Other than the solutions above involving hand carving, Dremels, etc, I think you've backed yourself into a corner. Someone more clever than I will have to step up and solve this one. :yes:

Then the next issue is, once you have the slot how do you get the "object" inside of this unit? There seems to be more than one challenge, unless you've got that figured out? The impossible nail video was very clever indeed. :blink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just so I understand, you've posed an "impossible" situation or puzzle and you'd like us to solve it for you? Nothing is impossible, usually just more difficult/costly. Other than the solutions above involving hand carving, Dremels, etc, I think you've backed yourself into a corner. Someone more clever than I will have to step up and solve this one. :yes:

Then the next issue is, once you have the slot how do you get the "object" inside of this unit? There seems to be more than one challenge, unless you've got that figured out? The impossible nail video was very clever indeed. :blink:
I have most of this figured out, I just thought this was a place to ask for tips or tricks to do certain things with wood. I don't expect anyone to do all of this for me, I just wanted to see if there was a better way to do this one cut.

I already have a method of getting the object into position. Its just this stubborn cut. I think a dremel tool is the best option. I tried using sharp chisels and the stress is just too much on that piece.

I don't own a dremel, but I do have a rotozip....are there bits that can do this for the rotozip?
 

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Are you Polish or what?

I think I figured it out for you. Look at the second picture. You can see clear through the slot which implies that you could run a scroll saw blade (OR A BAND SAW BLADE IF YOU ARE GOOD AT WELDING) thru that if you make a hole first. This would mean that you would have to do 2 setups at somewhere about 45 degrees, depending how you lay out the work. The ends may be able to be done also with 2 more setups of 45 deg perp to the other setups. Polish I is, and proud of it.
 

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coping saw is simplest

Agreed, but make two metal plates for templates top and bottom in order to control what you are doing. I think you will be stuck with 2 small points on the ends that you will have to remove some other way.
 
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