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What to finish cut a 20" x 20" Beam with?

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This topic contains 41 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  r-ice 3 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #640351

    bethepro
    Keymaster
    Mt Prospect, IL

    Hi Pros. I recently had a call with a flooring contractor friend of mine who is looking to end cut a 20″ x 20″ beam to use the cuts as floor tiles. The job will call for about 5000 individual cuts (made in their shop and NOT on the site) and they would prefer not to have to plane or sand each piece except after final install.

    I have a couple of suggestions that includes solutions from Hermance Cantek line and also from Bolton Tools.

    Anybody have any experience with this type of project? While they built in a good amount for adding a new saw to their arsenal, so $20K is not out of range for this piece of equipment.

    Love to hear your thoughts on how they can make these cuts in one pass and do it with precision and speed.

    Discuss…

    Jim

    Email us at bethepro@bethepro.com

    #640365

    Sorpa
    Pro
    Pierrefonds, Qc

    In one pas I’m thinking a chainsaw with at least 22″ bar and some sort of jig to cut the same thickness. A lot of material will be lost that’s for sure.

    #640367

    smallerstick
    Pro
    Listowel, ON

    Sounds like perhaps a “package saw” would do well. Here is just one example of that style of machine.

    https://www.lmsaws.com/copy-of-log-cut-off-saws-1

    Success is the ability to go from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm.
    ...... Winston Churchill

    #640368

    Sorpa
    Pro
    Pierrefonds, Qc

    Sounds like perhaps a “package saw” would do well. Here is just one example of that style of machine.

    https://www.lmsaws.com/copy-of-log-cut-off-saws-1

    Nice machine. It is a bigger chainsaw 😀
    Still needs that jig to cut the same thickness.

    #640396

    Doobie
    Pro
    Ajax, ON

    A large bandsaw comes to mind with a 4in wide blade. The trick is a sled to pass the beam thru it.

    I did see some guys with a large circ saw that they used to make cuts that deep into concrete. They were doing a repurposed abandoned bank and were cutting out the old vault walls which were two feet thick. I have to imagine you could get a wood blade instead for this. I did take some pics of this from a few years ago when I saw this huge thing, but they’re on my PC at home and I’m nowhere near at home til the weekend. This machine they can wheel in is probably way beyond the budget and the 4in bandsaw option is a more economically reasonable option.

    Jim, do you happen to know what species of wood they are dealing with?

    The other issue that comes to mind is with what I understand is end grain exposure as a floor face is checking and cracks or face cuping. You have to seal the underside also imo. Expansion and contraction of wood happens along the width of wood and not along its length hardly at all. This is a potentially perilous endeavour for failure if not done right even if you do get them cut dimensionally correct for the initial install. Over time, it may just turn into a big cracked up and or wavy mess of sorts. They’re gonna go thru a shitload of sanding medium to sand all that endgrain too once installed. What kind of location is this kind of floor being considered for?

    Some of my further thoughts to deal with this properly would be to use some type of epoxy to seal both sides. Alternately, each tile maybe have some kind of maleable caulk between them, still pre-sealing all sides of each tile. A lot of work!

    If I was contemplating this, I would experiment with this a few different ways of installing it, wait a few years, and see what happens and if it works.

    Kevin.

    Support your local VIKING.

    #640417

    Cutting up a beam that size for end grain flooring? I’m crying.

    My You Tube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCA5AretE3xPoVDV61AxUdUA

    I don't do a fast job. I don't do a slow job. I do a half fast job.

    #640420

    Doobie
    Pro
    Ajax, ON

    I have a couple of suggestions that includes solutions from Hermance Cantek line and also from Bolton Tools.

    Do you have anything you can post of what you saw from those respective mentions Jim?

    Kevin.

    Support your local VIKING.

    #640424

    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    how thick are the pieces going to be cut , id be concerned with them checking and falling apart.

    cutting the beam into smaller handable pieces with a chainsaw so that someone can cut it into the tiles on teh bandsaw might work

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #640440

    jponto07
    Moderator
    Bloomington, IN

    I would think chainsaw then a drum sander would be fairly quick.

    Jon P.
    Timber Carpentry & Construction
    https://www.facebook.com/timbercarpentry/
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    #640447

    DirtyWhiteBoy
    Pro
    Honolulu,, Hi.

    A very large ban saw is the only tool I can think of that would cut clean.

    Dirty

    A Working Pro since 1988!

    Member since January 26, 2013.

    #640470

    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    chain saw with guide like this
    http://www.finehomebuilding.com/2008/01/02/headcutter-chainsaw-miter-guide-review

    but as doobie says unless its sealed with tons of epoxy its going to crack and deform, it’ll look good for a couple months.

    #640479

    how thick are the pieces going to be cut , id be concerned with them checking and falling apart.

    cutting the beam into smaller handable pieces with a chainsaw so that someone can cut it into the tiles on teh bandsaw might work

    Jeff is on point . Checking of the material is the major problem you face with something like cutting end grain . What thickness and how long will they stay dried before install . Even with applying some kind of seal you will still get some checking before and after install . Will it be milled on all surfaces to keep the floor joints even .

    Always willing to learn .

    #640504

    KeeganC
    Pro
    Bloomington, IN

    Uh, did you guys miss the part where they don’t want to sand or plane the pieces before install?
    I was thinking a big horizontal bandsaw would probably give you decent enough cuts for install. I’m guessing there will be some sort of spaced joints between the “tiles”, so using a floor sander isn’t really an option as it would be jumping around. I’m thinking a floor buffer with sanding screens is the only way to finish sand.

    #640626

    r-ice
    Pro
    Durham region, ON

    Uh, did you guys miss the part where they don’t want to sand or plane the pieces before install?
    I was thinking a big horizontal bandsaw would probably give you decent enough cuts for install. I’m guessing there will be some sort of spaced joints between the “tiles”, so using a floor sander isn’t really an option as it would be jumping around. I’m thinking a floor buffer with sanding screens is the only way to finish sand.

    i did have this posted over in the woodworking videos thread but i’ll cross post this here as it is relevant here as well.

    This is the best way to do it with no sanding. However you’ll probably need to dress up the edges before it gets put down.

    #640633

    Wow thanks for sharing @r-ice I missed the video . His simple made shop saw station to cut end grains is sweet . Can’t believe I didn’t think of that ha ha .

    Always willing to learn .

    #640649

    kurt@welkerhomes.com
    Pro
    Owatonna, MN - Minnesota

    nice set up, it could be adapted for the 20 x 20 beam easily, I wonder if it would give them a smooth enough finish that they want. keeping a good chain on the saw might do it.

    I was thinking of something like an old buzz saw they usually had sliding or rocking tables and a good end stop could do it.

    Otherwise would set up a big band saw and build a sliding table and a fence for the tile to slide against.

    you could also set up a band saw mill vertically and have the beam stationary and slide the band saw past the beam cutting off a tile with each pass.

    #640668

    jkirk
    Moderator
    halifax, nova scotia

    i wonder if they coiuld still cut and sand them even first then once installed some how pass over it with a roberts flush cut saw which could make saw marks on it to create the rough sawn look

    heres a tip, dont fart in a space suit

    #640681

    Doobie
    Pro
    Ajax, ON

    you could also set up a band saw mill vertically and have the beam stationary and slide the band saw past the beam cutting off a tile with each pass.

    Didn’t know such a small large saw existed for such cuts. But how exact is that enough for this application?

    Kevin.

    Support your local VIKING.

    #640700

    cmeyer25
    Pro
    Bellingham, WA

    Wow, that’s a huge beam! My first thought was a chain saw too, but I like the idea of a huge bandsaw.

    Charlie
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    #640702

    WoodsConstruction
    Pro
    Sudbury, ON

    The absolute cheapest and easiest way in my opinion would be using an Alaskan mill, just on end the end cut instead of length wise.

    After the initial cut things go pretty smoothly, however it would be best to pass them through a planer. Id personally go this route, especially given the room in the budget for a specialty tool, they will still be way ahead using this method even if they ended up paying someone to stand there and pass pieces through the planer.

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