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post #1 of 17 Old 01-05-2008 Thread Starter
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Cutting floor board?

Our first winter project - We are in the midst of refinishing our Endeavour 33 floor.

We were able to unscrew and take the floor out of the boat. It is a teak & holly layer on plywood.

I would like to cut one of the boards. As we have no experience with saws and trying to make a nice cut, could someone recommend the type of saw we should try to borrow, or should we take it to a lumber yard and have it cut? We have a circular saw -and I am wondering if I bought a new blade for it would it make a nice clean cut....

You might ask why I want to cut it. The bilge pump is under the major piece of floor which is held down with 25-30 screws.

The floor has 2 panels which you can pick up, but neither are anywhere near where that bilge pump is, so you cannot eyeball it or the water level easily, and you cannot get a manual bilge pump in there to pump it dry. I really think the 2 access panels which lift up are useless.

My spouse says that the boat has been this way for many years, why change it. I feel better being able to get in there. We bought the boat this past summer, and I am surprised the surveyor did not point this out.

If we cut it, I wuld only have about 5 screws to unscrew to lift that piece over the bilge pump.

I guess another solution would be to take it to a carpenter and have them cut it and make a liftable panel right over the bilge pump- but this would be a bit pricey for an old floor (alhtought it is refinishing fairly well).

Anybody else have a blige with poor access to the pump area? Is this common? Am I worrying too much?

Thanks, SaltyPat
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post #2 of 17 Old 01-05-2008
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With the skill saw you want a plywood blade or a very, very high tooth count carbide tipped blade. The cheap, all steel, plywood blades make great cuts but will be toast after only a few cuts and are truly disposable. To start a cut in the middle of a board lift the saws guard then place the tip of the saw shoe plate on the work and line up the blade and cut line. Lift it up slightly start the saw and drop into the cut.

Put some blue tape down on the surface and mark and cut your line through the tape. Doing this will help eliminate splintering the surface. Use the skill saw for the longer straight line cuts but do use a clamped saw guide as this is finish grade work.

For the radius corners you'll need a jig saw. Bosch makes some low splintering plywood specific blades that cut on the down stroke and leave a very nice cut. These blades take some getting used to though so practice on some cheap plywood. Use a good jig saw like a Porter Cable or Bosch and you'll get a cleaner and straighter cut. Black & Deckers & cheap jig saws have too much side to side play in the jig saw arm for good finish work. If you don't have a good jig saw Home Depot will rent you one..

If your not the best wood worker I advise duplicating what you want to do on a dummy piece of luan plywood and practicing on it. Home Depot sells "handy panels" of Luan 2 feet X 4 feet that make great practice boards...

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 01-05-2008 at 10:14 PM.
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post #3 of 17 Old 01-05-2008
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I find that a jig saw is best for nice control, mark where you want to cut with a pencil and you will be able to follow the mark perfectly. You will have to drill a small whole first to get the saw blade in the wood, but you can always put a little wood putty in the hole when you are done.
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post #4 of 17 Old 01-05-2008
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I have re-done 3 soles in boats over the years and let me tell you, even with practice, you still are very nervous cutting the real wood. If you are cutting only a couple of pieces, I recommend taking it to a cabinet shop that has the right tools to make professional cuts. You mess up a teak and holly sole, it will cost you several hundred bucks to fix it, probably only 20-30 bucks to get a cabinet shop to cut it. Good luck!!
DD

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post #5 of 17 Old 01-05-2008
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Is there any way that you can move the bilge pump instead of cutting the floor?

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post #6 of 17 Old 01-06-2008
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Halekai's description is basically what I would recommend... adding that you really want to use the narrowest, finest toothed circular saw blade to make the majority of the cuts, and then cut the corners using a jig saw with a very fine toothed blade.

One other thing, you will probably want to set the blade depth on the circular saw to just a bit more than the panel thickness, to minimize the damage to any floors or stringers that may be under the opening your cutting.

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post #7 of 17 Old 01-06-2008
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halekai36 is right

But if the cuts you need to make are all straight cuts use the method shown in this video
http://experttooltips.com/printer_Ho...ne_Video.shtml

Dont forget that the cut will remove wood the width of the outside measurement of two consecutive teeth. This will leave a crack that may not be acceptable to you.

Jim
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post #8 of 17 Old 01-06-2008
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The problem with a circular saw is that it would cut as the blade is coming up and this tends to splinter the "plywood" that you are cutting. A plywood blade will help. I do a fair amount of woodworking in my shop and the only way I will cut plywood is an a tabelsaw since I can control the splintering of the wood. I only rough cut plywood with a skill type saw.

If you only have a couple of cuts talk to a cabinet shop.

Thomas
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-06-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TThomsen View Post
The problem with a circular saw is that it would cut as the blade is coming up and this tends to splinter the "plywood" that you are cutting. A plywood blade will help. I do a fair amount of woodworking in my shop and the only way I will cut plywood is an a tabelsaw since I can control the splintering of the wood. I only rough cut plywood with a skill type saw.

If you only have a couple of cuts talk to a cabinet shop.

Thomas
Thomas, isn't there a trick for this ? I seem to remember it's masking tape, or something like that. Oh wait, I think it's putting another board on top of the one you are cutting so that the bottom one doesn't splinter, it's something like that, some kind of a trick.

What are you pretending not to know ?

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post #10 of 17 Old 01-06-2008
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Minimizing the cut depth as SD mentions will also minimize splintering.

In this case, I'd be real tempted to try to create a new lift-out in the area where it's needed.

Failing that, if you're determined to cut across the sole, and you don't have the tools or skills, most stores like Home Depot will do cuts, but you'd be better off taking it to a cabinet maker, they'll care more about the results.

Ron

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