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I am presently putting up a large stick frame building which requires the installation of some triple LVL beams. These beams are supported by concrete filled steel lally columns that need to be cut to length. I have no experience cutting a concrete filled column. What is the best way to assure a clean square end?
 

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There are pipe type cutters you can get, or cut through metal with sawzall blade and whack it. Do it carefully so you don't bash out too much of concrete filler.

If you did take of too much cement fill it back in.
 

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Box Builder
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I always end up using a sawzall to cut through the steel and then a grinder to clean up the cement and or fine tune the steel square. I've used the large pipe cutter and that is definitely the best way to go. Don't forget to get the large heavy duty lally plates for the extra width of the 5 1/4" LVL's.
 

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Yeah, I have a Makita 12" electric cut-off saw that works like a charm for stuff like that. After all, they're designed to cut through concrete with re-bar.
 

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Where's my coffee?
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My back aches just from reading this. :notworthy

The cutting method depends on your on-site tools and budget... all above will work, some better than others. Personally, I'd be headed to the rental store for a diamond in the rough!


Dave
 

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Oh, - - I forgot to mention, - - if I need a really perfect cut on a lally column, - - I put that 12" diamond blade in my 14" (Makita) metal-cutting chop saw . . . :thumbsup:
 

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Tom R said:
Oh, - - I forgot to mention, - - if I need a really perfect cut on a lally column, - - I put that 12" diamond blade in my 14" (Makita) metal-cutting chop saw . . . :thumbsup:
I use a 4" pipe cutter to cut the steel, break it off with a hammer and grind the concrete smooth with an angle grinder with diamond blade.
 

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A demo saw with a diamond blade is like the swiss army knife on construction. You can cut anything.
I did a few 2x4's one day, just short of them lighting on fire, but it worked in a pinch.

Looked like a muscle car doing a burnout though with all the smoke.
 

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David Festa
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I use a 4" pipe cutter to cut the steel, break it off with a hammer and grind the concrete smooth with an angle grinder with diamond blade.
Back in the day we used a circular saw with a metal blade, scribe 4 points around and connect dots with square edge of tar paper. Have a guy rotate column slowly cutting till you see concrete dust, then smack her with a sledge, almost perfect every time.


When I went out on my own I said to myself “self there’s got to be a better way”.


So I bought a 5”? pipe cutter from a flea market, dumb idea. Total peace of crap, wouldn’t stay on track
So I bought one used one from a pawn shop, almost perfect condition. Worked great till one of my guys tried cutting drive shaft with it, back to a circular saw I went and never looked back
 
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