How to Accurately Cut a 6×6
Mastered in a Minute: Use a rafter square to guide cuts through large timbers.
Because standard circular saws won’t cut all the way through large stock in a single pass, you need to cut from multiple sides. Here’s how to do it accurately:
First, mark the cut location, and use a pencil and a rafter square to extend the line around the stock. Rotate the stock as needed to line up the square and transfer the line to all sides.
Then, set the circular saw to its maximum depth. Note that with some sidewinder saws, you may need to go slightly less than the full depth so the saw’s motor housing doesn’t hit the rafter square as you make the cut.
After the blade depth is set, align the blade with the cutline. Then position a rafter square flush with the edge of the stock and against the saw’s shoe as a guide. For accuracy, keep the shoe in contact with the square during the cut.
After the first cut, rotate the stock, and use the kerf from the first cut to align the blade for the second cut. Reposition the square and hold it firmly in place.
Before starting the saw, back the blade out of the kerf so it won’t catch. Then pull the trigger and make the cut.
Rotate the beam and repeat the process on every face.
On large material like this 6×6, there will be some uncut wood remaining at the center. For this, use a handsaw or a reciprocating saw with a long wood blade to complete the cut.