One way to cut 4-by lumber is to make two passes from opposite sides of the stock with a 7 1/4-inch circular saw. The extra labor is okay in a pinch, but it’s unacceptable for production framing. In California, besides the usual 4-by posts, beams, and headers, we often have to install lots of 4x4 hold-down posts to meet the seismic requirements of the California building code.

Many framing contractors avoid making dual cuts by using a 10 1/4-inch Big Foot Tools wormdrive saw, which has a maximum cutting capacity of about 3 7/8 inches. It’s actually a 7 1/4-inch Skilsaw wormdrive fitted with oversize upper and lower blade guards and a compatible baseplate. The saw is also used for cutting doubled 2-bys, cutting thicker...

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