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Forum topic by airfieldman posted 696 days ago 706 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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airfieldman

180 posts in 2444 days


696 days ago

Hey gang, I need some advice. I have a rickety workbench that I never bother using because it is just that…rickety. But the good news is that this winter I have on my docket to build a nice hefty, well appointed, thing of beauty. One to be proud of. I’ve been reading books, watching all those posted here and think I have a good handle on it. I even have the wood picked out (I hope). But that is where the problem lies.

In the back yard of the house I purchased about 2 yrs ago is a home made monstrosity of a play/swing set. Each post is about 6”x6” and painted a horrible blue. I don’t know what the wood is, but I suspect it will serve my purpose. The only problem is how to cut it down and maximize the amount of wood left in tact. Any ideas?

I’ve pondered using my skill saw (and making 4 cuts probably), a hand saw (and taking about a year to get through it all), a chain saw (eliminated that idea right off…). Open to all suggestions.

Thanks, Peter

-- Measure with a micrometer, mark with a crayon, cut it with a chainsaw.


14 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10696 posts in 1639 days


#1 posted 696 days ago

Id go for the circ saw. clamp your square to the board and use it as your guide to keep the cut straight. Probably some sort of PT so wear a mask. Good Luck and great idea to repurpose the swing set.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1792 days


#2 posted 696 days ago

I would use a metal detector to disassemble it.

First choice of tools would be a band saw. Have a partner to help hold the boards.

Second choice would be to use the circ saw on the top and bottom of the board, just skimming off the paint. Then, I’d use the jointer and planer to mill the wood as normal.

I take off finishes all the time with my planer and it will dull the blades prematurely. But the cost of new blades is sometimes worth the effort. Don’t know if using them (jointer and planer) directly on the paint is a good idea, but it’s worth the dialog here?

Regardless, once glued together, I’d use a No. 7 jointer plane to even up the surface.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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sixstring

296 posts in 876 days


#3 posted 696 days ago

Circular saw is probably best. I’ve recently learned about beam saws, basically extra large circular saws with 14” and larger blades. Just like it says, it will cut thru a 6×6 beam/post in one smooth cut. I’m keeping an eye on Craigslist for one of these badboys because I’ve been working with a lot of reclaimed lumber lately. As much as I enjoy milling my wood down to size, a beam saw would come in super handy for getting long pieces down to manageable (and loadable onto my truck) widths.

These are not at all cheap brand new, but I’ve seen this model used for $100 and I’m hoping to find one sooner or later. http://www.toolking.com/makita-5402na-16-5-16-inch-beam-cutting-circular-saw?CAWELAID=430272952&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CIrV2oTR4LICFYhxQgodwmsAUA

-- JC Garcia, Concord, CA : "It's easier to ask forgiveness than permission..."

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Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1792 days


#4 posted 696 days ago

Good point, JC. You can rent them as well.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

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nwbusa

1016 posts in 919 days


#5 posted 696 days ago

A quick and dirty method would be to use a reciprocating saw to break it down, then clean the pieces up in the shop with your saw of choice.

-- John, BC, Canada

View airfieldman's profile

airfieldman

180 posts in 2444 days


#6 posted 696 days ago

AH! I can rent them locally for 30 a day…That’s a start at least. Thanks JC.
And the note about a metal detector sure didn’t go on deaf ears. Thank you for that, Jay. Once I get these things out of the ground and into my shop, I’ll tackle the rest of the ideas.

-- Measure with a micrometer, mark with a crayon, cut it with a chainsaw.

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airfieldman

180 posts in 2444 days


#7 posted 696 days ago

Hadn’t thought of the reciprocating saw…I don’t own one and this would be an excellent oportunity to justify…Hmmmm…..

-- Measure with a micrometer, mark with a crayon, cut it with a chainsaw.

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3098 posts in 1308 days


#8 posted 696 days ago

Recip saw is my saw of choice for this job. If the beams are the newer treatment then you need stnls or coated fasteners.

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1494 posts in 905 days


#9 posted 696 days ago

Peter,

Referrencing your remark;

The only problem is how to cut it down and maximize the amount of wood left in tact. Any ideas? I’ve pondered using my skill saw (and making 4 cuts probably), a hand saw (and taking about a year to get through it all), a chain saw (eliminated that idea right off…). Open to all suggestions.”

With all due respect, I strongly recommend you do NOT use a circular saw to cut a vertical standing post or tree of any size. This will cause the blade to pinch and a life and limb threatening KICKBACK of monumental proportions will happen in the ‘blink of an eye’, and just an arm’s length away.
If you were in fact refering to cutting through it after removing it from the vertical, to a horizontal position, please forgive my warning, and proceed safely.

As for the “horrible blue paint” I would strip it, check it for hidden nails, screws and bolts with a metal detector and use a belt sander to clean it up and then run it through a planer or hand plane it to prep it for your bench legs.

Best Regards,

Work Safely and have Fun. Grandpa Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

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airfieldman

180 posts in 2444 days


#10 posted 696 days ago

Thanks grandpa…wise words indeed. I will have to figure out how to get them out of the ground first… Probably just digging them up….

-- Measure with a micrometer, mark with a crayon, cut it with a chainsaw.

View davidroberts's profile

davidroberts

1002 posts in 2119 days


#11 posted 696 days ago

Did I miss why you are eliminating a chain saw? Cut them off about 4 inches about the ground surface. You’ll end up cracking one if you are shoving it back and forth trying to worm it out of the ground. The kerf is 1/4” give or take, not a lot of waste. Use chalk or a grease pen and mark each face with a square. Cut the lines out. I’m with GrandpaLen. I mean 100%. Don’t use a circ saw. You can ask me how I know. No problem. It’s easier to cut make four shallow 3” cuts and before you know it, timber. Tie it off and have a friend keep the rope taunt. If you are fully opposed to power a cross cut bow saw is cheap, cheap and will wack a few down pretty quick, and give you a good appetite for supper. Here’ a link.

http://www.amazon.com/Fiskars-7031-30-Inch-Bow-Saw/dp/B0002YUE50/ref=sr_1_11?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1349147054&sr=1-11&keywords=crosscut+saw

A sawzall will work. You need to cut the corners out them finish with a hand or bow saw. My opinion FWIW. Use a demo blade that can cut nails if they are a problem.

If you have never operated a chain saw, this would be a good application. You can rent electric ones. They are slower. Make ure the blade is sharp. That applies to any saw you use.

-- God is great, wood is good. Let us thank Him for wood......and old hand tools.

View derosa's profile

derosa

1536 posts in 1469 days


#12 posted 696 days ago

I’ll second a sawzall, toss a 9” blade in it and it’ll rip through a 6×6 in no time flat. I paid 45.00 for my cheap ryobi version about 5 years ago and even it with a decent blade will tear through something like that in no time. I did the same thing one with an old metal swing set. The nice thing with the sawzall is that the blades are cheap if you bend one, though easy to bend straight enough to continue, doesn’t kick back and if you pinch it so it is stuck the blade is easy to release from the saw.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1494 posts in 905 days


#13 posted 696 days ago

Peter,

...just a random thought, I seem to have more of those now that I have retired, but this one I’ll share with you.

After disassembling your monstrosity of a play/swing set from the corner posts, you could, as David Roberts suggests, cut them off above ground.

Leave about 10 inches above ground and rather than digging the buried portion out, use them to anchor the corners of a raised flower/veggie bed.

You can go to LJs Sister Site, http://gardentenders.com/, for details.

I’m all for repurposing materials and resources.

Work Safely and have fun. – Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View rance's profile

rance

4130 posts in 1793 days


#14 posted 696 days ago

+1 for the chainsaw.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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