I need to cut 32 of these:

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They're 2x8's, each a foot long, with a corner removed. I'm hoping to cut them safely and efficiently. I thought about running them across the table saw, maybe 3 or 4 at a time, for the short side of the notch then using a jig saw for the rest but that seems like a slow way to go and I'm not sure it's the safest. Is there a better way to do this?

The first drawing is upside down for its actual use. Here's how the pieces will be installed:

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  • Obviously there are multiple ways of doing this, and since you have a table saw making use it for at least part of the operation makes sense. If I were making these I'd set up stop blocks on the fence, do all of the short and long cuts in batches, then simply finish off the cuts by hand. There's no need to break out the jigsaw for these, this is a 2-minute job for a handsaw, even doing them one at a time; however here it is completely safe to stack them together and saw multiples in one go.
    – Graphus
    Nov 12 '20 at 19:33
  • Now all the above aside, can I ask the reason for the design decision for these to be this shape? I'm trying to figure out why a simple notch (e.g. as cut by a dado stack, with the wood clamped upright in a crosscut sled) wouldn't be the way to go here. Simpler, faster job and, bonus, these pieces would then hold that long 2x4 running through the centre of whatever this is more securely.
    – Graphus
    Nov 12 '20 at 19:36
  • 2
    I have cut notches in wood framing similar to this without a dado using a standard blade to cut each side and then using a chisel to break the waste block free.
    – Ashlar
    Nov 13 '20 at 1:35
  • 1
    You can still do what I suggested without a dado stack, I was just giving one example of how it could be done. As @Ashlar says you can simply cut both sides of the notch with a standard blade and then use a chisel, or Norm Abram style, cut either side and then nibble away the material in the centre with multiple passes (again, with the wood held in a crosscut sled). Anyway, all this aside why is a notch needed at all? No additional sideways support seems to be required to me — you could just use pieces 3 3/4" x 12"... toenail the 2x4 in place onto those, it won't be going anywhere!
    – Graphus
    Nov 13 '20 at 8:55
  • 1
    These comments are sufficiently appropriate answers! It's a good, well-presented Question. It should be graced with an Answer...
    – jdv
    Nov 13 '20 at 13:42

There are a lot of ways to do this, but personally I would do stopped cuts on the table saw. I would definitely not try to stack multiple pieces though. (If you have access to a high-powered bandsaw that might be a better choice.)

For the longer rip cut I would use the fence and clamp a stop block to it to prevent overshooting your line. For the crosscut I'd use a crosscut sled if available or else a miter gauge. You should also be able to set up a stop block for this.

You'll probably need to finish each cut with a jigsaw (or band saw if available) since the circular tablesaw blade won't be able to fully get into the corner without overshooting on one side.

Also, you should be aware that the short leg of the L will be fairly weak due to the grain orientation.

  • Cutting them flat on the table is probably safer. I had thought of cutting them upright as shown, at least for the short crosscut. I don't have a bandsaw, but cutting most of the way with the table saw and finishing the cuts with a jig saw should work well. I agree the short leg will be weak, but it shouldn't be a problem in it's intended use.
    – RayW
    Nov 12 '20 at 18:52
  • I hadn't thought of cutting them upright. I suppose that would be safe enough if you make the crosscut first. I'd want a tall fence on your miter gauge if you're going to do that. You'll be maxing out the capacity of a 10" saw for that, but a 12" will be fine. Nov 12 '20 at 21:21

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