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Many moons ago,in FHB tips and techniques section a contributor offered a tip regarding sculpting rafter tails. In that tip he wrote that in a shop condition he would mount casters on a bench type band saw and roll it around rafter tails to cut profile. While I admit it is not the fastest,or most convenient,he claimed it did a fine job to accurately cut them. If I only had the need to make those cuts infrequently I would give it a try.
 

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The way we do them is to lay out your cut lines. Cut them with a normal circular saw on the lines. Finish the cuts with a saws all, being careful not to mar the finished side of the cut. Don't let the blade come out the opposite side of the cut. Depending on the application we then scarf out the back of the cuts and sand finish edges if req'd. We have done beams that weighed 1500 lbs and had to have a crane flip them so we could cut the other side. Basically timber framing technique. Practice on a scrap first. We can get very accurate cuts this way. We have tried the beam saw, not very accurate with the large blade. Bandsaw isn't any use to you on large material that you have to manhandle. Good luck.

I think this is the best advise posted so far. :thumbsup:

Even a decent handsaw to finish up the circular saws BM cuts is not that labor intensive. If I had to really bang out a bunch, on a regular basis, I'd look for a tool or a shop.

For On-Pitch Head Cuts, nothing beats the Big Foot Swing Table on a chainsaw. I've had great results against a fence. And always cut the Heads first with the Big Ft, then measure. ;)
 

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I think this is the best advise posted so far. :thumbsup:

Even a decent handsaw to finish up the circular saws BM cuts is not that labor intensive. If I had to really bang out a bunch, on a regular basis, I'd look for a tool or a shop.

For On-Pitch Head Cuts, nothing beats the Big Foot Swing Table on a chainsaw. I've had great results against a fence. And always cut the Heads first with the Big Ft, then measure. ;)
I believe this to be the best method as well.
 

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I've cut many rafters from square and round timbers.

First cut with a skill saw, finish with a chainsaw. Needs to be a good heavy chainsaw, and with a sharp chain. I always cut from both sides so that the chain is pulling into the timber, so there's no splinters.

Once you get the hang of it, you can shave a gnats whisker off with the chainsaw without splintering the edge of the cut.
 
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