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miamicuse 07-10-2012 01:46 AM

Cutting 2Xs Straight and Square
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Any neat tricks to cut a 2x4 or 2x6 IN PLACE nice and square?

If I have a piece of wood to be installed, then I usually cut it to measurement with a circular saw. No problem there.

If I have an existing top plate I need to trim an inch off, or a stud I want to shave 1/2" off WITHOUT removing them entirely, I need to use a sawzall to do the cut. Often times I end up with a skewed edge, because I may be holding up the sawzall and standing at an odd angle on a ladder as I make the cut, or a pipe is in the way and I need to steer clear of it. Is there any neat trick on how to cut that nice and even?

I had the same problem using cable wire saw to cut in place PVC pipe, could never get a cut that it straight and perpendicular. Finally I decided to put a stainless steel hose clamp around the pipe, tighten it, then use it as a guide for the cable and it produce a nice even clean cut every time.

hand drive 07-10-2012 07:27 AM

cutting on the fly like that up in the air will most likely lead to squirrely cuts. a steady hand and sharp eye (safety glasses) will tend to make straighter cuts either cutting on the bench or 20 feet up hanging out in the air cutting rafter tails..

mae-ling 07-10-2012 10:04 AM

Practice, time and more time

DrHicks 07-10-2012 11:06 AM

^^ What both these guys said is true.

Also, we might as well admit that some people are just better at stuff like this than others. Unfortunately, I tend to be one of "the others."

CopperClad 07-10-2012 11:25 AM

Cutting straight with a sawzall is something that definitely takes time and practice. For a DIY guy, if at all possible start the cut with a circular saw and then finish out whatever your blade can't reach with the sawzall. As far as cutting PVC straight, There's only been a few times I've actually needed to use a wire saw.. The make a lot smaller pipe cutters now then they used to.. such as They also make ratcheting PVC pipe cutters that cut straight and easy.

ddawg16 07-10-2012 11:37 AM

I have found that I can get straighter cuts with the sawzall if I use a lager blade.....specifically, taller. I have a couple of fat blades that I typically use for cutting PVC that also work well cutting pretty straight cuts in wood.

miamicuse 07-10-2012 01:51 PM

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My question was along the line of whether there are tricks and methods to help with a better cut.

Similar to my example of cutting PVC pipes. Larger diameter pipes 3" or 4" in the ground or agsinst block walls you might not be able to angle it right with a sawzall, and to use a swing around cuttere you need to dig deeper or have clearance on the backside that's why I use a wire cutter in those situations. My cuts were not even with a wire cutter because of the pull action back and forth. But once I figured out to tighten a SS hose clamp around the pipe and use it as a guide for the wire, even straight cut every time.

No such tricks for wood?

jimmy21 07-10-2012 02:11 PM

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Draw out a line with a sharpie and a square all the way around. Then use a thick higher quality new blade. Switch sides 2 or 3 times. Shouldn't be that difficult to get a cut that is fairly square

Canarywood1 07-10-2012 03:19 PM

I haven't done it with a sawzall,but when i needed a decent cut on a 4x4,i clamped a rafter square to it and used it as a guide for the shoe of my circular saw.

ratherbefishing 07-10-2012 04:26 PM

Screw a 2x right at the proposed cut line. Run the Sawzall blade right along the 2x.

tony.g 07-10-2012 04:35 PM

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Canucker 07-10-2012 04:37 PM


Originally Posted by ddawg16 (Post 962320)
a lager blade......

You're a better man than I am, none of my cuts have ever been very straight when there's lager involved:laughing:

miamicuse 07-10-2012 07:31 PM

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I thought about clamping a Simpson's joist hanger on it and use it as a guide, but I am thinking may be bi-metal blades will cut into the metal, may be not.

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