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Cutting Notches With a Circular Saw

there's at least two different methods used to cut notches with a circular saw one method producing more of a fast rough notch while the other a more slower cleaner notch today I'm going to show you both methods so that you can understand the techniques first and then we're going to show you six cool joints that you can make using those methods to make a rough notch let's start by laying out and marking first location on the face of the material I like to use a speed square to do that quickly next mark out the desired depth of the notch which is marked on the edge of the material to set the blade to the proper depth for the notch loosen the circular saw blade plate and while holding the blade guard up raise or lower the base plate until the tip of the blade covers the pencil mark the first cut will be along the right pencil line and if we're thinking about a rough cut here it's not a bad idea to cut outside of line to ensure that the notch is larger than we need the next cut is along the left pencil line over cutting slightly just as before with the notch roughed out to the proper width make a series of cuts every quarter to three eighths of an inch between the two previous cuts be careful to make full complete passes with each cut because the tendency is to lift the saw too early towards the end of the cut leaving an uneven jagged notch this is really not that big of a deal especially when we're making a rough cut here but it does help to make the depth of the knotch more consistent as a side note if you're using pressure-treated lumber like what's used on decks or outside projects you might want to make your series of cuts a lot closer than say that quarter to three eighths of an inch PT lumber is wet therefore the wood fibers don't like the shear off as nicely and cleanly as the dried lumber that I'm using in this video with the cuts all made the next step is to use the claw of your hammer to start breaking the pieces free you can continue to refine your knots by using the claw to chip away at the remaining material until you're happy with what you see there is another way to refine the notch and that's using the circular saw blade in order to do that hold the blade guard up while at the same time placing the shoe of the saw on the remaining material on either side of the notch what this allows you to do is slide the saw from side to side while the blade is running as you can see it cleans out the remaining material very quickly however you want to use extra caution while doing this because the blade guard is up and if your notches wider than the shoe of the saw it could drop down into the knotch creating a potential for kickback this method that I just showed you that's rough and fast is gonna be used mostly for rough framing especially when the knotch won't be seen all right let's move on to talk about the second method which is a bit slower but produces a cleaner notch to start I would recommend changing out the current saw blade for a 60 to finish blade this is not completely necessary but I found that it does help to produce a cleaner cut as before lay out and mark the notch location on the face of the material to layout for the depth set a combination Square to your desired measurement and then mark the entire width of the notch you can use the same method as before to set the blade depth but this time set the blade just above the pencil line to keep the cut as straight as possible use the edge of a speed square to guide the shoe of the saw along the cut line and unlike before where we over cut the line slightly this time slightly undercut the line knowing that we may need to go back and widen a notch after the first test fit after that's complete make the same series of cuts as before but make them a little bit closer this time more like an eighth of an inch or even less once complete use the hammer and not the claw side to break the pieces free the only reason why I recommend using the hammer side and not the claw side is because you're less likely to do damage with a blunt object than with a sharp object as you can see after making a bunch of eighth inch cuts once everything is chipped out the bottom of the notch is looking pretty good from there refining can be done again with a saw blade but the best option would be to use a sharp chisel slowly cut away any high spots shaping the joint until everything is flat into the pencil line so this slower notching method be used more on things that I'll call finished framing like decks porches pergolas and fences now that you got the basics down let's look at six different types of joints that could be cut using these methods the first joint is a half lap splice joint this joint is made by removing half the thickness of the material plus the width of the material splice joints are mainly used to connect two pieces of material together to make one longer piece another way to use this joint is to turn the two pieces and make a 90 degree angle this is a great option instead of using mitered 45 degree angles the next joint is a through dado this joint is made by removing the exact dimensions of the material in which it's being joined to a through data runs the entire length or width of the material and its depth can vary depending on building conditions this joint can be used this way or flipped over like this it can also be used on the flat maybe for a floor or top of a pergola the third joint is similar to the through dado but this one is cut on the edge of the material this type of joint can be used for setting flush Ledger's and ledges are used to attach new structures like decks or floors to an existing wall I built a few houses using this type of joint to hang the second floor joists the fourth joint is a mid span half lap this joint utilizes two separate joint styles a half lap and a through dado but this time the depth of the dado has to be half the thickness of the material in order to get the joint to fit as the name suggests this joint can be used to connect members that are 90 degrees to each other the next joint is the edge cross lap similar to the ledger cut this joint is made by removing half the material from each piece and by removing the thickness of the material this joint can be used on heavy-duty latticework top of pergolas really anything your mind can think of the last joint is another cross slab joint but this time it's a flat cross lap meaning the two intersecting pieces cross on the flat side of the material these intersecting angles can vary it just all depends on your specific application this type of joint works great for cross bracing like what you see here on my kids Playhouse now of course there are many different joints out there in a million different ways to cut them so let me know in the comments what joints you like and how you like to cut them I hope you learned something today thanks for joining me in supporting training hands Academy I'll see everybody soon

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