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Thread: How to cut wooden poles flush

  1. #1
    Member Savage1's Avatar
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    How to cut wooden poles flush

    Hi,

    Very soon I have to cut approx 100 poles for my house off flush and level, they're 150 SED. I'm a big fan of using chainsaws like a scapel but I imagine the builders have tricks for this. Have LASER level etc, just need to be able to cut level so no packing is needed for the bearers. They're piles and for some reason the engineer specified round poles not square.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    GSP Mad Munsey's Avatar
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    It may depend on how far out of the ground they are ? . Personally I use a skill saw, I would lazer 5 or more marks then cut around . This works fine as long as the posts arnt too tapered .Practice on a top of a longer pole . you can't be to close to ground as to awkaward . Other wise its a really sharp chainsaw. Not a fast job good luck
    Rule 7: Avoid alcohol and drugs when handling firearms

  3. #3
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    As above but build a jig that you can clamp the pole to run the skillie round, removes the wobble factor.

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    I would use a chainsaw. Mainly because I have a heap more experience on one than any other saw. I probably buy a new chain for the job also. Unless you know your stuff on a file, new chains will usually leave a better finish than a worn one.
    Cutting tanalized wood weakens the treatment also. So do some research to see if that is going to be an issue. I'd probably start with the building inspector.

  5. #5
    Member Savage1's Avatar
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    poles vary from 500 - 2500.

    I like the idea of a jig, no pictures around by chance or basic idea on how to make one?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Savage1 View Post
    poles vary from 500 - 2500.

    I like the idea of a jig, no pictures around by chance or basic idea on how to make one?
    I made one up out of two pieces of angle iron welded together forming a tee piece set to exactly 90deg. the vertical section is designed to clamp to the pole, and the horizontal section for the skill saw to rest on. Just make sure that the horizontal section is long enough to guide the saw for the pre and post cut run out. I lasered the poles (retaining wall) taking into account the saw guide to blade offset so that the mark on the pole was set for the top of the saw guide (just remember that you have to ensure that you use the same side of the skill saw frame for all cuts since the left side of the saw frame will be a different dimension to the right side). I have a big skill saw but still did the final cut through via a hand saw.
    If you have a heap of poles to cut you could make up a double sided jig with a hinge in the middle to clamp around the pole. Some time investment in the workshop will pay off on the building site.
    I have my one kicking around in the shed somewhere. Can take photos if needed, or if you are close to South Auckland you can pick it up.

  7. #7
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    No pics but when i did this to level piles for an extension in the woolshed I measured the length of the baseplate to blade, then made 2 jigs with a battern and ply the saw slides along the battern and the ply gives a flat srurface to run the saw on so it goes straight in and out. You need to mark the post below the cut line to get the jig hight right and a level and 2 big g or sash cramps to hold it firmly, after the first 3 poles i learnt how to get it fitted quicker by tapping a couple of nails in as supports and fixing one clamp si i just had to bugger round with one.
    Clear as mud eh!

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    Chainsaw, new chain. Lazer level marks around the pole (maybe 8) then just slowly cut keeping an eye on your marks as you go. by the end off it you will only need one mark.

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    Chainsaw cut a few mm (3 or 4) above line then beltsand flat and true...

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    Name:  Giant-wheel-loaders-1.jpg
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    One of these would be the go don't know how Work Safe would view it though
    Munsey and deadidick like this.

  11. #11
    Sending it Gibo's Avatar
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    Coping saw
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by screamO View Post
    Chainsaw, new chain. Lazer level marks around the pole (maybe 8) then just slowly cut keeping an eye on your marks as you go. by the end off it you will only need one mark.
    That's the go.

    Have done this a few times myself

    Assuming your laser level projects a line onto the poles, take shots from a few different points so that you can use a fat felt tip pen to mark all the way around
    An electric chainsaw would be fine if sharp enough
    Set up a good platform to stand on as that will be important to making a flat cut
    Use the bucking spikes on the saw to fix it in place and "hinge" it around

    Don't forget to wear good eyewear and not have chips go down ya shirt - distractions cause innaccuracies

    Do a couple of higher/taller practice cuts to get the technique

  13. #13
    Member sako75's Avatar
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    That's a lot of poles
    I used a piece of paper wrapped around the pole and marked the line around the pole then cut with a skilly

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    If you haven't got a laser you can use a hose to mark yr levels.

    You need a clear piece at each end so you can see the water level. Fill it with water and Mark one pole to level for a datum.
    Hold both ends of the hose together till water level equalises, then nail one to the post so water level is on yr mark.
    Hold the other one up and walk around yr poles transferring the level to the poles with a pencil.
    Not as flash as a laser but still works good.
    Becareful not to spill any water or yr house will end up on the piss.
    veitnamcam, Savage1, 308 and 1 others like this.

  15. #15
    Member Steve123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sako75 View Post
    That's a lot of poles
    I used a piece of paper wrapped around the pole and marked the line around the pole then cut with a skilly
    Thats not bad, I normally get enough DPC to go round 3 times. Wrap it round so each layer sits straight on top and flush with the others. Then it's a sharp chainsaw, a steady hand and good hand eye co-ordination.

 

 

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