Now that is a Real Chop Saw - Popular Woodworking Magazine

Now that is a Real Chop Saw

 In Chris Schwarz Blog, Chris Schwarz Woodworking Classes, Sawing Techniques, Saws, Woodworking Blogs

The machinery room at Dick GmbH is a power tool lover’s dream. It has an enormous sliding table saw, a jointer/thicknesser the size of a small car and a huge band saw.

But there’s no miter saw.

A couple days before teaching a class on “Classical Joinery” at the school, I spent a morning working in the machine room with one of the company’s cabinetmakers, Andreas. His English was better than my German, but that’s not saying much. But we managed to get a lot of the tools and wood sorted out before the class began using hand gestures and drawings.

I might have to rethink my dislike of mimes. Mime skills are handy in a foreign country. If only I could have mimed, “Where are the vegetables?”

In any case, Andreas had already processed most of the European cherry that we were using for the class, but I also needed some pieces for the students to use for test joints. Andreas dug around in the wood rack and produced some rough pine boards still with the bark on them.

They were almost 8′ long. How to crosscut them?

I looked out into the main bench room and there were some large Japanese hand saws suitable for logging. “Yikes,” I mimed. “I better limber up.”

Andreas simply stacked the rough boards on top of the sliding table of the massive saw and placed small spacers between each board , plus spacers between the stack and the aluminum table.

Then he reached behind the band saw and pulled out an electric chainsaw!

It was awesome. In just a few minutes he had all the boards cut to rough length and ready for putting them over the jointer and through the planer.

I think we need a chainsaw for our shop. It would definitely be a good thing to carry along to budget meetings when the accountants start talking about trimming our budget.

– Christopher Schwarz

While I Was Sleeping

– We just received the posters of Andre Roubo’s plate 11 that we are now selling in our store. The printing job is nice, and I’ve been enjoying looking at the plate at this higher magnification. Want one? You should act fast. We’ll be selling them at Woodworking in America and they are going to be hot. Here’s the link to the poster in the store.

– My new book “The Workbench Design Book” is going to be in our warehouse very soon. As soon as it arrives, then the price increases to the list price of $34.99. If you want to save a little money and you are going to buy it anyway, now is the time.

– When I return to Germany, I am going to go here, The Bauhaus Dessau Foundation.

Recommended Posts
Showing 10 comments
  • Scott Stahl

    I guess I’m upside down in my wood working quest. My first wood working tools were a 14" electric chain saw, a 16oz. claw hammer, and a 3/8" electric drill. I built a shed that is still standing 15 years later.

    I still have the hammer and drill, but I’ve upgraded the chainsaw. To paraphrase Mythbusters, chainsaw is always an option. 🙂

  • David Chidester

    Hahaha! Awesome! I can think of a few uses for a chain saw in the shop now that you mentioned it. One more tool for my never ending wish list.

    Also, I have to second Eric’s request. I’d totally buy a Roubo plate 11 t-shirt.

    David Chidester

  • Bobby Slack

    I love the small sliding table saw, is safe. In the US the only company who sells a machine like that that I am aware of is Felder.
    In regards to your "chop saw" I never thought of using my Husqvarna as a chop saw, may be I will.
    So I will pack my Kapex and use my chain saw for quick cuts. LOL.

  • James Watriss

    You are what you eat.

    Animals eat vegetables.

    You figure it out.

  • Ron

    Meagan plus chainsaw. A picture of FEAR! I predict another cutting contest in the works! Go for it!

  • Eric R

    When in Deutschland, you eat (and drink) what the Deutschlanders do.
    And I’m still holding out for a Roubo plate 11 T-shirt.
    (That poster does look pretty cool though.)

    Thanks Chris.

  • Jan Goris

    Don’t forget that sauerkraut is a vegetable.

  • Don Peregoy

    I am a little concerned about myself. The more I think about this the more it makes sense. I really need some Don Weber time. A strong dose of Ron Herman is also indicated.


  • Steve

    Unless you include pickles, there are no vegetables in Germany (or much of the rest of the world, either, for that matter). In my experience, the only places where they eat anywhere near as many vegetables as we do in the US are France and South Africa.

  • Peter Baines


    Im glad you enjoyed Europe. Here in the UK we too have lots of large woodworking machinery – trouble is we don’t have any tree’s with which to apply said monsters thanks in the main to our many scuffles with Spain and France. Thankfully that is all behind us now, unlike the tree’s which are not. They are behind us, over the water, across France hiding somewhere near Germany and Scandinavia.

    After seeing the chopper you had your hands on, thought it would be nice to tell you about the one we use to cut to length the packs of timber that our Eastern European friends send us. In nearly all but a few cases, we will order 3mt lengths and receive 6 and a bit so our 78" chain saw helps to make 1 into 2.

    I have posted a picture on my site here:

    Feel free to copy and insert into this blog post if you like.

Start typing and press Enter to search