How to flatten the end of a beam


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Hi, guys.  Sorry if I've been scarce - I have dropped in now and again to lurk.

A recurring question brings my post:  some of the work I like to do involves "beams" - usually more or less dimensional width and thicknesses of 6x6 and larger.

These cannot be cut to length with a single cut of most table saws or chop saws, and the beams are too unwieldy (I would say) to use a bandsaw (but show me I'm wrong, here.)

I wind up with uneven cuts that may not be square to the sides of the beam.

What do you think?

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If the sides are flat and square, I would favor marking out the cuts with a knife line, and cutting by hand. Powered tools cut faster, but leave no way to adjust the cut while it is being made. A tiny bit of angle on a circle saw blade compounds noticably when cutting from opposite sides of the work. A sharp block plane can then clean the end grain up.

If the beams are NOT flat and square, maybe construct a plywood box around it to serve as a reference surface?

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I'd probably use a block plane to clean up the end and adjust it square. I used a track saw to trim the ends of my Roubo bench and marking out all the way around and cutting from both sides got me close enough to be able to  clean it up with a block plane. It depends on the tolerance you are shooting for and the use case i guess.

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Agree, it depends a great deal on the accuracy you're trying to achieve in the cut angle and the surface smoothness you want.  

My SCMS is limited to a 4" deep cut and I'd like to be able to square up 6x6x6 blocks.  So I explored the question of how to cut thicker pieces, searching the internet and at the IWF.  I did not find anything better than a bandsaw, but cutting through a 6 inch long piece is a way different problem than cutting through a 6 foot piece.  

I am sure there are industrial solutions, in fact I did see a 14" radial arm saw--still gives me the willys.  Probably nothing practical.

Maybe some kind of router jig to flatten a rough cut end?  Would it be possible to some how clamp the Pantorouter to the end of a beam?  Or could the beam be stood up against the side of a raised porch or deck?

Probably dumb ideas.  Just thinking out loud.

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Well, you guys do not disappoint.  I'll check out the portable bandsaw idea (I knew about those, wasn't sure what they could do.)   The  Makita looks awesome, but probably limited in range.  I've never tried using a block plane on end grain, so there's lots to keep me busy for a while. :-)

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