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making a hanging cutoff saw

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  • making a hanging cutoff saw

    My miter saw cuts wood at all the necessary angles but it is really noisy and it won't cut over 7 inches wide of material.

    The lumber yard here has a cutoff saw that swings on an arm like a swing on the playground. I have several induction motors like the ones used on table saws and I am thinking about making a swinging cutoff saw. The advantages would be quieter operation and wider capacity.

    Anybody have any ideas?

  • #2
    They are called pendulum saws, I would not like to use one unless I was certain that all possibilities for kick back were well and truely under control.
    Proper guarding and negative rake blades would be vital.
    West Sussex UK

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    • #3
      Hey Mike.. I've used a few swinging cutoff saws in the old sawminlls I worked in as a kid.
      These ranged from 18" dia to a 32" "monster" with 15 hp.
      We used them to cut off fence posts, grape sticks, etc.
      You prolly already figured out that the length of the arm will determine the width of the cut.
      The biggest problem with them is they "self feed".
      The 32" saw was an animal show to run. We used it to cut off fence post wood to length. Pile four or five 6" logs in front of it and give it a quick pull... that thing would actually snap the logs off... it was pretty violent.
      If I was building one.. I'd make sure to have a progressive spring that would increase the tension the further it traveled. That would simmer down the self feed tendancies.
      Russ
      I have tools I don't even know I own...

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      • #4
        Just got back from the lumber yard and looked at the saw again. It is a Heston and Anderson, Fairfield, Iowa, model 5. The motor hangs in front and gives it the tendency to swing the blade back behind the guard fence.

        Are dangers from the tendency of the saw to self feed and then to jam in the cut?

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        • #5
          When I was younger worked as a timber framer, had a radial arm that would do 10" beams but you could set the resitance on the arm, it was still a handful. Not sure I'd want to try the pendulum thing.
          Cheers, Bob

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          • #6
            I saw one of those being used in an old lumber yard in Florida. Watching it run made me think of a cross between Edgar Allen Poe and the Texas Chainsaw Massacre in waiting. I think that if you want to kill yourself or at least a few fingers with a woodsaw you should get an old craftsman radial arm saw (see them on craigslist all the time for almost free), but if you want to do some nice cuts, get a sliding compound miter saw or a festool guided circular saw. I think that there is a reason you don't see pendulum saws being sold at Lowes or Home Depot...

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            • #7
              I though those old swing saws had been baned. Gary P. Hansen
              In memory of Marine Engineer Paul Miller who gave his life for his country 7-19-2010 Helmand Province, Afghanistan. Freedom is not free, it is paid for with blood.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mikem
                My miter saw cuts wood at all the necessary angles but it is really noisy and it won't cut over 7 inches wide of material.

                The lumber yard here has a cutoff saw that swings on an arm like a swing on the playground. I have several induction motors like the ones used on table saws and I am thinking about making a swinging cutoff saw. The advantages would be quieter operation and wider capacity.

                Anybody have any ideas?
                Do not stand in front of it.

                Originally posted by mikem
                Are dangers from the tendency of the saw to self feed and then to jam in the cut?
                That's what I would be afraid of. You would be swinging a blade rotating in the direction of the swing. Unless you can control the momentum of the pendulum, it is going to self feed, and there is not much you would do to stop it. IMO, a home made pendulum saw though it might be "Neat", the inherent dangers push this idea into the "Bad Idea" file.

                But if you try it, make sure to safeguard an area so no one will get hurt when the pendulum starts making 360's.
                Last edited by ERBenoit; 06-23-2008, 06:56 PM.
                Paying Attention Is Not That Expensive.

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                • #9
                  Let us know what hospital you go to and how long it takes to recover from the damage.
                  It's only ink and paper

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                  • #10
                    Notice I said "violent"... as in dangerous...
                    "snapping 6" logs in half."..
                    Hell yes they are dangerous. I also believe they are banned up here now as well.
                    When you are a young kid its fun to run stuff like that
                    I have tools I don't even know I own...

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                    • #11
                      Some things go the way of the dinosaurs for good reason

                      I would sure a lot sooner build a panel saw like they have at modern lumber yards. Think of a circular saw that runs on tubular guides. You can cut anything up to big sheets of plywood that slide in behind the guides. It eats up wall space though and I have none left.

                      Paul
                      Paul Carpenter
                      Mapleton, IL

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                      • #12
                        Here's a bulletin from New Zealand's version of OSHA, outlining the proper safety requirements for pendulum saws.

                        http://www.osh.govt.nz/order/catalog...ndulumsaws.pdf

                        The safety chain that keeps the saw from doing 360's (or slicing you in half, vertically) seems crucially important.

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                        • #13
                          Quote "when you're a young kid its fun to run stuff like that"
                          Maybe in BC we were all nuts, but left there when I was young to the Promised Land.
                          Tell ya one thing, every time I pulled on the radial arm she sure made the ol bung hole pucker, no fun fun here just shear terror although none of us where man enough to admit it.
                          Cheers, Bob

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                          • #14
                            There are tons of old 14" radial arm saws laying around cheap,especially if they are three phase.

                            Get one,pull the saw out,stick the stock in behind the blade (abrasive) and push the saw through the cut instead of pull.We have two at work,old Dewalts that we use just for that.Trick is to make a table with a slot cut in it so the blade can stick down below the table's surface.This way there is less blade involved in the cut.
                            I just need one more tool,just one!

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                            • #15
                              I already have a radial arm saw but the travel is short and the angle is not easy to adjust and it isn't really accurate. More than once it has grabbed and thrown a piece of wood. I just thought that the pendulum saw was cool, and maybe more accurate.

                              There was a home built vertical panel saw in an article recently that looked kind of cobbled up. I was going to make a vertical table for doing cabinet facings with clamps and a compass with holes for adjusting the angle of the table. Maybe I could combine that with a saw track that could clamp on to make it into a vertical panel saw.

                              What would be the best linear bearings and rails to use for the skilsaw to track on? What would be the best way to align the rails so that the bearings don't seize or bind up? The rails would have to be 8 feet long to cut the long way and 4 feet for the cross cut. The cross cut is the most important, since I can use my table saw for the rip cuts.

                              I am going to see if I can find that article on the shop built one.

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