An angle grinder is one of the most basic equipment for cutting big amounts of metal, such as railroad lines. While the 4-inch model is too little to tackle the size of a track, the larger 8- and 12-inch models have more than enough horsepower and size to complete the task. Before starting the project, make sure that you wear protective gear because grinding wheels can get really hot when they cut into metal.
The first thing you need to do is find a good location where there are no people or animals who might be injured by the work. Then use your compass to find north. Next, look for locations on the track where it is not being used - areas where one rail is higher than the other or curves where one side of the line is lower than the other. These are called breakaway posts and give you reference points when cutting back onto the track.
Once you have found these posts, measure the distance between them. This is known as the breakaway post spacing and determines how many feet of track needs to be removed with each pass of the wheel. A track cutter should be able to remove about 1/4 inch of metal with each pass. If the posts are closer together, then you will need to make more passes over the same area. If they are farther apart, then you can cut through the metal more quickly.
There's no reason why you couldn't use a track saw to cut 2x4s if it can cut that deep. To cut 2x4s, simply prop up the other end of the track so you don't have to battle it as it tries to move on you as you cut. You'll want a straight line every time because there's no way to adjust the blade depth once you start cutting.
As long as the track saw is set up right and you have enough power, then it shouldn't be an issue.
Check out our post on how to rip 2x4s with a track saw if you need help getting started.
The track saw is excellent for ripping boards, trimming trim, and making splinter-free cuts across panels. When used as a plunge saw, the track saw is also ideal since you can set it to a specific depth and it will not fail you. The track saw is driven by a gasoline engine or electric motor.
You can rip up to 3/4 inch thick stock with a track saw. Be sure to use a cutting blade that is designed for your track saw. Typically, these blades are sold separately from the saw but there are some manufacturers who sell integrated cutting systems. If you want to get really precise, you can always rip parallel edge strips 1/8 inch apart. This is called half-blind riving and it's perfect for creating decorative borders around each side of a book.
Half-blind riving is easier said than done though. It requires accurate setting of the depth stop so that each strip ends up exactly where you want it to. Also, be careful not to go too deep with the cut or you might damage the wood. A half-blind ripped board looks great but isn't very useful because you cannot see what's underneath. You should only rip materials that you plan on using immediately. Trying to use a half-blind ripped board as a flooring material would be a bad idea since you wouldn't know how deep the cut goes until after you've finished installing it.
I cut a ground rod in half with the M12 bandsaw and drive each 4 feet in. I made a post about it a while back. The secret is to cut at an angle so that each have a point. Then they won't bend when you push them in the soil.
Also check out this video of someone who cuts ground rods for a living: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZVH_WYFzqM