Used the afternoon today to give a bit of a knock on some of the jobs around the place, in preparation for our relocation.

Decided to tackle the deck around the spa pool (the spa itself is looking for a new home, so the deck around it needed to suffer the same fate).  I knew the deck wasn’t great – the previous owner was a right clown, and the deck is a testament to his workmanship.

I didn’t suspect how bad it was until I started ripping into it.  Fortunately, the main deck only bears a visual resemblance to that around the spa – I suspect the deck around the spa was made later, and was cut into the original deck.

Despite being newer, the timber had rotted badly, the posts in the ground had either rotted through (and I could snap them off, despite being 100x100mm), or I simply lifted them out of the ground.  That’s right – no concrete footing, just dug 12″ into sandy soil.  Yup, stupid.

I started off with my Stanley Fubar, but although I was taking it apart neatly, things were not progressing as fast as I needed – time may be money, but at the moment, time is worth even more – I only have a finite amount of it to get the place ready before we move.

So I shot down to the local Masters store- yup, it is a cool thing having one not 5 minutes drive from my front door! Wanted to get a Reciprocating Demolition Saw.

Had a look for a while, all battery powered. Although the prices looked quite reasonable, they were all “naked” tools – sold without batteries, so you then needed to get batteries and a charger added, and that is when the price jumps.  After chatting briefly to one of the sales guys in the section, he took me to some others around the back of one of the shelving units, and that is where the corded models were.  Oh yeah.

Batteries may be convenient (until they go flat), but if you want serious power that puts the Energiser Bunny to shame (as in, it keeps going, and going, and going, and going, and………..) then you want a corded tool.

There were a few models, but the one that caught my eye was the Bosch.  Yes, it was green (which is meant to be a cheaper version of their range), but my corded drill is a green Bosch, and after 14 years, I still haven’t killed it, despite some serious abuse.  $140, which was well within the price range I was comfortable with for this tool.  Half the price of a battery version when you factor in the cost of the battery.


Bosch PSA1150

So there was me, and the deck, eyeing each other off.  And then one of the combatant’s knees started to shake.  Wasn’t mine.  It wasn’t that the deck was getting nervous (it should have been), it was simply the bad workmanship causing it to appear nervous.

Then the blade got stuck in, and that deck quickly became a representation of the tool I had commenced with.  It became FUBAR.

Within a couple of hours, there was nothing left. (Almost).  A pile of decent deck timber nailed to rotting underframes.  And the spa, sitting on top of a large block of concrete.

A few stumps remained sticking out of the ground, but a chain hoist running from a nearby tree quickly did them in.

That demo saw was superb.

One Response

  1. Hi Stu,
    I picked up one of these saws myself and like you found it to be excellent. I had been wanting a recip saw for a while and just a week earlier had spotted the Bosch as a possible purchase. Seeing this timely article made my mind up and gave me a reason to check out Masters which I had been meaning to do.

    I wanted to rip some 200x75x1200 treated timber in half to make 100×75 posts for a shed floor, and after struggling, (dangerously) with the circ saw and finishing with a hand saw (exhausting), I decided a recip saw would make life a lot easier. And did it ever. With the timbers clamped in the jawhorse, (purchased after seeing it here some time ago), I simply ripped down with this wonderful saw. I initially intended to still use the circ saw and finish with the recip. But when I realised how well this saw performed, I put the circ saw away and just did the lot with the psa 1150. I had 8 timbers to turn into 16. The first 2 with the circ saw and hand saw were a nightmare. But I did the remaining 6 in well under half the time of the first 2, with a fraction of the effort and none of the trepidation. You can see in the pics in the link how the jawhorse was invaluable also. Somehow, I doubt you’ll find that surprising 🙂 With only about a quarter of the jaw surface hanging on to about 50mm of the 200mm width and 2/3rds of the board above the jawhorse, (half has already been ripped away in the pic), it still simply did not move in the jaws, as I ripped down. Even when I hit the occasional knot and the saw struggled a bit requiring a little more pressure, the wood did not shift in the jaws.

    Anyway, thanks for the info and reviews of these great value tools which have made these tasks a whole lot easier and safer.

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