Panel Saws

Panel Saws 2016-07-31T20:36:19+00:00
  • Creator
    Topic
  • #2029061

    Patrick
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    Hello,

    I am new to woodworking and am starting to buildout my tool kit.  I am building a complete list of tools I want to start with but one area I am having trouble is finding Panel Saw options (rip saw and cross cut saw.)  Really at this point the only panel saws I can find that look like reasonable options are the Lie Nielsen Panel Saws.  But before I spend $450 on those two saw I would like to see if there are any lower cost options that might work for me.  I do know that I don’t want to buy used as I want something off the shelf that is ready to go.  And I also want a saw that will make my job easier and is well built and will last, but if there are other lower cost options, I would like to consider them.

    Thanks for any guidance!

    Pat

  • Author
    Replies
  • James Wright
    Participant
    Post count: 108

    you could always buy them at garage sales and antique shops. I rarely pay move than $5 and they are a great place to learn to sharpen a saw. you can buy a lot of those for the price of one new saw. and it only takes an hour or so to restore one.

    • Mike in TN
      Participant
      Post count: 253

      Please forgive me repeating much of what the previous posters have stated .

      There is a lot of confusion around associated with the term “panel saw”. As I understand it, the term was originally used for a shorter hand saw that was sized to fit into smaller tool boxes and designed the more limited work normally performed by cabinetmakers and some joiners. One thing to note is that The idea was that the shorter saws was suitable for sawing panels, used in cabinet and wainscot work, as opposed to the long strokes used in carpentry work. The term is increasingly used for any of the handsaws used for carpentry work regardless of length. Obviously, Patrick is aware of the differences and is seeking a set of the shorter length saws. One thing to note is that the saws normally sold in “the big box stores” are about the same length as panel saws and, while not high-end, will preform most crosscut functions adequately well at much lower cost than many of the saws on the market. Also note that there is no real advantage to the panel saws except for easier storage and fewer teeth to sharpen when sharpening has to be done.  Sometimes, “cheap” is good enough, sometime it isn’t, and you get to make that decision.

      Rip cuts are a different story. The old rip saws were more common in the longer length because most saws were produced, in general for carpentry work. Ripping long boards was difficult work  and longer saws, longer strokes, made the work go faster. Short board ripping was simply not as laborious. Common saw offerings are now shorter because power tools have pretty much replaced hand tools in carpentry and the shorter saws are easier to store. While some of the “big-box” saws will do some ripping, they aren’t really designed for that work and don’t do it very well. You can re-tooth a saw as long as the teeth haven’t been impulse hardened, but if you are going to do that, why not just do the work on an fine old saw that needs sharpening anyway? While saw sharpening really isn’t a difficult thing to learn ( I recommend it to any serious woodworker) and the necessary tools are relatively inexpensive, but it is beyond what Patrick wants to take on right now. Unfortunately Patrick may either be faced with purchasing a high end new rip saw, buying an older saw from  dealer who specializes in restoring old saws, learning to sharpen, or settling on a standard length carpentry rip saw and one of the options mentioned.

      Buying a set of the saws Mr. Sellers recommends may be a good option. He typically tries to steer woodworkers to economical options. If you are like me, when building my tool kit I was focused on “bang-for-the- buck” and ignored the high end offerings unless they offered significant benefits that the other available tools didn’t. That is why I learned to restore, re-sharpen, and build. Most new tools are sold needing some tuning, older tools usually need restoring and it is a never ending task in the woodshop. Even though some of my current tools are “high end” I have never regretted developing those skills.

      Have fun

       

       

  • GM
    Participant
    Post count: 11

    Pat,

    I bought two Japanese saws from Highland.  I think they cost about $90 or so for the two together.

    I also read a recent review on the blog published by Paul Sellers about an inexpensive saw that he recommends.  I suggest you check that out.

    Best regards,

    Gary

  • Patrick
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    you could always buy them at garage sales and antique shops. I rarely pay move than $5 and they are a great place to learn to sharpen a saw. you can buy a lot of those for the price of one new saw. and it only takes an hour or so to restore one.

    Thanks for your reply.  My concern with buying a saw that requires refurbishment or even just blade sharpening is I am brand new to this and I have never sharpened a blade.  Also I don’t really know what to look for when evaluating a used saw.  So really at this point, my preference is to buy a new saw.

    Thanks again for your suggestions.

  • James Wright
    Participant
    Post count: 108

    The other option would be to buy a refurbished saw. Bad Axe is well known for selling restored saws at a great price. also, there are a lot of others who do it and sell them on eBay. often you can get a great saw restored by someone who knows how to for $50-$150 depending on what type you are looking for.

  • Patrick
    Participant
    Post count: 4

    The other option would be to buy a refurbished saw. Bad Axe is well known for selling restored saws at a great price. also, there are a lot of others who do it and sell them on eBay. often you can get a great saw restored by someone who knows how to for $50-$150 depending on what type you are looking for.

    Hi,

    I am going to call Bad Axe but I also decided to look on eBay and see what is there and I have a question…

    It seem like most of the saws are 26″ blades and that is really longer than I was looking for.  And most of the saws that are a shorter length are labeled as cross cut.  Is there a reason that most of the rip saws are longer?  Could I have a shorter cross cut saw converted to a rip or will the longer saw perform better?

    Thanks!

  • James Wright
    Participant
    Post count: 108

    You tend to rip wider and longer stock than you do when you crosscut. So the rip saw tends to be longer for the same tooth size. usually when you crosscut you are only cutting the thinnest dimension of the board. and Rip cutting often is cutting the widest dimension of the board.

  • Patrick
    Participant
    Post count: 4
  • James Wright
    Participant
    Post count: 108

    Sure it is all about the angle the teeth are filed. For online that is a decent price.

  • MervilleHomesteader
    Participant
    Post count: 10

    Buying new or otherwise you will need to sharpen that saw some day. There are sharpening services everywhere. Till I took the plunge and decided to either learn or destroy my saws I just took them in to get sharpened. Lee Valley up here in Canada sells the PAX brand saws breasted and taper ground, that’s more than most folks are offering these days. $139 Canuck bucks apiece. Also as for shorter panel saws just buy a decent longer used one and take a file and gouge a line across the last 3 inches or more if your going shorter. Gouge a good deep line and bust it off ( a little trick I learned from Mr. Underhill by the way) then clean it up with the file and round the top corner ( you can even file a nib in there if you so desire) and send it to sharpening service of your choice. One panel saw at your service. The left over end does two things, it makes a decent scraper or as I plan to do with mine on my new work bench, which should be done in the next decade or two. I plan to use it as a toothed stop for holding my wood when planing. I would like to recess it and spring load the bugger to give it some depth adjust. Till then it’s in a box in a cabinet somewhere in my basement workshop quietly awaiting it’s destiny.

  • Robert Porter
    Participant
    Post count: 5

    Antique saws are in my opinion always a better option for someone on a budget. Getting a saw restored from someone who knows how to do it properly isn’t that hard. I have done quite a few for myself and others. If you find a old saw at a flea market and the tote is complete and not busted up and the plate is straight and not terribly pitted you will end up with an awesome saw for a fraction of the cost of a new LN. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me and I’ll see if I can help guide you in the right direction. My email is [email protected]

     

    Robert

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Log In
Join

Wood and Shop in your inbox?

Subscribe to get Joshua's free traditional woodworking videos, articles & news:

You have Successfully Subscribed!