Author Topic: Can anyone suggest a good jigsaw blade for ripping thick (4 inch) timber?  (Read 13004 times)

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Offline antico

  • Posts: 4
Recently, I tried using my Trion jigsaw with the long S 145/4 FSG blade to cut various notches and trenches in some wooden posts. These posts are 100mm square (4" by 4") in cross-section, made of rough-sawn, treated pine (Pinus Radiata).  They had been allowed to dry out over several years, but are not hard to cut across with almost any sort of blade.

The Trion blade made short work of any cuts across the grain, leaving a good straight, perpendicular cut.  But I had great trouble using the saw to cut along the grain direction (in the direction of the axis of the post).  It was reluctant to make any progress. When I tried pushing harder the blade heated and smoked, so I quickly gave up forcing the issue.  I tried various amounts of pendulum action, but it made no obvious difference.  Eventually I finished the cuts along the grain with a hand saw, though that was also hard work as I do not have a proper rip saw.

Looking at the cross-section of the S 145/4 FSG blade, it is obvious the teeth - with their alternating points - are designed primarily for crosscutting, not ripping.  I suppose I need chisel-shaped teeth, designed for ripping.  I had a quick look at Festool Jigsaw Blade Chart, but could not find a solution there (It seems that very few blades can handle 100mm cuts anyway.)   I am quite happy to use Bosch blades, rather than Festool, if any are suitable for ripping thick timber.

Before buying the Trion I had made such trenching cuts in a more traditional way, using a circular saw or SCMS, making repeated, closely spaced crosscuts and clearing out the trench with a chisel.  That works OK, but produces prodigious quantities of saw dust and takes a while to complete.  I was hoping a powerful jigsaw with an appropriate long blade or blades could help me cut out the required rectangular shape more directly.  But perhaps that is not so easy to do in practice?

I would welcome any advice on this matter. 

Mark

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Offline Tom Bainbridge

  • Posts: 1009
  • Limey Carpenter
two suggestions, neither involves a jig saw blade, they wander too much in a rip cut, or have your problem

the method i prefer and use both in the shop or on site is to rip it on the bench saw. rip just over half the depth, turn the timber over and rip again

then clean up, its never perfect on big timber

onother method method ive seen recently is to rip shy of half the depth both ways, then handsaw the remaining

then clean up
« Last Edit: January 20, 2008, 07:37 AM by dirtydeeds »
Bromley, Kent. UK

aka dirtydeeds

Offline Bob Marino

  • Festool Dealer
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  • Posts: 3164
 Mark,

 What orbital setting are you using? If you are using the "0" or low settings, try using a higher orbital setting. The higher the setting, the more aggressive the cut;cut quality will decrease, but that might not be a concern.

  Bob
Former Festool  Dealer since 2002; user well before that!

Offline SRSemenza

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  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
Hi,

    I am not sure if the blade model you were using is one of these or not.  Festool has two very similar looking  blade types that both have alternating points. But on one of the types the tooth points are wider than the blade body and on the other they are the same width as the blade body.  The type with the teeth wider than the blade body should do a better job on rip cuts.   I am sure one of the dealers can tell you which is which. Though perhaps still not good enough for what you are doing.

Seth

Offline antico

  • Posts: 4
Thank you for suggestions received so far.

Bob:  I have tried various orbital (pendulum) settings, from 0 to max, but it does not seem to make much difference.  I suspect it is the teeth shape that is the crucial factor when trying to rip thick timber, just as it is with a handsaw.

Seth: Examining the S 145/4 FSG, I see that it has its points set slightly wider than the blade body.

dirtydeeds: You are probably right, that I should abandon the attempt and revert to my previous methods of using repeated crosscuts and chisel.  As for your suggestion of using a table saw to rip from each side, that would certainly be the way I would do the job if the rips were of a decent length; longer than the saw blade diameter  (Or I might use my TS75 for plunge cuts that way.)   But the trenches are typically just a few inches long.

Another factor to consider is portability and ability to use a tool in awkward and cramped situations.  Occasionally I might need to notch an existing post or pile "in situ" ; a small, light tool would be needed then.  I might experiment with using a recipro (saber) saw, though I would probably meet the same problems and get less precision due to blade flex. 

Not to worry.  It was worth a try.  Perhaps this is an excuse to sign the waiting list for a Kapex, so that at least the dust generated from my trenching crosscuts can be more efficiently collected!  ;)

Mark

Offline Scott W.

  • Posts: 333
Mark,

Can you use a router?

Scott
PA, USA

Offline antico

  • Posts: 4
Hello Scott

Thank you for the suggestion. I might experiment with using a router for this task but first I would need to buy a suitable bit.  This would need to be long shafted and reasonably thin.  I suppose it should have an up-cut spiral to help evacuate the kerf dust.  This will take some investigation and ringing around local shops to see what is available at a reasonable price.

Cheers
Mark

Offline Bill in seattle

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mark
I cut up southern pine pallets from my shipping delivery's. they are tough on blades but I use the hm 105/4.5 blades. they are a very unique blade that have individual carbide teeth set, not carbide grit. They are set and ground just like a circular blade. They do cost a bit, $21 but the life of the blade will out last many many packs of other blades. They are good for cutting partical boards, laminates, cement type boards, plastics, and all kinds of fiberboard and composite type materials. They look gnarly and you wouldn't expect them to come clean but they will surprise you.
 I cut composites with them and the average blade lasts about three months with regular use. No other blade lasts more than a day or two.
 The teeth are carbide and can take significant amounts of heat which kills most blades. occasionally I lose a tooth but even still they keep cutting for some time.
I don't have any pine 4x4 but I tried ripping a 2x on edge on orbital and it seemed to me to do a decent job and fairly quickly. It stayed pretty square untill I started scrolling with it but it kept going. Keep the swarf backed out of the cut on longer thicker cuts on softer sticky wood for better results.
These blades are often overlooked by most people and I don't know anyone else that has one. There is a 75/4.5 blade as well
The pt # are 486560 for the 105mm  and 486561 for the 75mm.
Bill
www.festoolsupply.com  complete stock of tools and accessories   and www.distinctivecountertops.com  where I use tools daily

Offline antico

  • Posts: 4
Thank you, Bill.  I will investigate the HM 105/4.5 option. 
I notice that this blade is recommended, in the Jigsaw Blade Comparison Chart, as being ...

Ideal for fiberglass
Fast, coarse cuts in abrasive materials; in
fiberglass ?? ? 2-3/8?; cement bonded
particleboard, light building blocks, bricks ?? ?
3-1/8?. Carbide tipped, side set.


Mark

Offline Bill in seattle

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Thank you, Bill.  I will investigate the HM 105/4.5 option. 
I notice that this blade is recommended, in the Jigsaw Blade Comparison Chart, as being ...

Ideal for fiberglass
Fast, coarse cuts in abrasive materials; in
fiberglass ?? ? 2-3/8?; cement bonded
particleboard, light building blocks, bricks ?? ?
3-1/8?. Carbide tipped, side set.


Mark


Mark,
Whoa! hold on a second. What jigsaw comparison chart are you referring to. I can't find any festool reference to cement bonded p.b. light building block or bricks. All of these I would be very wary of cutting with this blade. There are several types of cement board material like hardie board , durock ect. that are cement composites as well as swiss pearl ,ireron ,eternit, decolast ect, that are modified cement building panels and will cut fine with the blade but they are much different than building blocks or brick. I would not recommend cutting cement based quartzs or marbles which are gaining popularity either. diamonds are prefered for these latter.
Carbide is phenominal stuff but it does have parameters on how cutting tools use it for optimum results.
Curious about this chart,
Bill
www.festoolsupply.com  complete stock of tools and accessories   and www.distinctivecountertops.com  where I use tools daily

Offline Forrest Anderson

  • Posts: 1072
Thank you, Bill.  I will investigate the HM 105/4.5 option. 
I notice that this blade is recommended, in the Jigsaw Blade Comparison Chart, as being ...

Ideal for fiberglass
Fast, coarse cuts in abrasive materials; in
fiberglass ?? ? 2-3/8?; cement bonded
particleboard, light building blocks, bricks ?? ?
3-1/8?. Carbide tipped, side set.


Mark


Mark,
Whoa! hold on a second. What jigsaw comparison chart are you referring to. I can't find any festool reference to cement bonded p.b. light building block or bricks.

I'm not Mark, but I think he'll be talking about the Festool 486560 blade listed on page 4 of the "Festool Jigsaw Blade Chart - The right saw blade for every need" document on the Festool USA website at http://www.festoolusa.com/supplyimages/JigsawBladeCompChart.pdf

The shorter 486561 HM 75/4.5 blade is described in similar fashion, minus the light building blocks and bricks.

Forrest



Compiler of the Consolidated List of Festool Links - the place to go for Festool reviews, manuals, brochures and videos!

Offline Dave Ronyak

  • Posts: 2234
  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
It sounds like others have identified a suitable Festool blade for your jigsaw.  If that doesn't work, have you tried a reciprocating saw (Sawzall)?  Using one would require more skill, but I recall Tom Silva notching some barn support beams with one.  He may have used a combination of a circular saw to make crosscuts at the ends of the notch then removing the middle waste using a reciprocating. saw.  Blades for nearly every purpose are available for these saws, but smooth cut edges are not normally expected when using them.

Dave R.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline Bill in seattle

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Thank you, Bill.  I will investigate the HM 105/4.5 option. 
I notice that this blade is recommended, in the Jigsaw Blade Comparison Chart, as being ...

Ideal for fiberglass
Fast, coarse cuts in abrasive materials; in
fiberglass ?? ? 2-3/8?; cement bonded
particleboard, light building blocks, bricks ?? ?
3-1/8?. Carbide tipped, side set.


I'm not Mark, but I think he'll be talking about the Festool 486560 blade listed on page 4 of the "Festool Jigsaw Blade Chart - The right saw blade for every need" document on the Festool USA website at http://www.festoolusa.com/supplyimages/JigsawBladeCompChart.pdf

The shorter 486561 HM 75/4.5 blade is described in similar fashion, minus the light building blocks and bricks.

Forrest


Thanks forrest,
I've not seen this chart before now. I have generally referenced the printed material. The blades packaging also does not have any reference to these items. I also did a quick german search and none match these descriptions. I did find the AXT 50 LA saw to reference building panels with specifics to hard, abrasive building panels,cement bonded chipboard,and eternit. They also have soft cement panels, trespa, dryton, and dry plaster as well. The brick thing bothers me. There is a brick looking icon on one other saw but I think it refers to mineral materials.
It wouldn't be something I would think of doing first off. Looks like it might be a situation to try. I've got some old blades with a tooth missing and some various kinds of old bricks laying around after my seemingly endless remodel project at home. I'll post the results.
Bill
www.festoolsupply.com  complete stock of tools and accessories   and www.distinctivecountertops.com  where I use tools daily

Offline Wim

  • Posts: 286
@ Bill in Seattle
Did I read Eternit in your reply?
Then I have to warn you. Don't saw this in Holland, don't even handle it without a proper certificate and protective clothing. You could end up in jail. Eternit and all other asbestos containing materials are on the blacklist. I think it is the same in all other European countries.

Sorry for the off topic,

Offline Bill in seattle

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@ Bill in Seattle
Did I read Eternit in your reply?
Then I have to warn you. Don't saw this in Holland, don't even handle it without a proper certificate and protective clothing. You could end up in jail. Eternit and all other asbestos containing materials are on the blacklist. I think it is the same in all other European countries.

Sorry for the off topic,
Yes, that was eternit.
there still are uses for asbestos today. It is regulated like you say and all precautions should be adhered to. not a topic for here thou.
Festool does make tools for these very tasks. the SRH 45 is certified for M and H categories of dust. This is capable of filtering down to <.1 mg/m3. It is listed specifically for carcinogenic , pathogenic and asbestos dust, as well as wood dust for that really squeaky clean room.
I know a couple of doctors that have a lab of pathology that I've done work for.  During general chit chat they have said there is asbestos in a lot of common everyday items that people take for granted.  You would be very surprised to know some. There are several types thou with some really nasty because of fiber configuration. Talc can have asbestos contamination for example. I don't do soapstone any more as this is basically talc in solid form and produces tons of dust when cutting. I do like the material but just added it to the list of why take chances. I'm getting older.
asbestos could be a new topic if enough are interested as it does relate to the construction industry. Joint compounds can have asbestos in them.
regards,
Bill

www.festoolsupply.com  complete stock of tools and accessories   and www.distinctivecountertops.com  where I use tools daily

Offline Ben Belanger

  • Posts: 3
Mark,

I used a 6 x 3/8 LENOX 6T to build a Post & Beam style wood shed at the cottage .
The structure was made of rough 4 X 4 and 4 X 6 and all cuts were made without any problems.
Hope this will help.

Ben
Festoolian since 2005

Offline Dave Ronyak

  • Posts: 2234
  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
@ Bill in Seattle
Did I read Eternit in your reply?
Then I have to warn you. Don't saw this in Holland, don't even handle it without a proper certificate and protective clothing. You could end up in jail. Eternit and all other asbestos containing materials are on the blacklist. I think it is the same in all other European countries.

Sorry for the off topic,
Yes, that was eternit.
there still are uses for asbestos today. It is regulated like you say and all precautions should be adhered to. not a topic for here thou.
Festool does make tools for these very tasks. the SRH 45 is certified for M and H categories of dust. This is capable of filtering down to <.1 mg/m3. It is listed specifically for carcinogenic , pathogenic and asbestos dust, as well as wood dust for that really squeaky clean room.
I know a couple of doctors that have a lab of pathology that I've done work for.  During general chit chat they have said there is asbestos in a lot of common everyday items that people take for granted.  You would be very surprised to know some. There are several types thou with some really nasty because of fiber configuration. Talc can have asbestos contamination for example. I don't do soapstone any more as this is basically talc in solid form and produces tons of dust when cutting. I do like the material but just added it to the list of why take chances. I'm getting older.
asbestos could be a new topic if enough are interested as it does relate to the construction industry. Joint compounds can have asbestos in them.
regards,
Bill


No doubt that asbestos should be handled with caution and respect, but I think the panic/mania levels of reactions that have come to be associated with detection of the presence of asbestos are overreaction unjustified by scientific data.  (Exeption if you smoke tobacco, then your risk increases by at least 1000 times.)  Can anyone explain why I could buy new brake pads in USA in the past 2 years that are made in Australia and stated to contain asbestos?  Why eeren't these banned - they were not old stock.  (They work very well.)  Asbestos is still approved for use today in certain types of molded gaskets (made by Garlock) in which the fibers are bonded into the rubber/resin material and thus do not present a danger to people working with the gaskets. 

Dave R.

Dave R.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3696
@ Bill in Seattle
Did I read Eternit in your reply?
Then I have to warn you. Don't saw this in Holland, don't even handle it without a proper certificate and protective clothing. You could end up in jail. Eternit and all other asbestos containing materials are on the blacklist. I think it is the same in all other European countries.

Sorry for the off topic,
Yes, that was eternit.
there still are uses for asbestos today. It is regulated like you say and all precautions should be adhered to. not a topic for here thou.
Festool does make tools for these very tasks. the SRH 45 is certified for M and H categories of dust. This is capable of filtering down to <.1 mg/m3. It is listed specifically for carcinogenic , pathogenic and asbestos dust, as well as wood dust for that really squeaky clean room.
I know a couple of doctors that have a lab of pathology that I've done work for.  During general chit chat they have said there is asbestos in a lot of common everyday items that people take for granted.  You would be very surprised to know some. There are several types thou with some really nasty because of fiber configuration. Talc can have asbestos contamination for example. I don't do soapstone any more as this is basically talc in solid form and produces tons of dust when cutting. I do like the material but just added it to the list of why take chances. I'm getting older.
asbestos could be a new topic if enough are interested as it does relate to the construction industry. Joint compounds can have asbestos in them.
regards,
Bill


No doubt that asbestos should be handled with caution and respect, but I think the panic/mania levels of reactions that have come to be associated with detection of the presence of asbestos are overreaction unjustified by scientific data.  (Exeption if you smoke tobacco, then your risk increases by at least 1000 times.)  Can anyone explain why I could buy new brake pads in USA in the past 2 years that are made in Australia and stated to contain asbestos?  Why eeren't these banned - they were not old stock.  (They work very well.)  Asbestos is still approved for use today in certain types of molded gaskets (made by Garlock) in which the fibers are bonded into the rubber/resin material and thus do not present a danger to people working with the gaskets. 

Dave R.

Dave R.

Asbestos is not dangerous until it becomes airbourne.  To cut with any kind/type of saw blade will deffinitely make the fibers become airbourne.

I have worked with asbestos shingles (very common in the years right after WW II when i first became acquainted with construction).  Even in those days, before it had become common knowledge that asbestos was dangerous to the lungs, and hence to health, we used a knife to score the shingles, and then snapped them.  the same way you cut glass.  If notches had to be cut, we used a drill to cut the corner where the cut would end and then a fine toothed saw such as a hack saw and cut in to the hole that had been drilled.  Another way was to score the sides of the notch with knife and then nibble with side or end knippers much as tile setters nip out corners of tile. 

We avoided raising dust.  At the time, I knew nothing about the dangers other than cutting dusty materials, such as those shingles and other types of masonry made me cough and hack for hours/days after a rough day.  BTW, i also worked a lot with plumbers who worked with insulating sleves over hot water lines.  those sleeves were also loaded with asbestos.  those, even scoring with knife would kick up dust as we snapped the cuts free.

Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3696
Any claims for any type of blade to cut cement blocks or bricks should be investigated on site.  Some cement blocks are cinder based (in the 50's and early 60's) and were softer than concrete blocks which are very hard.  there are other soft insulating concrete blocks.  Bricks can range from very soft, interior use only, that you can scratch with your fingernail.  There are other bricks that are so hard they ring almost like steel when you hit them with a hammer.  The hard bricks can only be cut with a diamond blade as should be used with all masonry cutting.

There are carborundum blades made for cutting masonry.  these blades are a fiber blade impregnated with bits of carborundum). I am not a metalurgist or other type or rocket scientist, so i use the terms i was familiar with as a tradesman.  Those carboundum blades not only set the dust of material being cut into the air, but dust of particles of the blade.  Both types of blade are still used today (I retired from masonry in early 80's).  The rules (insurance and OSHA) for use are a little stricter today than they were when i was working at the trade.

Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline Dave Ronyak

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  • Flyin' from NE Ohio
I used to work for Carborundum.  The abrasive material in those fiber reinforced cut off wheels probably was silicon carbide.  (Other cutoff wheels are formulated using alumina (aluminum oxide) abrasive particles.)

Dave R.
Friends, family and Festools make for a good retirement.  PCs...I'm not so sure.

Offline Tinker

  • Posts: 3696
it is all nasty stuff to get into lungs, eyes and/or moving parts of machinery
Tinker
Wayne H. Tinker

Offline threesixright

  • Posts: 166
The Trion blade made short work of any cuts across the grain, leaving a good straight, perpendicular cut.  But I had great trouble using the saw to cut along the grain direction (in the direction of the axis of the post).  It was reluctant to make any progress. When I tried pushing harder the blade heated and smoked, so I quickly gave up forcing the issue.  I tried various amounts of pendulum action, but it made no obvious difference.  Eventually I finished the cuts along the grain with a hand saw, though that was also hard work as I do not have a proper rip saw.

Het Mark,

Having made any progress? I have exactly the same :(

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 226
I think that’s a big ask of a jig saw, where as a bandsaw would make light work of it, even a reciprocating saw with a suitable blade would be a better choice than a jig saw.