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Topic # 236341 29-May-2018 11:54
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I need to rip couple pieces of decking timber. What type of saw would be ideal for it? I was thinking of a circular saw but dont want to chop off a finger doing this.

 

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mdf

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  Reply # 2024641 29-May-2018 12:09
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Table/bench saw will give you the easiest and best results. A track/plunge saw will do in a pinch.

Unless it's very short lengths, you will struggle to get a neat cut using a circular saw without some very elaborate jigs.

Neither a table saw nor track saw are particularly cheap so if this is a one off I'd be aiming to borrow.

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  Reply # 2024643 29-May-2018 12:11
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If you want to make decking timber thinner, a table saw would probably be best. Expensive to buy for a one-off (unless you like collecting tools!) However your local menz shed will more than likely have one that you might have to drop some biscuits off to make use of.

It can be done with a circular saw. Correct setup and clamping will let you finish with all your digits still intact, but a table saw is designed for this sort of thing.

Edit - beaten to the punch by @MDF

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  Reply # 2024676 29-May-2018 12:26
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If the OP was in Chch, I've got a portable bench saw with narrow kerf ripping blade they could borrow - or bring the timber over and I'd cut it in a few minutes.

 

If using a skilsaw, then presumably the timber is going to be screwed to joists, so pre-drill and rebate at least some of the holes before ripping it down, use those holes with decking screws to attach to some offcuts of timber which are firmly attached to good solid sawhorses (so there's clearance under the decking timber without demolishing the saw horse - and you're not trying to cut over the end of the sawhorse -but closer to the centre so it's more steady). Some hardwood decking timber is "watershed cut" (not sure if that's the right term) so it's got a convex top surface which may cause some grief trying to hold a skilsaw flat and steady.

 

 


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  Reply # 2024707 29-May-2018 12:47
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Ge0rge: If you want to make decking timber thinner, a table saw would probably be best. Expensive to buy for a one-off (unless you like collecting tools!) However your local menz shed will more than likely have one that you might have to drop some biscuits off to make use of.

It can be done with a circular saw. Correct setup and clamping will let you finish with all your digits still intact, but a table saw is designed for this sort of thing.

Edit - beaten to the punch by @MDF

 

Clamp it to your sawhorses and use the fence attachment on a circular saw and you should be able to do an OK job.


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  Reply # 2024711 29-May-2018 12:52
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Bench saw, take it slowly, watch the fingers and push the last foot or so through with a stick.





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  Reply # 2024769 29-May-2018 13:29
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Thanks all for the suggestions. Cannot get wife approval for a bench saw for a one off job so will try my luck with a circular saw. Not sure why i thought i could do this with a jig saw  :p

 

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  Reply # 2024780 29-May-2018 13:39
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kryptonjohn:

Clamp it to your sawhorses and use the fence attachment on a circular saw and you should be able to do an OK job.



I've done a lot of this with a small circular saw. I clamp the length of decking to a fence rail to stiffen it and stop it waving about (in front of and behind the saw). It isn't hard to move the clamps as necessary. So long as you keep the cord out of the way of the blade I think there is less scope for a beginner to get into trouble than a table saw.
Do it with griptread up and you have ready made confirmation that you are staying online.

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  Reply # 2024810 29-May-2018 13:49
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Use a wood thicknesser, No idea why you'd want to rip it with a skilly.
Devonport have 2 in their local woodwork shed.





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mdf

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  Reply # 2024816 29-May-2018 13:57
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If you're game - and CAREFUL - , you can build a basic jig to turn your skill saw into a table saw - see for example

 

 

If you want to have a crack with a skill saw and your boards are longish (>1.5 - 2m) and you don't have a dozen saw horses, I'd be inclined to screw it to your decking joists along the length of the keep side. This will keep it really stable and give it plenty of support. Obviously adjust the skilly's cut depth so you're not sawing deep into your joists (or use spacers). Actually screwing the decking board down helps since they're usually not wide enough to clamp and have a fence on top. 

 

Again, if it's longish, I would try and set up fences along both sides of the board the width of your skill saw. If you only fence along one side, the blade can walk away from the fence. Even if it walks across the discard side and doesn't spoil your keep side, you still have the devil's own job getting it back again without it deflecting the next time you try and cut. 

 

If you're shopping and the budget will stretch, have a look at the Toolshed's rail saw (you can get it for $299 when they're having a sale). While you also need to add rails to the purchase price, the rail means it can't walk either way and you don't have to mess around trying to find a straight fence.


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  Reply # 2024829 29-May-2018 14:09
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Circular saw with a fence should be fine for a one-off. Just take it slow and sometimes handy to have someone just hold the timber for rather than do it all yourself.


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  Reply # 2024830 29-May-2018 14:10
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And if you wanted to be a guinea pig for the rest of us, I think you can get a Ryobi skill saw track. Unfortunately Ryobi doesn't supply this locally and won't confirm or deny anything when asked.

 

But:

 

This track set: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ryobi-RAK03SR-Rail-RWS1250-G-RWS1400-K/dp/B00CS2MUJC is listed as compatible with the RWS1600-K. Google image searching that shows it looks pretty similar to the NZ spec RCS1600-G that is available here, including the slot (though no lazer).

 

Tagging @richms who is a fellow traveller on the Ryobi road to bankruptcy and may know something more.


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  Reply # 2024849 29-May-2018 14:28
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However your local menz shed ...

 

 

Wow, I never even knew such things existed! There's one less than five minutes from my place, and they've got equipment that I can't fit in here and would never use that much anyway. Thanks for the info.

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  Reply # 2024850 29-May-2018 14:29
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t0ny:

 

Not sure why i thought i could do this with a jig saw  :p

 

 

A grunty jigsaw would rip lighter pine boards - but it wouldn't be fast or fun.

 

The trick would be securing the piece while leaving room underneath for the jigsaw blade and also being able to run the jigsaw along the top without hitting clamps or whatever.

 

BTW you can sometimes hire saw benches.





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neb

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  Reply # 2024857 29-May-2018 14:32
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t0ny:

Not sure why i thought i could do this with a jig saw  :p

 

 

You could give it a go with something like this, but it's really not the right tool for the job.



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  Reply # 2025858 30-May-2018 19:23
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I did the deed today and used a circular saw. Took few tries to get the strategy right but overall , happy with the outcome.

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