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portaband saw for log fence building?

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  • portaband saw for log fence building?

    SWMBO has decided that we want a rustic log fence. The material is no problem. I've still gots lots of bug killed pine standing, but the labor to build such a fence is a putoff. However, orders must be obeyed...

    I am thinking that a portaband saw might be just the ticket for doing all the half-round notches needed for the style of fence ordered. I will be using 8-12 inch round logs, so getting a saw with an 8inch or so throat size would be necessary. Anyone know of such a size? Also, are blades available suitable for wood?

  • #2
    When I needed to do a similar chore I rigged up a 10" electric chain saw and pushed the timber on a 2x6 wooden v-block skid under it. The chain saws are dirt cheap and chains are cheaper. It worked well. I still have that chain saw and it didn't burn out which surprised me. It did a hell of a job of resawing stack of lodge pole pine I had. Definitely a poor man's wood mill.


    • #3

      Bug killed pine will rot in a couple of years. The blue stain is a fungus that makes the wood absorb and hold moisture much better than usual. I used beetle kill for my new deck last year and I prestained it all with a 50/50 mix of preservative/stain. The blue parts suck up the stain like a sponge.
      Free software for calculating bolt circles and similar: Click Here


      • #4
        I helped a guy build a sawmill on the back of a old cut down school bus.

        He now has a nice brick home over a 4 car garage, I live in a plywood shack still.

        It takes a foundation or real frame to manipulate logs, they are a lot heavier than they look.
        Excuse me, I farted.


        • #5
          My pine is dead, but none of it has the blue stain. Lots of vertical cracks in the bigger stuff. I am not going to split, or rip it to shape. Only notching ends so that they will sit down half way over a similar size log at 90 degrees. I considered using a chainsaw [have lots] but think a potraband would be quicker, if I can find one with a big enough throat.


          • #6
            I think (that's the magic word) it could be done with a portable bandsaw, although probably by making two cuts that meet in the center. A local saw shop should be able to weld up some wood cutting blades to fit the bandsaw. A blade about 3/8" wide with about 8 or 10 teeth per inch should cut the radius OK.


            • #7
              I think you would be far better off with a chain saw!


              • #8
                Jim, this is what you want


                Very expensive as you can see. It's German and specifically designed for carpentry, shaping beam ends etc. I've had a play with one and it is a beautiful tool but too expensive for me.
                West Sussex UK


                • #9
                  I have used my port-band (Porter Cable) for cutting wood. I used a 10 tooth band, and it cutts well. But, the wood (sawdust) built up on the rubber "wheels". I was cutting 4x4's that were very dry, so I doubt there was a sap issue going on. Plus, I don't think hand held porta bands do particularly well cutting curves, like a band saw can. You can cut slight curves, but a curve as tight as you're describing I think would be a problem.

                  Then again, I've never tried to cut a curve/radius before, maybe it will work!


                  • #10
                    I have made wood bandsaw blades for a Porta Band, and they worked OK. The Porta Band might do the cutouts OK, but you might want to make a base for it to make a sort of vertical bandsaw rather than try to do the cuts by holding the saw. I simply clamp mine in the vise.

                    That way, you end up with a useable tool after the fence is made.
                    Jim H.


                    • #11
                      In this part of the world, (Ottawa Valley,) white cedar log fences are very common. They were "expedient built." That is they were intended to keep in cattle, and received no more attention than they deserved. They were built this way, more or less:- logs cut to length, (usually one rod between uprights,) and laid out "nose to nose" with about one foot overlap. Cut some three foot lengths of fairly uniform size and split in half. Bore 2" holes in each end to receive uprights. Place a half log under each overlap, and retain with a pair of straight, split hardwood poles as long as the fence is high. Square white oak with the corners knocked off would be my choice. If you can find flat rocks to go under the first overlaps, the fence will last a lot longer, but if you cant, as the bottom course rots, just add another course. Place another half log on each pair of poles. Run the next course of logs, facing the opposite direction. Repeat until the fence is as high as you want or you get tired. The "nose to nose" layup averages the fence height since butt ends overlap top ends for succeding courses. Equipment required:- chain saw, splitting axe, heavy-duty drill and large bit. What is the bandsaw for? the fences that I described were built early in the last century and some are still functional.
                      Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec


                      • #12

                        I have cut and extended the distance between the blade guides on these saws for more capacity, but your still stuck with the throat depth of whatever you started with. Use courser tooth blades for wood and try to find a pair of sawtooth set pliers to increase the set of the teeth a bit to cut the curve easier.