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Old 08-02-2018, 08:01 AM   #1
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Best way to cut joists to install LVL?


I'm preparing to take down a load bearing wall and replace it with some LVLs. I've already consulted a structural engineer and my ducks are all in a row.


I'll be hiding the LVLs inside the ceiling, so I'll need to cut all the joists in the path of the LVLs. What's the best way to do this? A circular saw using some kind of fence/guide, would give me nice even cut, but of course I can't get to the end of the joist because it abuts the upstairs subfloor. A sawsall would work, but I find it hard to get a nice straight light (especially when having to reach up and cut). Is there a special tool or good method for doing this? I'll need to cut 30 2x8 joists.


thanks for the help!
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:46 AM   #2
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Re: Best way to cut joists to install LVL?


Quote:
Originally Posted by petermole View Post
I'm preparing to take down a load bearing wall and replace it with some LVLs. I've already consulted a structural engineer and my ducks are all in a row.


I'll be hiding the LVLs inside the ceiling, so I'll need to cut all the joists in the path of the LVLs. What's the best way to do this? A circular saw using some kind of fence/guide, would give me nice even cut, but of course I can't get to the end of the joist because it abuts the upstairs subfloor. A sawsall would work, but I find it hard to get a nice straight light (especially when having to reach up and cut). Is there a special tool or good method for doing this? I'll need to cut 30 2x8 joists.


thanks for the help!
Start the cuts with the circular saw as far as you can go.
Tack a piece of wood to the joist in line with the cut and do your best to follow that board for a reasonable cut with the sawsall .
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Old 08-02-2018, 11:48 AM   #3
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Re: Best way to cut joists to install LVL?


No special tool that I know of, and its hard work to do regardless of what tools are used. One can put a 1"x4" "guide" board vertically on the joists ( clamped or screwed ) for the circular saw floor plate to run against to get the straight vertical cut. Just set it back to allow for the saw's floor plate edge and center of the saw blade distance.

Then, finish the top cut against the floor with a sawzall, oscillating tool wood cutting blade, or if one does not mind worn out arms...a pull saw could even be used.

Good Luck. JMO
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Last edited by Gregsoldtruck79; 08-02-2018 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 08-02-2018, 12:04 PM   #4
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Re: Best way to cut joists to install LVL?


If you have blade clearance above and below, I would use only the sawzall. Snap a chalk line across the top or bottom, then put in vertical lines on each joist using a square. Follow that line just like you would if you using a hand cross cut saw.


A typical circsaw is going to put you 1 1/2 inches away. Too far in my opinion, unless you plan on lagging a 2x board to take up the gap.
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Old 08-02-2018, 01:31 PM   #5
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Re: Best way to cut joists to install LVL?


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If you have blade clearance above and below, I would use only the sawzall. Snap a chalk line across the top or bottom, then put in vertical lines on each joist using a square. Follow that line just like you would if you using a hand cross cut saw.

Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you mean about "above". The 2nd floor subfloor rests on the joists I need to cut.


Quote:
A typical circsaw is going to put you 1 1/2 inches away. Too far in my opinion, unless you plan on lagging a 2x board to take up the gap.

I'm not sure what you mean by "lagging a 2x board to take up the gap".
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Old 08-02-2018, 03:17 PM   #6
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Re: Best way to cut joists to install LVL?


............................................
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Last edited by Gregsoldtruck79; 08-02-2018 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 08-02-2018, 05:54 PM   #7
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Re: Best way to cut joists to install LVL?


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Originally Posted by Gregsoldtruck79 View Post
............................................
I actually understood by your description, but hey, nice drawing! Thanks for taking the time.


It sounds like the best way is circular saw, then sawsall. I'll keep checking this thread for more replies, but I hope to start cutting by this weekend.



Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-02-2018, 06:18 PM   #8
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Re: Best way to cut joists to install LVL?


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Originally Posted by petermole View Post
Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you mean about "above". The 2nd floor subfloor rests on the joists I need to cut.

Yea, I missed the subfloor above on the first reading. It would make the sawzall a little tough.

What is directly above?



If you have room to get the circular saw in there, then you should also be able to bring in a jig saw next. That should get you to about 1" or less from the subfloor.

Last edited by Yodaman; 08-02-2018 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:18 PM   #9
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Re: Best way to cut joists to install LVL?


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Originally Posted by petermole View Post
I actually understood by your description, but hey, nice drawing! Thanks for taking the time.


It sounds like the best way is circular saw, then sawsall. I'll keep checking this thread for more replies, but I hope to start cutting by this weekend.



Thanks for the help.


..........................................."Axe" wood blade installed upside down in saw.
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Last edited by Gregsoldtruck79; 08-02-2018 at 08:48 PM.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:22 PM   #10
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Re: Best way to cut joists to install LVL?


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Originally Posted by Gregsoldtruck79 View Post
..........................................."Axe" wood blade installed upside down in saw.
I tack a board for the sawsall to follow too. The blade just tracks beside the board, works good when you can't things.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:25 PM   #11
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Re: Best way to cut joists to install LVL?


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Originally Posted by Yodaman View Post
Yea, I missed the subfloor above on the first reading. It would make the sawzall a little tough.

What is directly above?

2nd floor covered by floating floor.


Quote:


If you have room to get the circular saw in there, then you should also be able to bring in a jig saw next. That should get you to about 1" or less from the subfloor.
I have a jig saw, and I agree it would get me closer, but I tend to get less than perpendicular cuts with it. Maye circular saw, jigsaw, then sawsall? lol.

Last edited by petermole; 08-02-2018 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:29 PM   #12
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Re: Best way to cut joists to install LVL?


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Originally Posted by Gregsoldtruck79 View Post
..........................................."Axe" wood blade installed upside down in saw.

NOw I feel like you're just showing off with the superfluous drawings. lol



Axe blade, huh? Is it just a thicker blade helping with straighter cuts? I'll look for it at my local big box.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:31 PM   #13
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Re: Best way to cut joists to install LVL?


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Originally Posted by petermole View Post
2nd floor





I have a jig saw, and I agree it would get me closer, but I tend to get less than perpendicular cuts with it. Maye circular saw, jigsaw, then sawsall? lol.
You sir are guilty of the dreaded over thinking a problem.
If by chance you get a really bad cut, you nail a block on the side of the joist and use a double hanger, so get at it.
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:40 PM   #14
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Re: Best way to cut joists to install LVL?


And the OP has not even asked about the two temporary walls he is going to need yet .
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Old 08-02-2018, 07:43 PM   #15
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Re: Best way to cut joists to install LVL?


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Originally Posted by Gregsoldtruck79 View Post
And the OP has not even asked about the two temporary walls he is going to need yet .
I think he said he had that all figured out and the cutting just made him nervous. Nobody ever thinks about just moving over a bit and doing a test cut to get a feel for what will happen.


I always wished they made a blade with round nose on it for starting in plywood or sneaking up to floor like here. something like the one they make for a multi saw but just round on the end of the blade.
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Last edited by Nealtw; 08-02-2018 at 07:46 PM.
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