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John's Tool Crib
by John Cupp


The Prazi USA Beam Cutter

Well I found a tool for those of us who dream of building bigger boats. Bigger boats mean usually bigger material. The biggest hand circular saw that I know of is made by Makita and it is a monster 16” blade but it will only make a cut of about 6 ½” and then if your cutting in oak or other hard material it binds easily. The other real bummer is that it is heavy and costs over $600.00 if you can find one for sale. The blades for it are even harder to find and most blades that size are meant for table saws so they are thicker and take more wood in the cut but it is much harder for the little Makita motor to cut all that wood. If they has an ultra slim blade it might work better but the blade would be likely to crack easily from binding.

Prazi is a company formed by inventers to sell their new great tools and the Prazi Beam Cutter is an invention that fits many of today’s worm drive and even regular circular saws. It ooks like a bar for a chainsaw with a chain blade that bolts onto what I tested earlier, a Skill Mag 77 Worm drive saw. It gives it a full twelve inch capacity cut. You may say but it s a chain saw and the cut is too rough for working, NOT SO! If you take your time and cut against a saw guide or a piece of square stock you drill into the wood your cutting to take a saw guide you can make a nice smooth even cut. Not a perfectly smooth cut but a cut you culd use epoxy on without anymore finishing. It makes dead wood for a bigger boat easy to work with. Dead wood is what is called the keel wood in a bigger boat from times unremembered in boat building. It is what all the ribs of a boat are connected to. Today we laminate smaller wood to make these large beams but cutting them has proved a problem because you cannot very well take your forty of fifty foot keel to your band saw for cutting.

I am planning on building another large sail boat and laminating the keel just like George Buehler discusses in his book “Backyard Boat Building”. His solution is using a big hand saw but that takes a steady hand and hours of strenuous labor, something I try to avoid these days since my injuries. To be able to cut a nice smooth cut in big lumber can be a great thing. I don’t know how many times I have seen large timbers from buildings being stuck into giant dumpsters from an old warehouse that the contractor would give me if I could only cut it up when I got home. Now I am ready and know of a couple demolition jobs near my house that have many big Douglas Fir beams that were cut 70 years ago. I can either cut them into planks or use them whole for a keel. With a few planks cut I can plane them down in my big planer and have perfect knot free lumber that is unheard of today. I have tried it on large tree limbs of Oak, Walnut, Elm and Manzanita. Once I nail my guide to the top of the long limb I just cut through and then move over another four inches until I have it all cut. I cut some beautiful walnut last year an it has been drying in m shop. I need to make a hope chest with it for one of my relatives but the purple in walnut is amazing. You never see it anymore because walnut is usually steamed then kiln dried and it makes all the wood the same color because some of the heart wood and new sap wood are almost white the rest of the wood has marvelous purple streaking that is heated away. Once you start cutting into green wood or old dead limb wood you can see what you have been missing with today’s make all the bucks you can lumber industry

So this saw attachment compared to the Makita that tops $600 dollars runs a little over $100.00 dollars depending where you purchase it. It bolts on and off in under ten minutes and can also cut bevels or scarph joints. With a full length following bar the saw will not kick back like a chain saw so it is a safer saw to use. By safer I mean it will not bind and kick back but you do have a twelve inch uncovered blade that can cause harm if you are not prudent in its use. I always advise strict safety standards in any power tool operation with breathing protection , eye protection and ear plugs or protectors muffs. Even a full length face shield can be used with the safety goggles because your best tools are your eyes and hands. So for any type of big wood framing or even cutting larger stock to a more workable size this tool can save many hours of time trying to use hand saws or multiple power saw cuts. With my Skil Mag 77 and the beam cutter I can cut through 24 “ lumber in two cuts or make bevel cuts in one cut nine inches deep.

As I stated before the cut quality is very good. Almost as good as a circular saw because you use the wide base of the circular saw and the side to side motion is non existent. So before you see another large piece of lumber get scrapped for shavings get a Prazi Beam Cutter and cut out smaller dimension lumber from those huge beams. Or realize your life long dream of building a big boat that only big tool prices stopped you from building. Prazi USA has many more tools that make work much easier. Along with the beam cutter they sent me some X-out screw retrievers.

How many times have you been trying to drive a screw into place when the slots have rounded out so you can not make it go in further or even take it out. I use soap on my screws when sinking them or dry lubrication but that even fails sometimes. The Prazi Grabit will remove any stubborn screw with very little effort and they are super inexpensive. Don’t ruin a nice finish by using pliers or a chisel and hammer when the Grabit can remove them a jiffy. It is a two step procedure that takes only a minute and can save frustration a cursing. You can see these and other great Prazi Products at

http://www.praziusa.com

They have a putty removal tool, a Drill mate that converts your power drill into a custom caulking gun, a Mag Tight V-2 that makes your measuring tape stick to your tool belt so it can never fall off by accident ( I have lost more tapes that way and I’ll come back a month later on my lawn and find it with my riding tractor, Ouch!) They also have a nifty Seal Pro re-sealable paint tray that does so many tig you’ll have to see the web page. It will make painting the next day with the same paint and roller feasible, the part I like is the paint brush magnet that hold your paint brush in the pan so you do not have to lay it down where it could make a mess. It it only had throw away plastic trays you could use it for epoxy work. Go to there web site and see the wonderful uses and all the other Prazi products to make your boat building much more enjoyable.

From my tool crib to your computer,

John

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