Reply by JBrow

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Posted on Circular Saw Blade for 2-in Butcher Block

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1368 posts in 1523 days

#1 posted 01-25-2017 02:34 AM


The orientation of the cut dictates the type of saw blade. For example, if the width of the butcher block is trimmed by cutting a little off a long edge (the cut line parallel to wood grain) or the butcher block is an end grain butcher block (regardless of the edge to be trimmed), a rip blade would be a good choice. On the other hand, if this is not an end grain butcher block and the end will be trimmed (the cut will be across the wood grain), a crosscut blade would be my choice. I would expect the best results from a quality rip or cross cut blade that is brand new (that is very sharp) and carbide tipped. For a rip cut, a new 24 tooth rip blade and for a cross cut, a new carbide tipped 60 tooth seem good choices.

I like the idea proposed by wuddoc; make an initial practice cut, leaving an inch or so for the final trimming. The practice cut will give you a feel for the saw and the blade as it cuts through the material. After the practice cut, the final trimming can be performed. The final trimming could be a two cut process, in an effort to reduce any burning of the wood. The first cut would leave the butcher block perhaps 1/8” –3/16” too big and could leave some burn marks on the wood. The final skim cut would be set up to produce the size you are after and would remove very little material and any burn marks. The saw blade should run cooler and reduce burning during the skim cut.

As Carloz mentioned, tear out (fraying along the cut line) may be a problem. Since a circular saw blade enters the cut from the top surface, tear out can occur on the bottom face. Applying some masking tape (not painters tape) all along and centered on the cut line on the bottom surface of the butcher block, ensuring it is firmly in place, can help support the wood fibers during the cut and reduce tear out.

A butcher block that is light in color and bought at a store is likely to be hard maple. This seems to be a popular wood for butcher blocks sold by retailers, probably because it is a very hard (dense) relatively inexpensive wood. But from where I am sitting it is difficult to say for sure what wood you have.

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