34 votes

When using a hand saw, how do I cut a straight line?

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 ...
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  • 3,805
32 votes

When using a hand saw, how do I cut a straight line?

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 ...
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  • 3,995
26 votes

When using a hand saw, how do I cut a straight line?

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 ...
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  • 791
22 votes

When using a hand saw, how do I cut a straight line?

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 ...
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  • 490
14 votes
Accepted

What are some efficient and effective ways to remove rust on old hand saws?

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 ...
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  • 58.9k
12 votes
Accepted

Do rip saws still have a place in the wood shop?

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 ...
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  • 638
10 votes
Accepted

Comparison of Western saws and Japanese Saws

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,...
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  • 18.5k
10 votes

What are some efficient and effective ways to remove rust on old hand saws?

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 ...
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  • 9,101
9 votes

What is the purpose of a saw nib?

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 ...
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9 votes
Accepted

Best way to flatten boards by hand

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 ...
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  • 4,156
8 votes

What is the purpose of a saw nib?

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 ...
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  • 9,101
8 votes
Accepted

How to prevent sticking and hopping when cutting with a hand saw?

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 ...
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  • 12.1k
8 votes

What makes a hand saw great?

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 ...
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  • 12.1k
8 votes
Accepted

How can I resaw material using only hand tools?

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 ...
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  • 58.9k
8 votes

Respirator / Dust mask for hand tools?

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 ...
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  • 58.9k
7 votes

Do rip saws still have a place in the wood shop?

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 ...
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  • 3,995
7 votes

When using a hand saw, how do I cut a straight line?

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 ...
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  • 3,648
7 votes

Comparison of Western saws and Japanese Saws

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 ...
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  • 58.9k
7 votes

How can I cut veneer with a hand saw and not chip it?

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 ...
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  • 9,101
6 votes

What is the purpose of a saw set?

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 ...
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  • 4,382
6 votes

What is the purpose of a saw nib?

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 ...
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  • 1,669
6 votes

When using a hand saw, how do I cut a straight line?

I'm a week late to this question but I'll throw in a bit of my experience. Hand sawing does involve much body mechanics as was previously described. Assuming your shoulders are aligned and you're ...
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  • 1,669
6 votes

When using a hand saw, how do I cut a straight line?

Careful measuring and marking Stop your work moving by using a vice or bench-hook Use a sharp saw Make sure you are comfortable and have room to work Dont rush Practice
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6 votes

What is the purpose of a saw nib?

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 ...
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  • 5,384
6 votes

What kind of a hand saw guide is being used in this video?

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....
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  • 5,511
6 votes
Accepted

Building a Cabin; only un-powered hand tools. Need advice

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 ...
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5 votes

Do rip saws still have a place in the wood shop?

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 ...
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5 votes

Best way to flatten boards by hand

but I never get completely flat. We're not supposed to ask questions but normally I'd ask here in what way(s) your boards aren't flat after planing with the no. 4. If you can identify a consistent ...
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  • 58.9k
5 votes

I need a critique on my sawing technique

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 ...
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  • 9,101
5 votes

Restore old embossed saw handle?

Without knowing the exact condition of your handle it's difficult to say for sure how I'd approach this if it was mine, but it's likely I would remove the last traces of the original finish, clean the ...
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  • 58.9k

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