Another tool I'm tempted to buy but is it worth it?

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Forum topic by 404 - Not Found posted 01-05-2012 07:34 PM 4801 views 0 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2998 days

01-05-2012 07:34 PM

I have an attic conversion to do. There’s a couple of 9×3”s underneath the purlin supports that stretch from the wall plate to the nearest interior (block construction) wall. Those 9×3’s need 2” ripping off them to bring them below the level of the new floor joists. I plan on fixing a length of 2×7 along the whole length of the 9×3 before making the cut and do the trimming level to the top of that.
Question is, is the quickest and neatest way to do this with a reciprocating saw? I haven’t got one, but would buy one for this job if I have to. Is there another way?

Any comments/suggestions would be much appreciated

21 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10476 posts in 3677 days

#1 posted 01-05-2012 07:35 PM

Yeah, I would say so. You don’t need a name brand one for
occasional use. They come in handy for cutting up firewood
and even joinery when doing carpentry.

View greatview's profile


131 posts in 3186 days

#2 posted 01-05-2012 07:40 PM

A reciprocating can do it but you’ll probably great a rough cut that is wavy and not square. A reciprocating saw tends to follow the path of least resistance and the blade is flexible. But, it makes cuts that no other saw can make as easily. Of course, you should be able to rent one for a day or two. I have one that I got for a remodel job. Now, I get it out one a year or so but usually, it just sits in the case.

-- Tom, New London, NH

View a1Jim's profile


117128 posts in 3606 days

#3 posted 01-05-2012 07:40 PM

If your doing any remodeling a reciprocating saw is a must have tool. It’s a little difficult for me understand what kind of cut your making but you might need a circular saw and a reciprocating saw to do the job. A photo would help.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Bertha's profile


13529 posts in 2722 days

#4 posted 01-05-2012 07:40 PM

I bought a really good Milwaukee when tearing down my sister’s shed. I’ve probably used it once a year since then but when I need it, nothing else will do. It’s kind of like bolt cutters in that respect, lol.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3726 days

#5 posted 01-05-2012 07:47 PM

I’m with Jim and Bertha, I had mine out the other day to cut a 1 1/2 steel pipe works great.
Use it 3 to 4 times a year very handy to have.

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 2516 days

#6 posted 01-05-2012 08:12 PM

If these are LVL’s I would be really hesitant about cutting them down. The same would go for engineered joists.

What is the reason these were cut as 9X3 in the first place? what is the structural load on the joists?

I would rather raise the roof than cut down a joist. I’ve had to repair too many where a happy homeowner got wild with a power tool and ruined the integrity of the structure.

Here’s some advice, take or leave it.. it’s free….. Go down to your local county inspector and have him look at your plans. You are getting permits to do this work, Right?

My reasoning is that some houses are built to handle structure from the ground up and some handle struture by having the weight hang from the roof. With your block construction wall the load may be hanging from the roof and been engineered to handle what load it has.

Good Luck, again, this is just advice. Do it your way, but be safe.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View ShaneA's profile


6956 posts in 2627 days

#7 posted 01-05-2012 08:58 PM

More precision with the circ saw. But as mentioned, a recip saw is very handy to have around. They can really do some things. Demo is a lot easier with one, they can cut just about anything w/the right blade.

View Don W's profile

Don W

18756 posts in 2596 days

#8 posted 01-05-2012 08:59 PM

If your planning to cut a 3” thick beam the lenght of a room, on several, you have your work cut out for you. I’d find another tool, like a cicular saw or chainsaw if its nail free. I agree a reciprocating saw is a must have for remodeling, but its going to be pretty tough on what I understand your looking for.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2912 days

#9 posted 01-05-2012 09:08 PM

I love my recip. saw. I rarely use it (and never for ww!) but it is an awesome tool to have for the occasional demolition.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3337 days

#10 posted 01-05-2012 09:14 PM

I do not use my reciprocatimg saw frequently but as others have said it is invaluable when needed. I bought a Milwaukee model at a Pawn shop and it was like new. Paid $45.

View Mojo1's profile


271 posts in 2719 days

#11 posted 01-05-2012 09:53 PM

I bought one years ago to tear down a deck, I have used it many times since, dont know how I lived without it.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 2952 days

#12 posted 01-05-2012 10:57 PM

While I too have a recip saw I thought the idea of the cut/hammer/chisel sounded reasonable and more accurate.
I also thought getting a building inspector was a good idea too. Better safe than sorry that’s a lot of meat you are cutting away.

-- Life is good.

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2504 days

#13 posted 01-05-2012 10:59 PM

renners, purlin supports? are they the column-like things that transfer the roof load? roof rafters, purlin, purlin support, floor joist, walls. You might want to reconsider the removal of material from the floor joists in question. Realize that the original builder counted on them to carry and transfer the roof loading.

If it is cut you must….. might want to consider beefing up the joist/beams, that you are removing material from. I believe I’d be more scared of this than cr1’s chain saw table saw. I would consider engineer or if it was personal, I’d at least error on the side of caution, but I often over think and over do things. I might consider two layers of staggered joint 3/4 plywood glued and screwed, perhaps each side. But then I’m just guessing.

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2998 days

#14 posted 01-05-2012 11:08 PM

Right, sat down and had a go at Sketch up, but was defeated, so have cobbled together following diagram which may explain exactly what I need to pare down.
The red zone is what has to come off, about 2 inches. I wouldn’t do this without firstly attaching a 2×7 to one side, the whole length to strengthen it.

The new floor joists will be 2×7, again, supported by wall plate and internal block walls. The piece shaded in pink has to come out otherwise it will be above floor level.

There are four instances in this roof space that require this treatment. The average length of each piece to rip off will be 60”
Thanks everyone for taking the time to look at this, hope it clears it up

View Sawkerf's profile


1730 posts in 3097 days

#15 posted 01-06-2012 12:07 AM

I don’t think that I would start whacking on that until I knew for certain if it’s structural – and I believe that it might be.

-- Adversity doesn't build reveals it.

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