4 Tips for Cutting Treated Lumber

Treated lumber is a type of wood that has been treated with chemicals so that it can stand up to environmental wear. You will see barns, sheds, outdoor furniture and even boat docks made out of treated lumber. Using treated lumber is the same as using any other type of lumber but cutting requires additional steps to avoid splintering and chipping. The following information will share with you several tips and tricks for properly cutting treated lumber.

1. Let the Saw do the Work

When you cut wood the typical approach is to either place the wood on the table saw and pull the saw toward the wood or pull the wood toward you. When working with treated lumber you run the risk of it splintering and chipping if you use either of these methods. The saw generates momentum which you can use to help you cut the wood. Instead of pulling the treated lumber toward you push it toward the blade. The spinning blade will pull the lumber toward it.

2. Tape It

If you're cutting out sections from treated lumber to build anything you'll notice that each cut you make is potentially the one that splinters or chips the wood. This is not a pleasant thing because you cannot repair the piece of wood. You will either work with the piece as it is or attempt to cut the same part out of the same or a new piece of treated lumber. To minimize the potential of chipping and cracking use 2-inch wide blue painters tape. Draw clear cut lines on the treated lumber and place tape over the lines so that the tape is center evenly over the line. Turn the lumber over and cut it from the other side through the tape.

3. Seal the Lumber

The idea behind using treated lumber is that it is relatively waterproof and stands up to harsh elements. Treated lumber can also withstand attacks by insects and mold. Once you cut the treated lumber you have effectively rendered it nearly as useless as interior plywood used outside. After you cut treated lumber you need to seal the cut ends. Purchase waterproof sealer and apply several coats to the cut ends. Place the lumber in a dry area while the sealer cures.

4. Dry it Out

The process that makes treated lumber protected against insects, water and mold also adds a lot of moisture to the wood. This moisture can make it difficult for someone to cut the lumber. The added moisture can cause the saw blade to slip, the cut to not be clean or for the wood to splinter and chip. The solution is dry out the treated lumber. All you need is a dry room, a hair dryer and dehumidifier. You want to place the lumber to dry out in the dry room with the dehumidifier. The dehumidifier will leach the moisture from the air and eventually the wood. Use the hairdryer to hasten the drying. You can also place the wood outside under direct sunlight.