When I made this collapsible outdoor chair, one of the biggest challenges in that build was when I used a bandsaw to cut the front of the chair. After several comments stating the lack of a bandsaw, I figure I would show another alternative. Like many things in life, there’s always more than one way to do something. I used the bandsaw, which made things less challenging. This is cut I speak of is a challenge because most saws with a 10-in blade or smaller cannot cut through a 4×4 lumber in one pass. For this, you will need to make two passes to make it happen. This post will cover the steps to make this cut with three tools you may have already.
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I have a video here for more significant details.
- 4×4 Douglass Fir
Essentially, I am making a miter cut. To proceed, make the reference marks need. I made two marks to create a reference line. The first mark I made was 1.5in from any side and drew that line across. Then, I place a second line from the corner of the first line to the far corner. These reference marks turned out to be a 30° angle.
#1 How to use the table saw to cut through a 4×4 lumber
When using a table saw, you need to lift the blade to its highest point. Then set the saw blade to make a 30° cut. If you need to cut any other angle, this is where you’ll need to fix that preferred angle. Now, the material you need to cut, make sure the marks are on the end grain. Doing this will make it easier to align the material to the blade and adjust the fence to the proper distance away from the saw blade. The table saw with a 10-in blade will not cut through a 4×4, so you will have to do it with two passes. For the first pass, pushed the lumber through the blade. Please be cautious in this situation; make sure you keep your hands away from the blade. Use a push block and or push stick. Also, you must take extra precautions with no dangling hair or long sleeve clothes, with the blade being at its maximum height.
Without touching the table saw blade, flip the lumber over so the blade can finish the cut. On the lumber, if not already, create a reference line to extend the cut. The line will give you a visible indication when aligning to the blade. The next challenge is to adjust the fence until the blade meets the reference line. Finally, cut.
Now you have the needed angle on the 4×4. All you need to do now is sand it to remove the saw marks, and you are complete. This is one way of duplicating the cut made on the bandsaw using a table saw.
#2 Using a recompacting saw cut through a 4×4 lumber
For the second approach, I used a reciprocating saw. After placing the reference line on the end grain, I then carried that line down the entire side facing me. I clamp the lumber in a vertical position. While using a long blade, I started the cut on the line and then cut straight down.
As I cut straight down, I used the reference line on the side of the lumber facing me as a way of staying on track, keeping this as straight as possible. When I got to a point where I could not cut comfortably, I then clamped the lumber to the workbench in the horizontal position as I finished the cut.
#3 Using a Circular saw cut through a 4×4 lumber
When cutting with the circular saw, be sure you can clamp the lumber safely. I set this up by placing two 4X4 with a 3/4 piece of lumber in the jaws of two clamps. I tightened this first, then I put a straight piece of melamine on the unmarked 4×4 and clamped it to act as a fence for the circular saw to ride along. Now I’ll make the first pass.
I’ll need to flip the 4×4 over and ensure it’s going the same direction as the saw blade. Next, adjust the fence again to make sure you are cutting correctly. What is needed here is to finish the cut from the opposite side. While making this cut, it’s a good idea to wedge the gap behind the blade to keep it from binding. Otherwise, this could cause a kickback once you cut through the 4×4.
So here you have three ways to cut this miter angle. There is one additional way with a hand saw. While this requires much more time and effort, you cannot discount it.