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Best way to cut old, very hard barn wood

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Forum topic by christner posted 11-18-2014 03:03 PM 3555 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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christner

3 posts in 745 days


11-18-2014 03:03 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource tip trick question oak tablesaw

Hello all, new to the site! I have lots of questions but my first one deals involves some of the work I’m doing now. I have a lot of old barn wood that is very very hard (oak I believe). I’m trying to rip this down for some projects i’m doing, however, the wood is so tough that my table saw motor will stop sometimes. I also have to change the blades a lot because it dulls them so fast. What is the best way to deal with this type of lumber? I just bought a very nice Grizzly table saw at an auction and it helps, but my guess is the problem lies with the blade.

Are there any suggestions on blades to use? (I usually buy cheap ones on sale at the local big box store)
Is this type of lumber just not meant to be ripped with table saws?

Any advice would be appreciated!


17 replies so far

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timbertailor

1591 posts in 883 days


#1 posted 11-18-2014 03:16 PM

Most problems with old wood that has been outside is the dirt that it tends to accumulate.

I suggest taking a belt sander to the outside of the lumber to remove the dirt. This is what will dull a blade faster than you can say Jack Robinson.

Things should go more smoothly and the blades will be able to do their job since they are not getting destroyed. Freud, Forrest, Eagle America, etc. are all good blades to have in a rip and crosscut design.

P.S. And no short cuts. Your planer will not thank you either.

Welcome to LJ’s

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

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timbertailor

1591 posts in 883 days


#2 posted 11-18-2014 03:19 PM

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hoosier0311

702 posts in 1485 days


#3 posted 11-18-2014 03:39 PM

I do a lot of work with Pallets, It seems that nails and staples are always an issue. I have several old steel blades that I use for processing this type of wood. I bought a blade sharpener at Harbor freight, it does a good job at making a steel blade work well for this. The sharpener was about 30 dollars. It is not for sharpening high dollar blades but it is fine for processing reclaimed lumber

-- atta boy Clarence!

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hoosier0311

702 posts in 1485 days


#4 posted 11-18-2014 03:39 PM

I do a lot of work with Pallets, It seems that nails and staples are always an issue. I have several old steel blades that I use for processing this type of wood. I bought a blade sharpener at Harbor freight, it does a good job at making a steel blade work well for this. The sharpener was about 30 dollars. It is not for sharpening high dollar blades but it is fine for processing reclaimed lumber

-- atta boy Clarence!

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Yonak

979 posts in 980 days


#5 posted 11-18-2014 03:45 PM

christner, my thought is to make sure you’re using the right blade for ripping. Using a crosscut blade for ripping clogs the blade and leads to bogging down and burning.

Also, don’t let the motor of the table saw bog down too much .. especially to a stop. You may burn out the motor.

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ADHDan

800 posts in 1568 days


#6 posted 11-18-2014 04:04 PM

I’ve had decent luck cleaning up old deck boards taking very light passes with old planer blades that I don’t care about getting dinged up. But yeah, knowing what type of blade you’re using (and the thickness of the wood) would be helpful – unless you’re using the wrong blade and/or the wood is really thick and dirty, I don’t think a decent Grizzly should be grinding to a halt here.

-- Dan in Minneapolis, woodworking since 11/11.

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Moron

5032 posts in 3353 days


#7 posted 11-18-2014 04:29 PM

get a good ripping blade, you would amazed at the difference over a big box store blade

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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dbray45

3178 posts in 2236 days


#8 posted 11-18-2014 05:48 PM

Some questions – after you clean the dirt off

How thick is the wood you are ripping?
What is the HP of the motor?
What blade are you using?

If you are doing 0 – 1” (4/4). and you have a good 10”, 40 tooth combination carbide blade (Freud), you should be ok with most saws.

If you are ripping 4/4 to 8/4 hard oak, you should have a 1 1/2 HP or larger. You can do this with a smaller motor but you have to go slower. Ripping long lengths can be problematic and the potential for binding goes up with every foot, keep your lengths short.

Feed the wood slowly but steady, if you feel the blade bind, or you hear the motor slow down – stop where you are – shut down the saw, wait for the blade to stop, then remove the board. Do not try to remove the board with the blade moving – it will not end well for you or the board.

You should have the blade raised enough so that the gullets go above the wood, this keeps the blade cooler and the blade shouldn’t get clogged.

Use a feather board to keep the wood against the fence and push the wood in with a push stick – not your hands.

-- David in Damascus, MD

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bandit571

14527 posts in 2142 days


#9 posted 11-18-2014 07:08 PM

I resaw barn wood rafters

I only go halfway up into the ratfer, flip the rafter over, and finish the rip

I usually use a 17T Irwin rip blade. Cheap, but I don’t have to worry about the blade when ( Not if) I hit a nail.

I leave the boards a hair thick, then plane then down the final two blond hairs. Just to get the saw marks off.

have found: White Oak, Sycamore, Black Cherry ( as a floor joist) among the usual poplar ones.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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Yonak

979 posts in 980 days


#10 posted 11-18-2014 07:30 PM

Another thing that just occurred to me : if the boards are not edge jointed prior to ripping, they may be bowed. If they are, you must put the convex side against the fence, not the concave side. Otherwise, the wood will bind against the blade.


I only go halfway up into the ratfer, flip the rafter over, and finish the rip

- bandit571

bandit, why do you do it that way ?

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christner

3 posts in 745 days


#11 posted 11-19-2014 12:16 AM

Thank you all for the feedback and help with my problem. I will definitely need to invest in a decent ripping blade. To answer some of your questions:

1. The thickness of the wood is usually 2” (it’s all true 2×4’s)
2. The horsepower is 1.5
3. The blades I have been using are very cheap (<$10) blades from menards

Also, one thing I want to clear up was that the table saw I had trouble bogging down was a very old and poorly made one that my dad got at an auction 10 years ago for $50. I just got the grizzly and haven’t had any problems as of yet, but I didn’t want to burn the motor out and want to do things the right way so it will perform for a long time.

Again, thank you all for the feedback and tips!

View CharlesA's profile

CharlesA

3018 posts in 1257 days


#12 posted 11-19-2014 01:03 AM

I have a similar table saw, and 2” hard lumber can bog the saw down. Make sure your blade is a thin kerf—it will be just a bit easier for a saw of that HP ripping wood that thick. Something like the thin kerf Diablo 24 tooth rip blade does a good job.

-- "Man is the only animal which devours his own, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor." ~Thomas Jefferson

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bandit571

14527 posts in 2142 days


#13 posted 11-19-2014 01:08 AM

Why? I resaw a 2” x 5” rafter down to a pair of 3/4×5” planks.

Usually, right down the middle is where any hidden nails would be, anyway. I can feel the random “PIIING” as one gets found. Usually the nail, or what is left, goes straight down into the sawdust pile.

Saw in use? Sears Craftsman 10” Contractor type of 113, from the mid 80s. Made by Emerson. Upgrade was a newer motor, with dual belt pulleys. And, the fence the saw came with.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View mahdee's profile

mahdee

3547 posts in 1227 days


#14 posted 11-19-2014 01:13 AM

most barns in the Ozarks and surroundings where made with what was available. Around where I live, mostly oak/variations i.e., white, red and post oak. I built my house using mostly white oak (what was available). Even when green, I had to drill holes halfway the size of the nails I was using to get the nails in without bending them. Oak in general has a high tanning content which gum up saw blades very slow and tend to create a black-hard tar-looking stuff. However, once it cools on the blade, it can be knocked off with little or no damage to the blade. If they remain on the blade, the bogging gets worse.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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firefighterontheside

13434 posts in 1316 days


#15 posted 11-19-2014 01:15 AM

I have never had my grizzly with 1.5 hp stop while cutting. When cutting full depth you need a ripping blade and to feed it slowly. Often stopping comes from binding. It could be that the board is warped and binding the blade or that the kerf is trying to close up around the blade and putting pressure on the sides of blade. This can be helped with a splitter or riving knife, neither of which I have on my saw, but….

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

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