Long cuts

Long cuts2016-03-03T21:41:35+00:00
  • Creator
  • #2028593

    Post count: 2

    hello all. I’ve searched the web and maybe I’m not using the right terminology but I live in an apartment and that means aside from a drill I cannot use power tools.

    I have a few panels which need to be trimmed down. They are 11.25 inches wide 24 inches long and 3/4 inch thick. On two of them I need to take 3/4 inches off the width, so cutting along the grain, a rip cut no?

    Thing is, I’ve been reading and I’ve heard use a panel saw and plane or even use a ryoba other type of Japanese saw. But simply put, what’s the best method to make a straight 24 inch cut down the grain?  Please help. Thanks.

  • Author
  • James Wright
    Post count: 108

    Easily done. You can use a panel saw to make the cut staying a bit away from the line then use a plane to clean it up. That is a rip cut. I thought Wood and shop had a video on it but I can not find it. Here is one I made a wile ago showing a friend. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jR7vXIiEBZA

  • Kyngfish
    Post count: 2


    Seems like an obvious solution.  Thanks for helping me out.  Does the same thing apply for cutting across the grain? (10-12 inches).

    Also, if I have to get one plane, is the number 4 the one?

  • James Wright
    Post count: 108

    Cross grain is basically the same but you will have a tendency to rip out the grain you can stop that by scoring  the fibers along the cut. that scorning line can also be your cutting line. a #4 or #5 works great for that clean up. a #5 will get you a bit flatter surface because it has a longer sole. that is one fo the reasons the #5 is known as the Jack of all Planes.


    Here is Great video on doing Cross cuts and a few others from the woodWright show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kphJ-j0ygI

  • Mike in TN
    Post count: 289


    James is right on track, just be sure to use a rip saw for rip cuts and a crosscut saw for crosscuts. The exception to this is for fine tooth bench saws where a rip toothed saw can be used very effectively for crosscuts.. The only things I would add is to try your saw on a long cut in a piece of scrap first in order to detect any tendencies to lead off the line before you try it on actual project stock, and correct the saw if necessary. Also, when it comes to trimming, it becomes a judgment call by the craftsman as to whether it is better to saw or plane the excess off. If I only had a quarter inch or so that had to come off of a rip I believe I would just reach for a roughing plane to do the work. You do have to be more careful with a crosscut because of the inherent weakness of short grain and the increased difficulty of planning end grain. On crosscuts you should pre-score the grain, leave less stock that requires planning, and use a shooting board and/or backing strips to prevent blowout during end grain planning.

    On the subject of a choice between #4 or #5, I think a #5 can be more versatile if you take the time to set it up properly between different  uses (rough work and smoothing) but it all gets back to the type of work you intend to do the most. For me, I believe that a beginner should buy a good Stanley for each of the basic plane functions and set them up and tune them for the individual functions. As inexpensive as these older planes are it is money well spent to keep from having to make the changes necessary to support the different functions. For the cost of one of the newer planes you can easily buy a full set of the old Stanleys from the local flea markets or estate sales and have some great tools in the bargain. There are some good brands other than Stanley but a beginner would have difficulty sorting the good stuff from the junk.

    Above all else, have fun.

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