I have a lot of coconuts which I broke (hitting them) to eat and I would like to use the wood to try some experiments. I would like to cut them uniformly so that I can have flat cuts.

For example to build something really simple like a bowl.

Which tools (as cheap as possible) can be used to make this kind of cuts safely and more or less precisely?

  • Are you seeking the ideal power tool or hand tool for this? Because of course you can saw coconut shell by hand, it's just a lot of labour. So which saws of both type do you currently own? Your main challenge is likely figuring out how to hold the awkward shape securely and safely, especially if cutting using a power tool.
    – Graphus
    Aug 1 '21 at 18:36
  • @Graphus I currently dont have any power tool. I tried with a saw but it felt really unsafe as I had no idea how to hold it and extremely slow. So I though about getting something like a jigsaw but I also see this really hard to do.
    – nck
    Aug 1 '21 at 19:35
  • 1
    Can you rent time on someone's bandsaw? Alternately, is there enough material on the waste (ie, thrown away) half that you could put a few screws into it to clamp it to something solid? In that case, the handsaw or maybe a reciprocating saw (very dependent on a good clamping) might work. Aug 1 '21 at 20:46
  • "it felt really unsafe as I had no idea how to hold it and extremely slow" Yes, these are typically the two issues faced when cutting (trying to cut!) coconut shell. Holding work securely during sawing is always important, but round shapes are more difficult, plus coconut shell is so hard. If you had to saw it by hand it's possible that a hacksaw may be the best saw type since the blades are made to cut very hard materials, but you still need a good way to hold the shells firmly (every one of which will be slightly different, not just in shape but also in size).
    – Graphus
    Aug 2 '21 at 8:57
  • Other than doing it with a suitable hand saw (once you figure out a good way to hold the shells) the way to cut coconut shells seems to be using a bandsaw, and this is reasonably safe to do holding the shells by hand. But a bandsaw is not a cheap purchase, plus you'd probably want to immediately buy a better blade than the one fitted in the factory which adds to the initial cost.
    – Graphus
    Aug 2 '21 at 8:58

Consider putting the broken side down (so it looks like a dome on your workbench), and cutting with a hand saw with the saw held horizontally. You should be able to hold it down reasonably easily by placing your palm on it and pushing down.

Cutting horizontally can be difficult, but you might be able to place a block of wood on each side of the shell that are the thickness of the piece you want to cut off. Use these pieces of wood as a guide to keep the saw level.

If it ends up working reasonably well, you may want to make an "official" jig for this, screwing or gluing some blocks of wood together to make it a bit easier. If you want the finished rings to have parallel sides, you will also need a way to make your guide blocks adjustable so that you can cut at a slope since I'd assume that your breaks aren't exactly aligned along the equator of the coconut.

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