Where can I get an undercut saw in Canberra?
August 9, 2011 9:44 PM   Subscribe

Where can I buy an undercut saw (jamb saw) in Canberra (or online to arrive within a few days)?

I am undercutting a few doors to lay flooring. I have used a chisel and hammer for two doors and it is very slow, and chips the surrounding wood a bit more than I would like. So I'd like to buy a (manual) undercut saw. I have tried Bunnings (who didn't even know what I was talking about, and tried to sell me a wood planer, followed by telling me to stick to the chisel), and I tried Harvey Norman, who sold me the flooring in the first place. They also didn't have one.

Most online places, including the one I linked above, would take a week or longer for shipping, and I really want to finish this job this weekend if at all possible. Alternatively I'm happy to hire a power saw, but again, Bunnings doesn't have the kind for doing doors, and I don't know other places that hire tools around here.

Any ideas?
posted by lollusc to Shopping (11 answers total)
Best answer: I've seen them in e.g. Mitre10 & Samios in Qld, so you'll probably need to hit up 'real' hardware stores rather than a Bunnings.

FWIW, you'll get a much much better result by pulling the door off, cutting it with a hand or circular saw, and re-hanging it.

(Just looked at one of the flooring mobs I'm familiar with - MJS. They have a Canberra trade centre, but it looks like they're clearing out their stock of undercut saws.)
posted by Pinback at 10:07 PM on August 9, 2011

Response by poster: Sorry, I wasn't clear. It's not the door that needs cutting - otherwise I would pull it off. It's the frame. And the necessary cut is too low to work with our hand saw or circular saw.

There aren't any Mitre 10s here in Canberra. Samios seems to be a plumbing store? And also not in Canberra. I'm happy to go to a "real" hardware store, but I honestly don't know what there is here besides Bunnings.

I'll try MJS if they are open on Saturday. Thanks for the suggestion. But as you say, it looks like they might not have any.
posted by lollusc at 10:27 PM on August 9, 2011

Yeah, sorry, I probably shouldn't have said "cutting it" - I meant you could pull the door and then cut the jamb with a normal tenon saw (or an undercut adaptor for a circular saw).

How thin is your flooring that a tenon saw or small fine-pitch hand saw won't cut low enough? I guess I'm assuming timber or laminate flooring, which is usually 8~16mm thick. I've used a tenon saw for 10mm easily enough.
posted by Pinback at 10:55 PM on August 9, 2011

(Damn, did it again - I meant the rotocut-style grinder adaptors, not some mythical circular saw adaptor!)
posted by Pinback at 11:00 PM on August 9, 2011

Response by poster: It's 12 mm, plus a couple extra for the underlay. Our handsaw and circular saw and jigsaw all have handles much thicker than that, so you can't get the blade down low enough. Maybe I can find a handsaw that has a really thin handle instead?

The other problem, though, is that the way the skirting board joins, and the way the other side of the frame is in the corner of the room, and the way the architrave is designed, all mean that the saw would have to not have anything on the end of it that gets in the way. So my hacksaw is useless, because the frame of it and the bolt on the end get in the way. Imagine the bottom of the door from a picture like this, for example. You have to be able to get right into that corner. The laminate only goes halfway through the door as it butts onto tile, so I'm not undercutting the full frame either, just to the mid point.
posted by lollusc at 11:18 PM on August 9, 2011

Response by poster: Also, even if I find a thinner handle, my HAND would get in the way, wouldn't it? I just don't see how you can use a saw without an offset handle that close to the ground.
posted by lollusc at 11:19 PM on August 9, 2011

Best answer: Carbatec have (pretty) offset saws. They have a Sydney store, but it looks like the ACT branch has split off and become "Blue Dingo Tools For Wood". I'd give them a buzz, and if they can't help try Carbatec and see if they can get one to you in time.
posted by coriolisdave at 12:26 AM on August 10, 2011

Response by poster: I called MJS in Fyshwick and they still have a couple left, so I'll buy one tomorrow. Thanks heaps! Blue Dingo Tools for Wood also have them, so thanks, coriolisdave, but they are more expensive there.
posted by lollusc at 4:43 PM on August 10, 2011

Yeah, Blue Dingo still looks to carry a lot of the Carbatec gear - it's usually Not Cheap, but generally good quality (certainly better than the Big Green Shed and its ilk).
posted by coriolisdave at 8:13 PM on August 10, 2011

Response by poster: So no, MJS did not have one after all. They thought I was talking about a power saw (hundreds of dollars), despite the fact I said "manual" on the phone.

I'll try Blue Dingo now, if they are open tomorrow. It's probably too late today. Their phone number seems to have stopped working though. Gah.
posted by lollusc at 9:51 PM on August 11, 2011

You could also try hiring one from Kennards Hire (depot in Fyshwick) or similar. I've hired trailers and that sort of thing from them before, but their hire catalogue does seem very extensive.
posted by impluvium at 2:36 AM on August 12, 2011

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