Stack Cutting Lumber - Fine Homebuilding
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Theres a Better Way


Stack Cutting Lumber

comments (5) September 16th, 2009 in Blogs
grateful.ed Chuck Miller, editor at large

Video Length: 1:26
Produced by: John Ross; Edited by: Cari Delhaney


This timeless tip was included in an article by Bay Area builder Jud Peake. In his compilation of jobsite tips that rely on the circular saw, Jud shared a great way to cut a stack of lumber to the same exact length with minimal measuring and only one pull of th tape measure.

He writes: "Before you move anything, consider the stack of lumber as a convenient place to cut many pieces to the same length—say, 30 studs for a low wall. First square up one end of the stack by beating on the ends with a hammer and checking with a square, then cut across the top or along the side at the uneven end. If you cut across the top of the stack, the depth of the blade will exceed the thickness of the wood enough to score a guide for cutting the next layer. Be sure your cut is square."

For more circular saw tricks, read the full article "On-Site Carpentry with a Circular Saw" from Fine Homebuilding #3.


posted in: Blogs, lumber, cutting

Comments (5)

ManKnit ManKnit writes: Thanks for the feedback Larry. For those readers interested, here's a link to the article Larry refers to in his comment below. It's available to FineHomebuilding.com members: http://www.finehomebuilding.com/how-to/articles/cutting-multiple-framing-members.aspx

Posted: 3:54 pm on October 5th

redwing44 redwing44 writes: Dear Chuck,
With total regards to Jud Peake and Chuck Miller........
We never used this method for cutting multiples out on the job site. The reason is that it isn't very accurate. It does work fairly well if your circular saw is cutting totally square. Most saws on a framing job get banged around and are at least slightly out of square. So as you cut down through the stack, each piece gets slightly shorter or longer depending on the tilt of the saw blade.
So if you want to cut lots of multiples and don't have a chop saw, take a look at an article on this subject that I wrote in FHB # 88, p. 58-61 back in 1994. Or for a shorter version, you can look in the book: "The Very Efficient Carpenter" on p. 86.
Using this setup, you can accurately cut hundreds of multiples like top and bottom cripples with a circular saw in a short period of time.
Take care all you framers. Larry Haun



Posted: 12:11 pm on September 30th

redwing44 redwing44 writes: Dear chuck,

Posted: 11:58 am on September 30th

pacspeed pacspeed writes: How is this an improvement? This method does nothing to keep the stack in line, nothing to keep the blade in the same kerf, nothing really, that I can see. I guess if you're a builder without a chop saw, it might be SOMEWHAT handy, otherwise, I'm having a hard time seeing how this is a "tip".
If I have a big stack of random length lumber, nothing beats setting the stop on the miter saw stand.
Posted: 10:38 pm on September 28th

oscar_mann oscar_mann writes: Didnt know there was any other way to do it.. BUT be sure to check after every 3 levels.. No matter how square your saw after 3 you will find your getting a little long or short.. Remeasure and then just cut tot eh short of long side of the kerf to get back to exact
Posted: 2:36 am on September 28th

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