And it presents challenges to amateur woodworkers. With the right tools and a little practice though, you can produce a beautiful gazebo or turn out a sturdy playset for the kids. Having the right saw for this heavy-grained wood is essential. Most weekend woodworkers’ issues with SYP center around attempts to cut it, either crosscutting (across the grain) or ripping (with the grain).
Hand sawing SYP is a marvelous exercise if you need to tone up and drop a few pounds. If you insist on going old-school, look for hand saws that can handle this very dense (34 pounds per cubic foot) wood, say experts at Wood and Shop:
Most circular saws, scroll saws, and jigsaws are sold with inexpensive blades. Take a tip from Lumber Jocks and toss out the provided blade, substituting a high-quality blade designed for the job you will be doing:
For circular saws, avoid combination blades; they compromise cutting quality in both directions!
For scroll saws and jigsaws, the same notion applies; fewer teeth for ripping, more teeth for crosscutting. Buy the highest-quality blades you can afford and change them frequently.
Invest in a superior set of table-mounted saw blades, and you will happily rip and crosscut your SYP for many months. Stick with big-box store blades, and you may find yourself very frustrated! Switch your blade for each type of sawing task:
SYP cuts smoothly on band saws but is resistant to re-sawing. Band saw blades have both thickness and depth. Make sure you buy a blade in the thickness (gauge) recommended for your band saw wheel diameter. Experts at Woodworking Network say that for dense wood like SYP, thicker and wider blades are the best choice.