Cutting Scaled Lumber

Discussion in 'Tips & Tricks' started by Sawdust, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

    Most know that I am a scratch builder & being a trim carpenter I enjoy cutting my own SL from the poplar & cedar scraps from my work. I find this relaxing,rewarding,saves money & I can get as much out of the fallen tree that I can. I have worked with power tools on a daily basis for close to 30 years now & this idea may not be for everyone. When using any power tool use with caution,safety in mind,use push sticks & wear goggles. This is a vintage cast iron Rockwell table saw that I converted to modeling only. I replaced the blade insert with a solid one to keep the small pieces on the table top. I also replaced the 10" blade with a 5 1/2" cordless saw blade because of the thin kerf. You can find these little saws for as little as $25. because most people don't have a use for them anymore.

    This is the pile of poplar scraps.

    These are some of my jigs I will be using. These are actually the prototypes but because they work so well I haven't improved them yet. I will probably make the thickness gauges out of oak & the clothes pin finger will be a spring mounted on a slide that will slide in the table top groove.

    Setting the blade up for a 12" thickness cut. I cut the blanks into various sizes of 6"- 8"- 12" & 16". No the little bee on the right is not helping me. He stopped by to see what the buzzing was about.

    I then stack these blanks about 4-8 pieces high depending on the thickness being cut & feed them into the blade like a small mill.

    The same stack coming out of the blade area. Again as I mentioned earlier I use push sticks not fingers!

    After about 3 hours & a few coffee breaks this is what I have.

    The first 3 stacks are 6x6's-8x8's & 12x12's.

    The next 2 stacks are off falls that are very close to 4x6's & 4x12's that can be used for beams. The larger stack at the right are blanks that are very close to scaled 2" thick that I will cut later in 6" & 8" widths for siding material. All my blades are carbide but I am going to experiment with some standard blades that are finer toothed for the siding.

    When I use this stuff I fold a piece of sand paper & drag the pieces through a few times to get rid of any fuzzies. If you want to see what this stuff looks like check these links.

    Thanks for viewing & I hope you enjoyed it.
  2. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Presumably you work on O-scale?
  3. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

    No Mountainman I model HO. The only strip wood I buy are items smaller than
    4" scaled. Thanks for viewing.
  4. Can you not cut anything smaller then the scale 4"? I noticed most my wood is smaller then 4" so I think it may take longer to break even on the cost of saw. I would be interested in doing a conversion if I could find a cheap saw but I'm not sure I'm to the point I can save on the cost of wood now. One day I may.
  5. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

    Hey Dave it is just too risky cutting anything smaller than 4" for me with the setup I have. I am experimenting with some different saw blades & using a dremel saw for things this small. If I need 4" material it is usually for porch posts, so I trim down match sticks or whittle a little on toothpicks. The most strip wood I buy is the batten material for board & batten siding. Most of the time I cut strips of Manilla paper for that. The saw that I used in the post can usually be bought for less than $30. These are well made & accurate little saws that nobody wants anymore. Check out your local Craigs list or garage sales. Keep us posted on what your doing.
  6. Sirfoldalot

    Sirfoldalot Member

    Sawdust .. very much enjoyed your post. I too, love making my own wood. I haven't built anything in quite a while, but I have lots of wood ready to go: mostly CWP pine and popular. Most cut for O scale. I just hate to throw away a good scrap of wood. I even save the sawdust - no pun intended.

    I sold a saw exactly like you have .. sure wish I had it back. It was a Sears - beautiful heavy duty saw. I kept my 10" Dewalt radial arm. Bad mistale - just not as accurate, and, ripping can be downright dangerous on smaller pieces of wood.

    I have a 10" planner that will get down to 3" O scale - then also have a Dremel 4" saw that I can cut 2 by lumber O scale. I knew there was a point that I was trying to get too.
    I like your "pressure guide" (clothespin) GOOD Idea - but, I am having trouble seeing how you shove the tail end thru the saw? What am I missing?.
  7. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

    Sirfoldalot, I use a push stick to push the stacked blanks into the saw blade. When the push stick gets to the gauge block the material coming out has passed the edge of the saw table giving me enough to grab safely with my fingers & pull the reat of the way out. I also as I pull I use the same push stick to keep the material next to the side of the blade so it dosen't wonder out giving me thinner in width pieces. When I get a chance I will post some pics showing all this. As I mentioned I do have some better ideas but this has worked very well so far & as they say "if it works don't fix it". Thanks for your interest & I hope this helps, if not let me know.
  8. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    nice set up

    I like the use of your jigs. my saw is a old Dremil 4" tablesaw that has had an accuriser added to it. I think If I made up some it might make cutting the wood faster easier and safer. I have a 10 inch table saw I do some of my pre-cutting on lots of power, but less control. and accuracy.

    my set up will let me cut very small stuff, but the accuracy at the very small sizes suffers, and I have to cut lots of extra, and select my stock carefully

    Bill Nelson
  9. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

    Thanks Bill. If you look at the 4th pic down you can see that after replacing the 10" blade with a 5 1/2" blade used for cordless saws I also added a solid wooden blade insert. After the epoxy set up I just turned the saw on & slowly raised the blade up thru the insert & that gives no gap at all around the blade for those falling little missles! This has worked better than I expected especially since this is all I use this saw for is my scaled lumber. The blade for a cordless saw also has a very thin kerf which helps for accuracy.
  10. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    The accurizer kit for the Dremil 4 inch saw had a similar solution. The stock blade was replaced with a carbide blade with a smaller kerf. the stock Dremil saw had a plastic blade slot plate, and the accurizer kit came with solid aluminum plates, the saw was lowered. the plate put on, the saw was turned on and the blade raised so it cut it's own slot through the aluminum.

    The accurizer also had a bracket that stabilized the motor shaft, so the blade had less wobble than it did. The kit also had a replacement fence that is much more solid, and capable of fine adjustment.

    The biggest drawback for my dremil is that it is underpowered. The model ship people are very fond of a saw produced by Jim Bynes (sp), who also produces a thickness sander made specifically for producing scale lumber. My dremil is paid for, so I will feed it slowly.

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