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View Full Version : have you ever cut frozen meat/fish?



Susumu Mori
01-06-2015, 11:55 PM
OK, I know this is a silly question, which should not be asked in this woodworking forum, but I ask anyway.

Today, I battled with a frozen whole king salmon. I swear it had been in -80 degree. Even after 1-day delivery, it was incredibly cold (almost dangerous to touch) and hard. None of my knifes didn't work.

So I whipped out my thin-kerf hand saw. I could managed to cut it into 5 pieces after almost 1 hour of hard working, but my shiny well-maintained Ryoba saw was tarnished with brown spots :(

I know that I could wait few hours until the fish was half-thawed, but re-freeze definitely would degrade the quality of the meat.

I searched the internet and there are people suggesting to use a bandsaw. I think I can buy a bandsaw blade for frozen food. So, I can avoid ruining my bandsaw blades, but, knowing how much wood dust comes out from a bandsaw, I'm afraid of ruining my bandsaw itself or risk the well-being of my woodworking shop! Or maybe wet meat may not turn into fine dust and clean-up is not too bad.

I'm just wondering if any of you have ever tried to cut meat/fish with your bandsaw. I would appreciate sharing your experience.

James Baker SD
01-07-2015, 12:26 AM
I sawed a turkey in half on my bandsaw. Big mistake. Bits of turkey flesh and fat ALL OVER the inside of the saw. And slippery too, like filling the saw with oil. Took me hours to clean the saw. Never again.

John Coloccia
01-07-2015, 12:42 AM
I'm tempted to encourage you to go ahead and do it, for no other reason than to read all the "helpful" suggestions in the followup thread entitled: "Have you ever power washed a bandsaw?", followed very closely by, "Where can I buy air fresheners in bulk?"

Any chance you can just ask the local fish market how they do it? Maybe they can even do it for you for a small charge? A bandsaw's not a bad idea...just not YOUR bandsaw, and not a woodworking bandsaw. Bandsaws meant for cutting meat are also meant to be hosed down and easily cleaned.

Ryan Mooney
01-07-2015, 1:03 AM
Get a meat saw, the hand powered ones are pretty cheap ($35-40) and well worth it for stuff like this. They have a little coarser tpi than what you used and still have a fairly narrow blade (they are all mostly effectively an over sized hacksaw).

Alternatively if you had a junker panel rip saw that would probably work as well, although it'll take a wider kerf.

You can use the meat chaff from the cutting either as dog food or brown it and make a stock (yes I'm that cheap).

william watts
01-07-2015, 1:08 AM
I used a hack saw to cut a frozen ham, bone and all. No need to use your finely crafted Ryoba or Lie Nielson tenon Saw.

Tom Ewell
01-07-2015, 1:26 AM
recip saw, new blade

Edward Oleen
01-07-2015, 2:56 AM
HF single speed "Multi-tool" - 3/4moon blade. Wrap the tool in plastic, or stick the business end out of a plastic shopping bag, or something like that. Do it outside. Cover yourself in plastic sheet, like a thin plastic drop cloth. Place fish, or what ever on plastic, and sort of build a "spray painting booth" around it.

Why? you will get little bits of fish, ham, etc. ALL OVER THE NEIGHBORHOOD. But the item will be well and truly sliced and diced and...

The butcher boys use band saws: special ones made of stainless steel and have the critical works sealed away. They are cleaned nightly (or whatever) with high pressure very hot water, or steam. The meat/bone cutting blades last forever, apparently. The tables are HUGE. The saws are HUGE - they can cut up a side of beef with no problem.

Overkill for just one fish, but maybe, if you ask really nicely... (Or if your young, flirty, curvacious significant other, or sister, or girl friend asks NICELY, they might oblige...)

Duane Meadows
01-07-2015, 10:01 AM
I'm tempted to encourage you to go ahead and do it, for no other reason than to read all the "helpful" suggestions in the followup thread entitled: "Have you ever power washed a bandsaw?", followed very closely by, "Where can I buy air fresheners in bulk?"



Never power washed a bandsaw, but I have power washed many a TV chassis in my time.:D That was before modern SMD printed circuit boards though!

They do make bandsaws specifically for cutting meat. Kinda expensive for one time use though. Any excuse will do for a new tool, though!

ken masoumi
01-07-2015, 10:22 AM
I'm sure you are aware that a meat cutting bandsaw is totally different from cast iron /metal frame bandsaws,the blade and many parts inside of a meat bandsaw is made of stainless steel,and as mentioned ,these bandsaws can easily be washed as it it is a common practice in any meatshop equipped with one.

I bought my woodworking cast iron bandsaw from a gentleman who had tried to use it for cutting meat,once,but he then realised he had put his health and the health of his family at great risk ,I highly recommend that(As john mentioned) you take the meat to the local butcher shop and let them cut it for you.

Mike Henderson
01-07-2015, 10:28 AM
They make meat cutting saws. The ones I'm familiar with look a lot like a hacksaw but are made of stainless steel and have a blade designed to cut bone (mostly). I've used a regular hacksaw to cut frozen meat, or to saw through the bone of a ham (for example). It works well but you have to wash the hacksaw well before and after use.

Mike

Justin Ludwig
01-07-2015, 2:08 PM
recip saw, new blade


Beat me to it.

Ryan Mooney
01-07-2015, 2:40 PM
Here: http://www.amazon.com/GreatNeck-BUS18-Butcher-Saw-18-Inch/dp/B000HMAE3Y
search from "butcher hand meat saw"

Stop abusing your wwing tools.

Kevin Bourque
01-07-2015, 2:55 PM
Next time use a Sawzall with a fine toothed blade. Clean up is a snap!

Ole Anderson
01-07-2015, 3:57 PM
My dad once cut up a deer on his table saw in the house. I still remember the red streaks on the rafters in the basement.

Rick Moyer
01-07-2015, 5:52 PM
My dad once cut up a deer on his table saw in the house. I still remember the red streaks on the rafters in the basement.
Ok, you really need to contact Jeff Foxworthy. that's a great story.

Erik Loza
01-07-2015, 7:32 PM
Never cut anything on a bandsaw other than woood or Alu, myself, but I did sell an MM16 to a gentleman once who was a jewelry maker and bought it to cut soapstone with. Apparently, he devised some type of water sprayer to spray the workpiece with as it was cutting but he said the blade was nothing special.

I asked him, "How do you keep the water from rusting the saw?"

His reply: "You don't".

Erik Loza
Minimax USA

Richard McComas
01-11-2015, 4:57 AM
Ron Popeil would have used a Ginsu Knife.

Jim Koepke
01-11-2015, 3:20 PM
You can use the meat chaff from the cutting either as dog food or brown it and make a stock (yes I'm that cheap).


Yumm, this marvelous soup has some interesting undertones of oak... :D


jtk

Myk Rian
01-11-2015, 4:20 PM
Before I got my band saw, the last thing it had cut was a deer.
Yes, it was a bit messy inside the covers, but cleaned up ok.

Ed Aumiller
01-11-2015, 9:05 PM
Ditto to what Tom Ewell said... recip saw with fine blade... when Walmart has whole salmons (about once a year) we get several and slice them frozen...

Lee Reep
01-11-2015, 9:21 PM
I once did this with my bandsaw, but just for the halibut ...