June 19

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How To Cut 4×4 Post In 8 Easy Ways

Cutting smaller pieces of dimensional lumber, like 2x4s and 2x6s, can be accomplished using a variety of different tools in the standard toolbox, but cutting wider boards or more frequently used thicker pieces of dimensional lumber, like a 4x4, is more difficult.

This article will examine the equipment needed to cut a 4x4 post and offer alternatives for doing so, even if the fence posts are already embedded in the ground.

What Is A 4x4 Post Used For?

A common component of outdoor woodworking is the 4x4 post. Because of its substantial diameter, it is structurally sound enough to act as the vertical support for fencing and decking.

These posts have undergone pressure treatment to withstand various outside applications and to enable the post to be planted partially buried in the ground.

The actual dimensions of a 4x4 post are actually 3 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches, not 4 1/2 inches by 4 1/2 inches as is the case with other dimensional timber.

Ways To Cut A 4x4 Post

Ways To Cut A 4x4 Post

One of the more challenging pieces of dimensional timber for the majority of do-it-yourselfers to properly cut is a 4x4 post because of its thickness.

While a chainsaw can readily split a 4x4 post in half, doing it with much accuracy is tricky, if not impossible. This is also true for a reciprocating saw.

A 10-inch miter saw cannot produce a complete cut without dangerous modifications to the tool's safety features, and most circular saws have a maximum cutting depth of 2-1/2 inches.

While using a traditional handsaw to cut a 4x4 might provide greater precision, it is a difficult operation that can slow down the project and strain your arm.

1. Table Saws

The maximum cutting depth of a 10-inch table saw is 3.5 inches, which is just big enough to cut through a 4x4 entirely. However, even with the aid of a fence, making a crosscut on a 4x4 post that is 8 feet long on a table saw is difficult.

Even with an additional set of hands to help guide the timber, it can be challenging to uniformly feed a lengthy 4x4 piece of wood through the table saw's blade. Due to this, it is challenging to maintain the post's end against the fence of the table saw in order to create a straight line.

2. Chainsaw

A small tree and a 4x4 post have a similar diameter and form. As a result, cutting through a post is an easy task for a chainsaw.

Having said that, chainsaws are not made to make precise cuts, which limits their usefulness for cutting posts used for fencing, decks, or other purposes.

3. Hand Saw

Cutting a 4x4 post with a handsaw may not be the best option because it demands more arm strength than an electric motor or gas engine. But since using a handsaw takes longer, it may result in a more precise cut of a 4x4 post.

Start by marking a cut line on the top and front of the post when using a hand saw. To make a groove for the blade to slip through, start by making a back cut with the saw on the line. Once the groove is in place, start cutting back and forth with the saw.

Utilize as much of the blade's length as you can by making extended strokes. This will help the cut go more smoothly and maintain the blade parallel to the cut line. Periodically pause to check that the blade is parallel to the cut and adjust as necessary.

4. Circular Saw

Circular Saw

One of the greatest tools for cutting a 4x4 post is a standard circular saw. The majority of DIY enthusiasts own a circular saw. 4x4s are simple to cut from the ground thanks to their mobility, and they can produce precise cuts.

Most circular saws have a maximum depth of just 2.5 inches. You will therefore need to make two cuts.

To use this technique, measure the 4x4 and draw the cut line on the post on two different sides. Cut through the post entirely on the second cut line after cutting the first side, following the cut line, and turning the board 180 degrees.

5. 12-Inch Miter Saw

The 12-inch miter saw's two extra inches make cutting through 4x4s fairly simple.

A 12-inch miter saw, in comparison to a 10-inch model, can cut up to 4 inches deep, which is just enough to allow the blade to pass cleanly through a 4x4 without requiring unsafe modifications to the saw's safety measures.

This approach is ideal because it provides precision. After mounting the 4x4 on the miter saw, just align the cut line with the blade and pull the material through.

Supporting the length of the 4x4 to achieve a level cut is the most difficult part of cutting through the material. However, this issue can be resolved by utilizing a solid sawhorse.

A 12-inch miter saw has the drawback of not being widely available. This power tool cost a great deal more than a typical circular saw.

6. Smaller Miter Saw

If you don't have the luxury of owning a 12-inch miter saw, a 10-inch miter saw can be used to cut a 4x4. However, it can't be done in one pass.

To do this, you must cut once, rotate the board, and then cut again in order to slice through a 4x4 with a miter saw that is smaller than 12 inches.

The same set-up applies as it would with a 12-inch miter saw. Place the post on the miter saw while supporting the off-end with a sawhorse. Cut the guard with the initial cut, dropping the blade as far as it will go.

Turn the post 180 degrees after that cut is finished so that the initial cut is now facing downward on the miter saw. Aligning the two cuts can be challenging depending on how the post will be used, so this step requires some skill.

7. Radial Arm or Slide Saw

Most professional woodshops use these big power tools. A circular saw with a long arm that lets it travel perpendicularly over a board makes up a radial arm saw.

Because of its construction, it can cut wood that is at least a foot wide. They are neither better nor worse than a typical miter saw in terms of depth, and the majority of radial arm saws feature 10-inch blades, allowing for a cutting depth of 3.5 inches.

A radial arm saw is different because of its sliding movement, which enables it to perform a complete cut and overcome the blade's curve to entirely cut through a 4x4.

8. Reciprocating Saws

A reciprocating saw can easily cut through a fence post thanks to its large blade. Since most reciprocating saw blades are between 3 and 12 inches in length, they have sufficient length to accommodate a 4x4 post's 3.5-inch thickness.

A reciprocating saw's disadvantage is that it is a tool intended for rough cuts and demolition. Precision cuts are not designed to be made with this tool.

Conclusion

There are many ways to cut a 4x4 post, but not every method is ideal. Depending on what is available to you, you can make the best decision by using this guide as a reference for your cutting needs


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