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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi :)

I have a piece of walnut that is 10"x8", and 2.5" thick.

I would like to cut it into 4 pieces that are 4x4*

I have two saw horses, several clamps, and a circ saw. And that's it. I am trying to think about how I should approach this, and I can't. Either my inexperience is kicking in, or it just is not possible. Thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

*I understand that I am going to loose the width of the blade from the side that is 8", and I won't really wind up with 4", but that's ok.
 

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Egg Spurt
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4" pieces can be cut that way, but as David mentioned pretty darn dangerous that way. I assume you would like to avoid going to the ER to have your hands reattached to your wrists.. BUT there may be another way with the saw you have.. Attach the piece to a bigger board like a 2x10 with screws underneath and be careful to not cut into the screws.. Use a inexpensive triangle square to use as a guide and clamp it down to the whole shebang.. ..I'd cut the smallest piece off first and be sure to measure the distance from the blade to the outer base of the circular saw otherwise you won't get anywhere near accurate..

Something like below... not quite a 2x10, but you get the idea I think
426343
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20210406_182316_HDR.jpg
 

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Egg Spurt
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Go buy a $3000 table saw! If you don't have $3000 just laying around waiting to burn a hole in your pocket you can always resort to craigslist for a MUCH cheaper model..I see em on CL all the time for as little as $50.. It might be an investment you'll use more than you dreamt ..
 

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see if you local contractors rental will rent you a 10" circular saw. Its less $ than a visit to the ER
 

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I like AllPurposes idea, but instead of screws use double-sided tape. The problem with cutting a board that small is holding it securely, and that problem goes away by attaching it to a larger board that's easier to hold. A standard 7 1/4" saw should just barely be able to clear a 2.5" board, least mine can.
 

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I'd check with wood suppliers near you to see if they could cut it for you. I was looking hard at a 1" bandsaw to do 10-20 bookmatch cuts a year when I learned that my local [at the time] wood store would charge $35 for a 1/2 hours worth of cuts on their 1" bandsaw. Made life much cheaper.

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks all for the good replies.

And I would like to stay as far away from the ER as posisble. :)

I like allpurpose's idea... how do you go about not cutting the underneath board?
 

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where's my table saw?
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You will need to make 3 full depth cuts. The first cut will be 2" off one end to get all sides at 8". Then, one cut across at 4" followed by another at 4" from the adjoining side. I would sticky tape it to a large piece of plywood to keep all the pieces together for support for your saw's base.
If you can follow a marked line accurately, that's the easiest way.

If you feel better using a guide, it's a bit more complicated.
I would make a frame that's 2.5 thick about 12" square. Mark centerlines at 6" in on all 4 sides.
Set your piece inside aligning the marks at 4" in and sticky tape it down.
You'll need to determine the distance from the blade to the short side of the saw's base, typically about 1.5".
You then will screw down a 1" x 3" away from both opposing centerlines at 1.5", thereby making your cuts on the 8" mark of the block.
It's very important that you support the saw all the way through the cut AND keep it pressed against the guide.

The biggest issue, but not a game changer, is whether your saw will cut the full 2.5" deep?
You can always hand saw through the final 1/4" if necessary.
If you need to, use a spacer to raise up your piece to level it with the frame.
If you want, only make a 2 sided frame support and just turn your block 90 degrees and make the second cut(s)

A more sophisticated jig can be made along these lines:
 

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Put that circular saw away until this project is finished. It is just too dangerous.

A good handsaw will do the job. First practice on scrap lumber until you feel confident. If need be buy a new saw so that you have a sharp saw with correctly set teeth. A new saw is much cheaper than a trip to the emergency room.

gmc
 

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The handsaw advice is the best.

Sticking it to a larger piece of wood is also good, but the relatively small piece of wood isn't going to provide the greatest base to guide the circular saw. I'm also not a big fan of double sided tape since it can come off unexpectedly making for projectiles.

You could glue your piece to a sacrificial board with a piece of brown paper sandwiched in between. Make all three cuts and then pry the pieces loose from the sacrificial board. The brown paper will separate at the joint And can be sanded off.

BTW, Where are you? If you're nearby, I'd be happy to do this for you.

Either way, stay safe. It's not just the trip to the ER, there's months of painful rehab and the loss of a finger affects you for the rest of your life. Ask me how I know...
 

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where's my table saw?
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Proper procedures will minimize any safety issues, just like using any other power tool or machine. All this talk about the ER is based on what "may go wrong", rather than coming up with a preventative plan:
First, keep hands and fingers away from spinning cutters.
Second, you must secure the workpiece(s) and that's even more important when they are small. You must not "hand hold" them! "Sticky tape" will solve this easily. I have used double sided tape that is so "sticky" I have to pry the pieces apart. The surfaces must be clean and dust free, however.
Finally, you must be able to guide the saw against a fence smoothly and easily. Two fences, one on either side of the saw base is even better since it can not deviate from the controlled direction. See the You Tube video above. Combining both concepts will assure a safe operation.

Yes, a handsaw will be "safer", but slower and possibly less accurate depending on the user's skill with it.
If you always avoid the "scary power tools" because "something may go wrong", you will never develop the confidence or skills required to use them.

A safe procedure requires a safe plan. Understanding the physics of high speed spinning cutters and how the material will react when the cutter enters and starts to remove material is also important. Circular saws are rested on top of the workpiece because the blade's teeth are pulling it towards the saw base. A table saw's blade works in the opposite manner, pulling the workpice down towards the table surface at the start of a cut.
Securing the workpiece, keeping fingers away from spinning blades and cutters, and having a controlled feed path is important for any power tool, circular saws and routers and table saws.
 

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There is a time to use a power tool, there is also a time to give lessons on how to use the tool, I have used power tools for better than 60 years, this is not a job I would do with a circular saw, nor would I advise anyone else how to do it with one. The job is suited to a bandsaw or a table saw, but he doesn't have either and likely won't go out and buy one for this job.
Yes an experienced person could make the cut, however it would take longer to set the job up safely than it would to cut it with a sharp handsaw.
I don't have a horse in this race, how it is done matters little to me, but in all good conscious I strongly advise against some of the methods suggested.
 

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Egg Spurt
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I'm always a proponent of hand cutting when the person in question is inexperienced, but like most things people tend to believe they're better at certain things until proven otherwise. The problem with power saws is the otherwise proposition can and often costs a finger or worse.. It's one thing to be wrong about which paper towels to clean up a mess..quite another to be wrong about a spinning blade attached to a high speed motor..
 
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