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I am about to install some hardwood flooring, which calls for cutting a number of planks crosswise, very accurately. The best tool for this is a miter saw, but I only have a circular saw, and a hand saw with a miter box.

The wood is vertical strand bamboo, and the area is about 300sqft.

Is it feasible to use a hand saw for this project? I'm particularly concerned with chipping/shredding the edges. Also, I've read bamboo is rather hard to saw. :)

If hand-sawing is out, are there any miter box attachments for circular saws? Googling has only turned up websites of people building their own miter boxes.

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Finish the sentence: "Googling has only turned up..." –  Niall C. Feb 21 '13 at 5:53
    
@NiallC. Fixed. –  alekop Feb 21 '13 at 7:32

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Rent a mitre saw. It is the quickest way.

You will very quickly regret attempting to hand saw a hardwood flooring installation. Especially when you need to do a rip cut.

"If hand-sawing is out, are there any miter box attachments for circular saws? Googling has only turned up"

You could use a circular saw and/or jigsaw. If you wanted an inexpensive and quick "plug and play" solution, there are plenty of saw guides you can buy for square or angled cuts.

Bench Dog Saw Guide

Protractor Saw Guide

Note that especially for angled cuts with a saw guide, accurately lining up your cut line with the saw blade can be a challenge. Even more so for someone not experienced doing this.

Ramblings

If I had to install a hardwood floor tomorrow and all of my mitre saws were broken and no rental stores had any available, I would make myself some sort of cutting station. Similar to this design:

DiY tablesaw.

In the image above the coloured end piece is cut off exactly in line with the edge of the board above it.

If you stack some wood on the bottom piece the height of a hardwood plank, and leave a slot the exact width of a hardwood plank- You could mark a cut line on the plank, slide it in to the slot, lining it up with the cutting edge and make quick and accurate cuts, similar to speed and accuracy of a mitre saw.

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Do you see any cuts that would be fun to do with a handsaw in this deck I did last year? winchesterdecks.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/003.jpg –  fungku Feb 21 '13 at 6:29
    
All good suggestions, thank you! I hadn't thought of using a saw guide. And that deck looks beautiful! –  alekop Feb 21 '13 at 7:44

Generally, when you put in a floor, all the edges you cut yourself are covered by molding, so that the flooring can expand and contract. If that's the case, then your cuts don't have to be perfect.

I wouldn't, however, want to do it with a handsaw. Bamboo is very hard and it will take a long time to cut.

In most places you can rent miter saws for a small amount per day. That will be far easier than doing it by hand.

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For flooring you can use a small, inexpensive miter saw. –  Matthew Feb 21 '13 at 4:51

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