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To the left in this photo is a laundry closet with a (dirty, sorry) tile floor. The wood floor boards outside the closet end a few inches short of the tile inside the closet.

enter image description here.

I want to saw off the ends of these floor boards so I can extend the adjacent tile out six more inches. What's the best way to trim the floor boards, especially near the ends?

I can use a circular saw guided by a nailed-down length of wood to do most of it, but that won't get within about 8 inches of the wall at the end (marked in red). I could use a router guided the same way to get a little closer but still not right up there.

Is a guided circular saw the best way to do most of it?

Do I need to do the last couple of inches (near the door jamb) by hand with chisels, hand saws, etc?

The reason I want to extend the tile (in case it matters) is I'm replacing the laundry machine with one that is a couple of inches deeper and I want to provide a flat even footing for the front feet and the ability to slide it forward a few inches without coming onto the wood.

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I would use an oscillating multi-tool with a wood/hardwood blade. Most of them allow you to set the blade to various angles in relation to the body of the tool allowing you to find the most comfortable way to make the cut. It can be unwieldy to start the cut without a steady hand, but a guide right on your line can get it started. Holding the blade perpendicular to the wood is another consideration, but depending on how you intend to finish the transition between the hardwood and tile that may not matter much.

I've tackled similar situations a few times and it's never a particularly fun task. Something you may be able to do, depending on how you can set up a guide (or convince a neighbor to hold a board real tight)for the circular saw is reverse what side of the line you're on. Cutting both directions allows you to gain the distance you would otherwise lose to the body of the saw. Those few inches may not seem like much, but when the smell of smoke from the multi-tool blade hits your nose you'll be thankful for them.

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  • "oscillating multi-tool" often called a "flush cutter". Absolutely 100% the right tool for the job. And, only use it to finish the cut that the circular saw can't get to. Oh, and remove the swinging door hardware before you get too close with a blade. ;)
    – FreeMan
    Sep 23 at 12:24
  • I've been looking for an excuse to buy a multitool and here it is. Just ran out and got it. Practicing in the garage ... it's so easy and effective I don't think I'll even bother with the circular saw. It's only a 5 foot opening. And I can mount the blade so I can get right in the corner.
    – jay613
    Sep 23 at 13:52
  • @freeman why "only use it to finish ..." ? Still more practice needed, but I feel I can guide the multitool entry with a straight piece of wood held down by my foot and once it's started it seems to guide itself. With the circular saw I'll need to fasten the guide to the floor, probably with a brad gun and even with a guide I find my saw sometimes walks (away from it).
    – jay613
    Sep 23 at 13:56
  • I've been using one for a couple of years, @jay613 and I still find it difficult to make a long straight cut. You may find it easier. IME even without a straight edge to guide a circular saw I can make a straight cut much easier. Also, the circular saw will be faster. YMMV.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 23 at 14:10
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    my work here is finished. :) Seriously, go with what works for you, I'm just sharing my experience. You will probably have some sort of threshold/transition strip from the tile to the wood, so if your cut isn't 100% perfect, it'll still be covered. Try starting with the new toy, and if you don't like the results, switch to the circular, if that's what you want to do.
    – FreeMan
    Sep 23 at 14:15
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This is probably the smallest power rotary saw you may find. You need the tool handler from "Dremel" though.

enter image description here

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  • Yeah, I would use something like that. Then finish off the corners with an oscillating tool.
    – SteveSh
    Sep 23 at 11:19
  • I love this answer because it looks like it would be fun and useful to learn to use this. But it's expensive. Half the price of a multitool, which I do not yet own, so I'll just buy one of those. Good idea though.
    – jay613
    Sep 23 at 13:51
  • :) No, you should love this tool. If you have an extra $50 to invest in its driver unit, you won't regret it for its versatilities in applications. Best of luck anyway.
    – r13
    Sep 23 at 14:39
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What worked

I used the accepted answer along with the advice in its comments. I nailed a guide down with brads for the circular saw and cut all but the first two and last two boards that way. That took just a few minutes. It took me a few tries to get the depth right because I didn't want to cut the plywood.

I moved and renailed the guide and did the remaining boards with the multi-tool. It was easy and precise and great for cutting right up against the door jamb but doing the whole doorway that way would have taken hours and probably wear out a blade. With the multi-tool I tried holding the guide down by hand but I couldn't keep it steady and had to nail it.

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