I get asked how to cut up ironwood about once a week.
It usually goes something like "I bought a big 100lb piece of Ironwood when I was in Arizona 10 years ago and I need to know how to cut it into knife handle blocks."
My first question is usually "Are you crazy?"
Followed by "What sort of woodworking equipment do you have?"
Followed by "Are you sure you want to do this?"
Followed by "Are you crazy"
If they still want to try cutting the ironwood, this is how I explain to cut the wood.
There are other ways to do it but this is my way.
This is a 3 foot long log section that I have avoided cutting for the past year. Weighs about 80 pounds or so.
It was an old piece I got from a guy who had it in his workshop for the past 25 or 30 years. He was like me, hated cutting the stuff.
Looking at the cut end it is remarkably solid for Ironwood. Usually a lot more cracks.
1st thing I do is cut off a manageable chunk about a foot long.
Next I take that chunk and turn it lengthwise to cut a straight flat surface following the grain.
Note: This is the time when inexperienced people cut off fingers. The bandsaw blade can grab and roll the log section pulling hands and fingers into the blade. This bandsaw is an old meat cutting saw. I'll leave the rest to your imagination.
I have taken wedge shaped cut off pieces and placed on both sides of the log to limit the chance of rolling.
With the wedges in place I line up the log to follow along the grain.
And cut off the rounded edge giving me a flat surface to go against the saw table.
Next I place the cut surface against the table so I can make a cut that will be the face of the blocks. The fence is now in place so I can get a fairly straight cut.
The cut surface still shows a lot of small cracks so I need to trim away another thin piece before I start cutting the slabs for blocks.
Now I have made my way to solid wood.