Flatten Wood With a Circular Saw

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Introduction: Flatten Wood With a Circular Saw

About: I just like creating stuff. Mostly recreational woodworking and diy projects. Please consider following me. It will fuel me to create more instructables. :-)

This setup is good for flattening wood slabs or logs. Its a bit time consuming and makes a bit rough result, but I only takes some scrap pieces and a circular saw. And It takes less time than to hand plane the same thickness.

Be careful, be safe. If you dont feel safe doing this, then dont. Please use safety equipment - splinters will be flying when doing this. Please use safety glasses.

You can also watch the setup in action in moving pictures below!

I have seen a couple of jigs around to flat wood slabs or logs. Thats really cool, and I wanted to try something I had in mind for some time now. I have used the same technique for joinery/framing when building larger structures.

I dont call this a jig, its so temporary that I would just call this a setup.

The idea is to fasten the work piece to a flat surface. In this instructable I will be using my workbench. But you could use a plywood board.

Then I will lay two 2x4 on the side and have a board wide enough to ride on top of the two 2x4. The circle saw will be mounted to that board and then you can flatten a piece of wood and make a lot of saw dust.

Step 1: The Setup

Here you can see the setup. I would really recommend using a wide plywood board to mount your saw, but I use two strips in the pictures. It worked out fine and that was what I had laying around.

I use two mini-clamps and some screws. I would not trust using only clamps.

Step 2: Secure Your Work Piece

The work piece is secured to the flat table just with some screws that I have put around the log.

Then I make really shallow cuts with the saw, back and forth. This will make lines (and form ridges). Keep them as tight as possible. I would say the thickness of the blade of the saw. It also depends on the wood itself.

If you dont feel like putting screws in your work bench like I do, then use a large plywood board instead.

You can easily reposition the setup on the table, to make the most efficient cut.

Step 3: Final Steps

After making the "lines" I clean the ridges by moving the saw from side to side in a slight angle. Very shallow cuts for each pass. This makes the surface smoother for each pass and continue to lower the blade (just a nudge) each time.

Step 4: The Result

This was a piece of oak. Firewood that I had saved to be used in a project of mine. The surface is ready for sanding. With one flat side I can easily put this in a jig for the table saw or bandsaw for milling or cutting.

The steps are few, the effort is small and the result are good.

Tips:
- Secure the piece near you in a safe and comfortable working position. Working to far from you body with a saw in this manner will be tiresome.

- Use a saw you are familiar with. Avoid getting kickback. Use a firm grip. Stand in a good position.

- Protection glasses and filter mask. This will make a lot (no really - a lot) of saw dust, splinters and chip-offs!

Here is that same video again, if you want to see all the steps in action!

Please let me know what you think.

Follow me here and I will do more instructables in the future. Thanks!

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    4 Comments

    Thank you! And Yes - a router is much more preferable. But with the circle saw, you dont have as much force (and dont need to). So this simple setup suffice for smaller pieces. With a router one would need a more sturdy jig (or router sled).

    I have the feeling that thanks to this project we'll be seeing another disclaimer in the Ryobi manual for the next model hehe. Good thinking though.

    1 reply

    LOL. haha. I certainly hoping that they not will refer to this instructable in that disclaimer, if that would be the case. :-)