Sawing straight?

//Sawing straight?
Sawing straight? 2015-07-15T16:55:29+00:00
  • Creator
    Topic
  • #2026794

    AndrewLeslie
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    This may seem like a silly question, but for me it’s a bit like cooking rice; it seems super simple, and other people seem to do it just fine, but I keep burning it, or it’s too starchy, or something.

    I can’t seem to cut straight with a hand saw.

    Do you all have any tips about ways to maintain a straight cut over a distance? As someone without a workbench or vice, tips that don’t involve those things are especially welcome. Sadly, I’ve no space for a bench just now!

    As you can probably guess, I’m new to woodworking; still, this is my biggest setback, unquestionably, and learning how to get it right will help me greatly.

    Also, if you end up with a slanted cut, are there easy ways to bring it to square without taking a gamble and attempting to resaw it?

    Thanks.

  • Author
    Replies
  • Seth Ruffin
    Participant
    Post count: 62

    I found this video of the woodwright shop to be very helpful.

    <span style=”line-height: 1.5;”>https://youtu.be/8N3rW7hSx3I</span&gt;

    Also it can be really helpful to make sure the saws you are using are tuned properly. I have a saw that has the wrong set on one side which makes my kerf lopsided and makes my saw slowly go astray.

    What helped me most though was the woodwright shop episode. Christopher Schwarz does a good job explaining technique and then also discussing the levels of cuts and how to make each level better.

    Seth

  • tcaley4
    Participant
    Post count: 2

    I have the same problem

    I can’t remember where I read it, but my issue seems to be my stanch.  I was standing too close behind the cut, and it was not letting my arm move back and forth in a straight line.  I am still having some issues, but it is getting much better since I have been trying this.

  • SDaniel
    Participant
    Post count: 1

    Try this video
    <h1 class=”yt watch-title-container” style=”margin: 0px 0px 13px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 24px; display: table-cell; vertical-align: top; width: 610px; color: #222222; font-weight: normal; line-height: normal; word-wrap: break-word; font-family: Roboto, arial, sans-serif; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;”><span id=”eow-title” class=”watch-title ” dir=”ltr” style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; background: transparent;” title=”RWW191 One Step to Better Hand Sawing”>RWW191 One Step to Better Hand Sawing</span></h1>

  • gbeglau
    Participant
    Post count: 8

    Don’t feel bad Andrew. I have not yet even been able to attempt to saw anything. I am not even sure which saw I should use for what. Before I began trying to learn about hand woodworking, I thought a saw was a saw was a saw (ha, how’s that for a unintentional palindrome?) Maybe you can help me on this one: finer tooth saws are for ripcutting while crosscutting required less teeth per inch?

  • Seth Ruffin
    Participant
    Post count: 62

    Again I suggest watching this video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=8N3rW7hSx3I

    Towards the end Roy Underhill does an excellent job explaining the difference between a crosscut saw and a rip saw. Essentially, a rip saw cuts with the grain (the teeth of a rip saw chisel the fibers of the wood as it cuts along (parallel) the grain of the wood) and a crosscut saw cuts across the grain (the teeth of a crosscut saw cut like a knife the fibers of the wood as it cuts across (perpendicular) the grain of the wood).

    The number of teeth or teeth per inch (tpi) relates to the fineness of the cut. If I remember correctly a crosscut saw does need fewer tpi in order to get the same fineness of cut as a rip saw. For instance to get a very clean cut a rip saw may need 12 tpi but for the same very clean cut a crosscut saw may need a 15 tpi. I believe that this is due to how the saw actually cuts. Since the crosscut needs to actually cut like a knife across the fibers the natural process of cutting across fibers creates greater potential for tearing pulling and fraying of the ends of the fibers. Thus the need for a very sharp knife (aka. each tooth) as well as each knife cutting being very near to each (aka high tpi count) other in order to help compress the fibers while cutting and essentially have each knife help each other in the process.

    Again, I recommend watching the Woodwright Shop episode “Sawing Secrets.” Roy Underhill’s visual aide using a straw broom, chisels, and knives to help show what a say is actually doing as it cuts is extremely helpful in understanding why it is beneficial to use different saws in different applications.

    Seth

     

  • AndrewLeslie
    Participant
    Post count: 12

    Seth, that video is great! I learned a whole lot about how saws work. I’ll have to try again, with their tips. Thanks.

    tcaley4, that’s very possibly an issue I have too. I know I also have the tendency to get impatient and put more downward force on it than I, perhaps, should. Thanks, I’ll try out different stances, and see!

    SDaniel, I’ll check out that video later today; I’m sure it’ll be helpful, thanks!

    gbeglau, I also thought all saws were essentially the same, just with different sized teeth. It’s amazing how wrong I was, haha. I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know what a handplane was until last year or so. Glad a place like WoodAndShop, and people like Paul Sellers, and Joshua Farnsworth, and the folks at the Woodwright Shop exist, to ferry these ideas and techniques into the modern age.

    • gbeglau
      Participant
      Post count: 8

      Thanks for tips gentlemen. I will definitely be looking into those videos this evening. I am certain my wife thinks I’ve hit my head with my growing interest in hand tools.

      Andrew, I think I am about a year behind. I just bought my first handplane yesterday. Although, I am not sure how good of purchase it was, it appears to be in almost new condition and it was only 15$. Ace Hardware 9 inch smoothing plane. I am anxious to give it a go.

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