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Old 12-13-2009, 06:48 PM   #1
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What saw to use


when cutting the birdsmouth cut for rafters? Should this be done with a hand saw for the smoothest finish? I have 18 to cut, would like to use the circular saw but don't like the extra length I have to cut to make the birdsmouth complete. Help.............

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Old 12-13-2009, 07:03 PM   #2
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What saw to use


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when cutting the birdsmouth cut for rafters? Should this be done with a hand saw for the smoothest finish? I have 18 to cut, would like to use the circular saw but don't like the extra length I have to cut to make the birdsmouth complete. Help.............
some overcut is acceptable. use the circular saw. to minimize overcut, set the saw to maximum depth. you will have approximately 1/2" overcut on 2x stock with a 7-1/4" saw.

edit: if for some reason you want no overcut, you can rough-cut with the circular saw and finish with a handsaw. you can also easily break off the resulting triangle and finish with a sharp knife or a chisel. but like i said, there's nothing wrong with a little overcut.

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Last edited by ClemS; 12-13-2009 at 07:09 PM.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:37 PM   #3
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What saw to use


I just usually set up a circular saw and a jig saw. That way I have no overcut.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:40 PM   #4
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I just usually set up a circular saw and a jig saw. That way I have no overcut.
the only adverse effect of an overcut is the tail strength. overcut has no impact on the rafter itself.

if you're using shallow stock on a large overhang, overcut may be something to avoid. otherwise you're just wasting your time and energy.
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Old 12-13-2009, 09:47 PM   #5
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What saw to use


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Originally Posted by alke46 View Post
when cutting the birdsmouth cut for rafters? Should this be done with a hand saw for the smoothest finish? I have 18 to cut, would like to use the circular saw but don't like the extra length I have to cut to make the birdsmouth complete. Help.............
Circular saw is all you need. No need for a handsaw or jigsaw. A slight overcut both ways on the birdsmouth and the piece will drop. There are millions of rafters cut this way. You will have no problems.
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Old 12-13-2009, 10:00 PM   #6
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What saw to use


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I just usually set up a circular saw and a jig saw. That way I have no overcut.
I do about the same, but use a sawzall to finish
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:39 PM   #7
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What saw to use


thanks for all of your input fellows. that is what i wanted when i solicited my question. i will use the circular saw. now if only i could figure out a proper jig to set it up to so my cuts would be perfectly straight.
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Old 12-14-2009, 08:41 PM   #8
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thanks for all of your input fellows. that is what i wanted when i solicited my question. i will use the circular saw. now if only i could figure out a proper jig to set it up to so my cuts would be perfectly straight.
what exactly are you building, if you don't mind me asking?
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Old 12-14-2009, 11:35 PM   #9
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what exactly are you building, if you don't mind me asking?
Just a simple gable end 12 x 16 shed with 8' sidewalls. Need a place to house my two motorcycles and other various "stuff" we all seem to acquire over time.

By the way, should I be allowing extra width in the birdsmouth for the siding to fit in under the rafter?
Thanks,
Larry
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Old 12-15-2009, 12:22 AM   #10
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What saw to use


If a 7-1/4" saw, over-cut= 1" 8-1/4" saw = 3/4" 6-1/2" saw = 1-1/4" 5-1/2" saw = 1-1/2" over-cut. As I don't know what size you are using, use common sense if the rafter stock is smaller and the saw blade diameter. Or the tail length, as mentioned by ClemS. Make sure the heel has full bearing on the plate (area closest to the inside slope) and not hanging inside. (Bearing mostly on the toe which weakens the rafter).
"By the way, should I be allowing extra width in the birdsmouth for the siding to fit in under the rafter?" ------ No, just line up the inside edge of the blocking with the outside face of the sheathing so the siding will butt up against it. Or allow for a 1x2-? trim piece there also.

Be safe, Gary

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