The sawing of square timber is often not that easy. The relatively heavy and large beams with 3 by 3 or 4 by 4 inches dimensions are often not so easy to cut to length. From my point of view, there are a few options available to you, which I would like to discuss in more detail in this article:
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Saw off the squared timber by hand
Undoubtedly, this is the most obvious option. But the most important question is which saw you do this with. The cut area for a 4 by 4 inches square timber is 15 square inches. That is not small.
With a precision saw, you can make progress, but only very slowly. It is too difficult for me personally.
A fine saw or a fine foxtail are the wrong hand saws here. You should either use a hacksaw that allows you, for example, saw off wood or a good handsaw with around 11 TPI ( teeth per inch ). Saws with 3.5 TPI are particularly suitable for wood, but they can hardly be used to saw square timber.
The number of teeth per inch determines whether it is a coarse or fine saw – for squared timber, I would prefer one with about 11 TPI.
With coarse teeth and a large tooth spacing, you have a great advantage that sawing is easier, and you can also make rapid progress when working.
In my opinion, one of the best saws for this, which I also tested myself, is the Presch foxtail saw.
Related: Fine woodworking portable table saw
The procedure is relatively simple in and of itself:
First, draw in what you want to cut off, like this:
Mark the cut clearly visible and mark the part that is missing with an “X.”
Then put your saw on with your thumb and create a small notch on the marked cutting line, which also serves as a guide. Then saw at the beginning at an angle of about 30 °, later at 45 ° to ensure optimum sawing progress.
Use your thumb to apply the hand saw precisely.
Saw the square timber cleanly at about 45 degrees.
It is also important that you hold the saw straight not to get crooked when sawing. It takes a little practice, but in the beginning, I helped myself by using old squared timber (like the one I used for this article) for training. Here I have another illustration for you, how you cut a board to length. The same procedure applies to squared timber in and of itself:
You saw off a square timber like this board in the picture above.
Cut the square timber with the jigsaw
It is a bit more questionable to cut squared timber with a jigsaw, although this also works in principle.
You have to make sure that the saw blade is long enough. There are long blades like this one, for example, Bosch Professional Jigsaw Blade.
Otherwise, you saw the squared timber like any other timber. However, with a long blade, you must not work with too fast a feed because otherwise, the lower part of the blade will not keep up with the upper part, and the saw blade may break or tilt.
I have already sawed squared lumber apart with a short saw blade. But that is not recommended. Firstly, the cut is not very nice because you have to saw from all four sides and, secondly, there is always the risk that it will sit on the wood (the entire blade is in the wood!) And the jigsaw recoil.
Working with a saw blade that is too short is, therefore, a bit dangerous. Also, dust removal is poor, the saw blade overheats easily, etc.
A jigsaw blade that is too short is dangerous, so I cannot recommend sawing with it. It’s also quite difficult and not good for the saw blade itself.
Related: Table mounted router
Saw squared timber with the table saw
A table saw is ideal for sawing square timber. The table saw is practical because you can lay down the squared timber. Also, the table is height-adjustable and can therefore be easily adapted to the respective wood’s height.
Do not underestimate the advantage of the rip fence with a table saw. In this way, you can always cut squared timber to the same length. For example, if you always want to cut off 5 inches long pieces, set the rip fence exactly at 5 inches and push the squared timbers through the circular saw one after the other. You also have the option of choosing a nail-proof one from the circular saw blades. This type of sheet is of great benefit when turning old lumber into firewood. Nails, screws, and others can usually be sawed without any problems.
Sawing and cutting squared timber – conclusion
Personally, I like working with the table saw the most. However, I have to mention that I do not use this when I only want to cut one or two pieces of boards or squared timber. Then I take the handsaw – it’s less complicated and almost faster.
The jigsaw is an absolute emergency. In my opinion, it is only useful for squared timber if you have a long saw blade at home.
If I process old squared timber into firewood, I always use a circular saw with a suitable saw blade.