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Problem with cutting slab like this?

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Forum topic by LiveEdge posted 10-08-2014 03:31 PM 1063 views 0 times favorited 18 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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LiveEdge

486 posts in 1081 days


10-08-2014 03:31 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question slab desk cut

It’s always best to get a second, third, and fourth set of eyes whenever making an irreversible cut on a large piece of wood. I haven’t worked with slabs before so I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing potential problems with my plans. I am making a double sided desk (see sketchup pic) with a slab top. In order to “square” the live edges I was planning on making the horizontal cuts seen on the picture below (ignore the vertical lines). The squares are the rough footprint for the posts. Does anybody see a reason I shouldn’t cut like this? I assume the cut will be more difficult as I’m working across the grain somewhat. I’m planning on making a series of deeper and deeper cuts with my circular saw in order to get through the three inch thickness.

Opinions?


18 replies so far

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Tommy Evans

137 posts in 1635 days


#1 posted 10-08-2014 03:35 PM

opinion? leave it as a live edge slab.

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LiveEdge

486 posts in 1081 days


#2 posted 10-08-2014 03:38 PM

Oh, by all means. I am not cutting the live edge off on the sides, just cutting the top and bottom to size. The only slightly unusual thing I’m doing is cutting the top and bottom at an angle to what currently exists.

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Tommy Evans

137 posts in 1635 days


#3 posted 10-08-2014 03:45 PM

hmmm, I guess I misunderstand your question.
Sorry.

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LiveEdge

486 posts in 1081 days


#4 posted 10-08-2014 03:48 PM

I guess in a nutshell I’m asking if a) there is any physical problem with cutting across a slab at an “angle” (along the very top and very bottom red line in the picture)? Will it cause issues with wood movement, stress, etc? and b) can anybody see a design flaw with my idea that I’m missing? I’ve already noticed that there are a few inches of overhang from the live edge where the desk drawers will be which will cause somewhat of a “pinch” with the top drawer and getting things in and out. I don’t think that’s the end of the world, but I’d like to be aware of these things before I actually get this thing together.

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mahdee

3550 posts in 1229 days


#5 posted 10-08-2014 04:08 PM

I don’t see an issue with it. Just plane the area that is interfering with the drawer. Do you have a 16” circular saw? The regular 7-1/4 will cut 2” something at 90 degree. I would use a fresh blade and open the guard and secure it so it stays open. Also, use a fresh blade and make one run to cut it. Using the center-line as a guide, use a square to determine the line of cut at each end.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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LiveEdge

486 posts in 1081 days


#6 posted 10-08-2014 04:12 PM

No, I don’t have a 16” circular saw. I will have to measure the exact depth of the cut, but that’s a good point. I think the slab is shy of 12/4 so I may be in luck. The other option would be to flatten it first with a router sled which will take some thickness off.

Actually there’s another question. Flatten first or cut the edges first?

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mahdee

3550 posts in 1229 days


#7 posted 10-08-2014 04:15 PM

If the piece is light enough, you might be able to use a band saw. Put your circular saw at 45 degree and measure to see how thick it will cut. Flatten first.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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LiveEdge

486 posts in 1081 days


#8 posted 10-08-2014 04:19 PM

I don’t have a band saw. :( No room in my garage.

I was also brooding over whether to build the body of the desk first before touching the slab so I could flatten and get the slab on quickly rather than letting it sit around to possibly cup any more. It is dry (8-10%), but I wondered if getting it attached quickly would be best. The problem with building the body first is getting the measurements just right for the width of the desk. No good building it and then finding one of the posts sticks out half an inch beyond the live edge…

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

4853 posts in 2274 days


#9 posted 10-08-2014 04:27 PM

Since the maximum depth of cut is about 2-9/16”, you might have to make a breadboard jig and cut it from both sides. Then you could use a router and flush trimming bit to clean up the ends.
The breadboard jig is nothing more than two straight strips of MDF attached to scraps the same thickness as your top. Whether you are using a router or circular saw, it keeps the cuts aligned.

You shouldn’t have any problems taking the slab at an angle. You will need to let that slab move with slotted attachment holes or figure 8 fasteners etc.

It should be a great project.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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LiveEdge

486 posts in 1081 days


#10 posted 10-08-2014 04:31 PM

I was planning on using figure 8 fasteners, but I’m sure I’ll be asking more questions by that time. :)

That jig is a great idea if necessary. I assume if I flatten first that I’ll be able to make it through in one pass.

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mahdee

3550 posts in 1229 days


#11 posted 10-08-2014 04:34 PM

Maybe seal that top and put it on two stickers well above the floor while building the cabinet. Flip it over every day until it is ready to go on the top.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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LiveEdge

486 posts in 1081 days


#12 posted 10-08-2014 06:55 PM

I have a Porter Cable 690LR plunge router (1 3/4 HP). If I go out to buy a bit for this job (which I will), how big can I get and what type?

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LiveEdge

486 posts in 1081 days


#13 posted 10-08-2014 09:38 PM

Scratch that last question. I picked up a 1 1/4” Freud mortising bit. A better question is which side to flatten first? I haven’t appraised the slab yet to see what direction any cupping or twisting goes. Backside first? Front first? Cup down?

View daddywoofdawg's profile

daddywoofdawg

1010 posts in 1036 days


#14 posted 10-08-2014 09:44 PM

why not a reciprocating saw?then come back and clean up with a electric planer or belt sander. don’t have?here’s a reason for a new tool.

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LiveEdge

486 posts in 1081 days


#15 posted 10-09-2014 01:31 AM

II put the slab down on the table and took a look at it and it appears to have twist. Not terrible, but not subtle. Are there tricks to preserve as much wood thickness as possible with the router sled?

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