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How to Cut Wooden Discs

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The past two Winters I have been really into crafts and decorating with these wooden discs. Problem is I have been spending a small fortune to buy them on Etsy and have you seen how much craft stores are charging for them? Well on Thanksgiving I noticed my Brother-in-law had done some landscaping in his yard and had a pile of branches to burn. After dinner I went our back and grabbed two small branches. 

Now I will admit I was scared to cut these at first and I am not normally scared of power tools. But you must be very careful cutting branches because of the knots. Since I was a little unsure I brought them to my Dad’s so the first time we could do it together. If you live alone and its the first time doing a project your unsure of its always good to have someone there.

I suggest to use a miter saw when cutting the wood. Make sure you have a good grip on the branch. Since it is not flat it will likely move so a good grip is necessary keep your hand a safe distance away from the blade. 

On our miter saw we have a laser to guide where the saw will cut. Lining up the laser with your desired width make your cut.  Now I cut mine thin for the project I have in mind about an 1/8th of an inch wide. 

Once you start to get close to the knot stop cutting! Cutting through a knot is dangerous. Remember there are always more branches in the woods you don’t need to risk it. 

These two small branches made over 70 discs! Now your not done just yet. 

You are going to want to bake these discs. I suggest low heat for over an hour. I baked them at 200 degrees for an hour and 15 mins. This will insure there are no live critters in them! 

Now what should you make with these beauties? Here are the Wooden Disc Ornaments I made recently with chalk paints. 

*There are always risks cutting fallen wood, always wear dust masks/respirators and goggles. Be sure to sweep up and dispose of the dust from cutting too, and wash the clothes you were wearing.

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18 Comments

  1. I tried this one time and it tore up my saw and wood & plastic pieces flew every where. What did I do wrong? My husbad said it was because the wood was green…. I love the idea but am afraid to try again. Any ideas? Thanks!

    1. We always dry out our wood. Store it in your basement or garage for a few months and it should be fine. Watch out for those knots.

  2. If you place them in your oven, does this also prevent the wood from cracking? I tried this last year, but most of my rounds cracked, and I didn’t like the look.

  3. You should also be careful when cutting branches on a mitre saw because their imperfect shape may cause it to move during cutting due to the fact that it is not fully in contact with the fence. For this reason, I would recommend a full-featured shield and keeping your hand WELL away from the blade. As noted, there are plenty of branches out there.

  4. Your miter saw seems really good and strong. You have cut quite good discs with your miter saw. Wood have a lot of uses from fun to real use, these wood cutting machines help a lot in working with the wood.

  5. Nice tools. Bleaching powder is a substance which is used to remove stains from different things. It is also available in liquid form which is used in cleaning of clothes. It is only used for white clothes because it has ability to remove color of anything.

  6. Your wood discs look like they are spalted, be careful with using your oven to dry that kind of wood. Google spalted wood for suggestions and info on spalting.

  7. Thanks for the instructions you have passed while cutting wood. The miter saw is really a wonderful tool cutting woods without wasting the time. Am surprised to see the finishing of the slices. It’s a useful tool.

  8. For smaller branches, a band saw works great. Since you don’t really touch the blade, you are able to keep a good grip on the wood.

  9. Hi, I would like to know if the wood cracks when you put it in the oven? Thank you for this post. It is very helpful.

  10. Hi I’m new to wood burning, and my husband has cut me some wood but they ended up cracking, I read one comment where someone asked if you dry them in the oven will that keep them from cracking and you had a reply if they sanded afterwards but I didn’t see there reply, so is that what I need to do is dry in the oven then sand to keep from cracking and do i need to treat the wood with anything else?We are blessed with all the wood I need but need to know how to keep the rounds from cracking?

    1. If you put wet or green wood in a microwave and cook it on high to drive the miosture out, this is like kiln dried wood and will make the cells in the wood so it won’t crack. You can cook it but stop before it starts to smoke. I got this input from this old house. I have a seperate microwave in my woodshop and have done this, it works very well.

      1. Great idea if it works. I assume there are some variables, but how long do you think a piece 6" across and 1 to 1 1/2" thick would take? Is there some way to tell, or is it learned guess work?

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