Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
27

One obvious solution is not letting the saw do anything that you don't want it to do by using a guide. In the easiest case, the fingers of your left hand are the guide, much like a professional chef would handle a knife, except one normally uses the thumb's nail for that with a saw. Alternatively, you can simply fasten a straight piece of wood with a screw ...


27

One very important step in using a hand saw is not to force the saw. You shouldn't be trying to force the saw through the wood. The cutting blades are sharp. Once you have a groove started, ease up on the saw and let the teeth do the work for you. Sure, it takes a bit longer at first, but you are rewarded with straighter cuts with cleaner ends. Secondly,...


24

I am no pro but here's my tip. I mark the four sides and give a 2mm deep cut on the four sides. This way when starting cut on the top the blade tends to stay aligned with the previous cuts. I've been pretty much successful with this method. Drawings are better than words:


15

I am a beginner myself with hand sawing, but the following tips worked for me for straighter saw cuts: Mark your cuts either with a pencil or marking knife or both. This allows you to see if you follow the line. The added benefit of using a marking knife is that it severes wood fibres, so there is less tearing or splintering on the exit side. Do not force ...


12

Rust removal basically falls into three camps: abrasive, chemical and electrical. Many people use a little of two of these, for example by abrading most of the rust away and then using certain polishes which have some chemical action in addition to the fine abrasive particles that physically polish the metal. An additional point, it's worth degreasing (...


11

Hand saws may never get used in a shop that turns out cabinets exclusively, but in most shops they have a wide variety of uses. Yes, there are specific rip and crosscut saws, but the woodworkers I know have mostly adopted Japanese style hand saws. A ryoba saw is a great tool to have around. It has crosscut teeth on one side and ripping teeth on the other. ...


10

well, there may be more to it that you'd think. And definitely an interesting piece of trivia. There are 2 types of nibs, either as something sticking out like on the picture in the question, or as a little notch. There are multiple answers, ranging from: nothing, that's just for decoration this can be used to attach a blade guard (so you tie the strings ...


10

Vinegar-and-salt rust removal has been recommended for tools as slow but very safe and very effective. I'd remove wooden handles first, of course. I've been meaning to clean up a bunch of old handsaws myself, along with a few other abused tools. I'm not a chemist, but my understanding is that the acetic acid reacts with iron oxide to form iron (III) ...


9

There are a few common differences between Japanese and Western saws: A decent Japanese saw is often cheaper than a decent Western saw. The body mechanics of sawing are different--with a Japanese saw, you cut on the pull stroke and stand more in-line with the cut, whereas with a Western saw you cut on the push stroke and stand at an angle to the cut (so ...


8

You are a brave individual--attempting to hand plane. I've successfully hand-planed my workbench and here was my method: Use two totally flat sticks (winding sticks) on each end of the board to identify twist. If there is twist, begin by skimming from the high surfaces. Starting at one end of the board, stretch one stick across the grain and look for light ...


8

The explanation I'd always seen was that this "single tooth" could be used to create an initial nick in the wood to start the cut at a fairly precise place. Without that nick, the first cut has a tendency to slip sideways a bit, losing accuracy. You could create the guide nick in other ways -- with a chisel, for example -- perhaps more accurately. But ...


7

There are definitely still rip saw vs. crosscut saw blades for circular saws. Attention should be paid to purchase the right blade for the right task, since the tooth design in the blade dictates whether the saw will produce a nicely finished edge when the cut is complete. They do make saws that are designed to do either ripping or crosscutting, but some ...


7

A trollish question indeed ;) My favorite answer has been, "So you can recognize an old saw at garage sales," but the most well referenced sources I've found indicate that it was originally placed as a decoration and just stuck.


7

Are there practical reasons to purchase Japanese saws to add them to my collection or are these just something I want to purchase as a gimmick? Despite their obvious excellent qualities to be honest I think the answer is more in the realm of the gimmick/curiosity than a needed addition to the arsenal of a Western woodworker. In part this observation is ...


7

I wondered this for years and so I emailed Christopher Schwarz (former editor of Popular Woodworking magazine and now owner of Lost Art Press. He seems to research historical things very well and he responded that neither he nor anyone else knows for sure. He said he had asked Roy Underhill (host of PBS's Woodwright's Shop) and a few others. So, nobody ...


7

I know that a number of design features contribute to a superior saw. So what makes a great saw great? The number one required thing for a hand saw is that is cuts straight. This isn't something that you can tell just from looking at it (usually - if the saw plate is bent then it clearly won't cut straight). A saw will cut straight when it's filed ...


7

With a handsaw, one trick is to score through the veneer with a straightedge and sharp knife. Then use a finely-toothed blade, and let the blade do the work rather than trying to force it into the wood --always good practice, but especially in this situation. You may want to experiment with cutting angles, to cut less perpendicularly to the veneer surface. ...


7

Which tool would be best to accomplish this Of the saws you list I think the pull saw is the best choice, in fact while it's theoretically possible to do it with one or two of the others doing it with the pull saw may be the only reasonable option. The Japanese routinely resaw boards by hand with their saws* and many Western woodworkers who use Asian-...


7

What you're talking about is timber-frame construction, and you're on the right track. I read somewhere it is best to use fairly fresh cut trees for this, to make the hewing easier. Yup. Green wood is much easier to cut, especially with hand tools. But how long do I need to dry them afterwards before using? If I just seal and use them directly will I risk ...


6

Setting the teeth has a few benefits: It creates a kerf wider than the body of the blade, which does indeed reduce the chance of a catch / buckle- this is nominally more important in western-style push saws than in japanese-style pull saws. You can stil have a bound blade if there are stresses in the wood that tend to cause the kerf to close. A wider kerf ...


6

I do not know the specific make of that guide but it is known as a hand mitre saw. For example, from here: (The one in that image appears to resemble a vintage Stanley mitre box, maybe a Stanley 358.) There are other styles of mitre guides and boxes, too, the most familiar probably being the little plastic box with angled slots in the sides.


6

I have tried in the past to make precision cuts using a hand saw and always have issues with the blade sticking or hopping out of the cut. If by sticking you mean that the friction between the blade and the wood is very high, that could be one of a few problems: The wood you are sawing is closing the kerf and pinching the blade, Your cut isn't straight, ...


5

It's also worth mentioning that old rip saws are fairly easy to find on eBay and, I'd wager, at garage and estate sales just about anywhere. Finding one in decent shape to use may be more of a challenge, but there is no shortage of online tutorials for fixing up old tools. Here are some interesting links. WK Fine Tools internet magazine has a fairly ...


5

One time honored method for achieving square cuts is to use a miter box. Check out this article on Ditch the Miter Box for an interesting discussion of pros and cons. The main article suggests abandoning miter boxes and using a back saw without the box for making precise cuts. No matter how you make the cut, one sure aid in getting a straight cut is to ...


5

Make sure you're applying force in line with the blade; shift your stance as necessary to achieve this. It may help to extend your index finger along the blade, to help you feel where the force should be going. Do not push down through the cut. Let the weight of the blade and its motion do the work, whenever possible. For thin-kerf cuts, use a saw that had ...


5

First question about this is does brass sand away with regular sandpaper (say 120 grit) or does it require something special? Yes it does but you'll run into a big issue with metallic particles being spread over the wood and possibly becoming lodged. The tiniest of recesses can harbour metal dust and you'll catch glints even from individual specs from ...


5

My hope is that in general hand tools will not produce fine enough dust to be concerned with. While it is now fairly widely known that the finer dusts are the most hazardous (as produced primarily by certain power tools) this can tend to obscure the fact that all wood dust is a potential health hazard. This position is considered overly cautious by the ...


4

Dōzuki (胴付(鋸)) A type of backsaw. The Japanese means "attached trunk", thus a saw with a stiffening strip attached, i.e., a backsaw. Ryōba (両刃) Multi-purpose carpentry saw with two cutting edges. The Japanese means "double blade". There is a cross-cutting (yokobiki) blade on one side and a ripping (tatebiki) blade on the other. Azebiki (...


4

I read that having a proper saw set reduces the chance of the saw blade buckling. One purpose of set is to reduce the chance of a saw binding in the kerf. This can lead to buckling, but with some saws it would be nearly impossible for them to buckle in use (a quality backsaw for example, due to the added stiffness provided by the sawback). Saws with no ...


4

That's part of the nature of Western-pattern saws, unless they're extremely finely tuned - they tend to "flutter" on the return stroke. That's because a thousandth of an inch of misalignment in the kerf triangulates out to a pretty large fraction of an inch at the far tip, so if the saw vibrates within the kerf, the tip will flutter. The best advice I can ...


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