A morning sawing

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RobNichols

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I've had a very pleasurable morning sawing.

I'm making a shelf unit for my granddaughter and have an off-cut of oak that I thought would be nice for end boards. First job was to cut it to size.

My main ripping panel saw has been a Spear and Jackson Skew Back 7tpi saw. This has been a great saw for me to start my handsaw woodworking as Paul Sellers suggests, and I would highly recommend it to anyone starting hand tool carpentry. However, I have picked up a second hand panel saw for a couple of quid from a junk stall that feels really nice in my hand but was blunt. This morning I decided it was time to sharpen it, and cutting the panel to size was the perfect job to try it out on.

My previous saw sharpening has been on carcass and dovetails saws, so I found sharpening the panel saw so much easier as the teeth are so much bigger. No need to get my magnifier headset out, I could see the teeth clearly with just my ordinary workshop glasses. As I realised this was going to be easier, I decided to go the whole hog and start by jointing the teeth. I have a Veritas jointer and new mill file which made that job easy and finished by setting the teeth with a sawset. The whole process was very straight forward - eased by the teeth being sharpened for ripping - so no fleam to worry about. If I had any sense I'd have started to saw sharpening experience with a panel saw, but I had a few spare back saws to practice on, so started small ...

I was really pleased with the result. Not only did the saw cut more effectively, it felt so much more controlled. I don't know how to describe it ... I could "feel" the saw cutting through the wood, in a way I haven't with the S&J saw. Perhaps it's the sharpening, or it could be the balance. The handle is a lot closer to the blade with the old saw. With the S&J there is a significant amount of wood in the handle between the blade and the grip.

rip-saws.jpg

I don't know the make of the old saw. Can anyone identify it from the stud/button:

saw-button.jpg

Once I had the board cut to size, the next job was to resaw it in two. I'd initially planned to do this on my bandsaw, but at 11 inches square, found the board to be too big. So I decided to do it by hand. Something I'd wanted to have a go at for some time.

Resawing by hand took a lot of effort over about an hour. After a little trial and error I found it easiest to cut the kerf using my crosscut and rip carcass saws. I went as deep as I could with these alternating them as i rotated the board; cutting into each side in turn. I then moved to my bow saw, it's Japanese universal saw blade being good no matter which orientation I held the board. However, even that wouldn't get the the last central part and I finished the last part of the cut with the newly sharpened panel saw (after trying attacking it with a froe to see if I could pop the final bit apart - I couldn't but it made access a little easier for the saw).

I'm very pleased with the result.

resawing.jpg
resawn-board.jpg


I'll probably keep to using the bandsaw for day-to-day resawing, but it's good to know this options is available to me when I want to separate a large board.

I'll leave planing the boards flat for another day.
 
That’s not an easy thing to get even approximately right, good thing you did a kerfing cut.
Must say I’ve never had the time or the inclination to sharpen my own saws, ( last one was £7) but you seem to know all about it and obviously the result is good!
 
I've had a very pleasurable morning sawing.

I'm making a shelf unit for my granddaughter and have an off-cut of oak that I thought would be nice for end boards. First job was to cut it to size.

My main ripping panel saw has been a Spear and Jackson Skew Back 7tpi saw. This has been a great saw for me to start my handsaw woodworking as Paul Sellers suggests, and I would highly recommend it to anyone starting hand tool carpentry. However, I have picked up a second hand panel saw for a couple of quid from a junk stall that feels really nice in my hand but was blunt. This morning I decided it was time to sharpen it, and cutting the panel to size was the perfect job to try it out on.

My previous saw sharpening has been on carcass and dovetails saws, so I found sharpening the panel saw so much easier as the teeth are so much bigger. No need to get my magnifier headset out, I could see the teeth clearly with just my ordinary workshop glasses. As I realised this was going to be easier, I decided to go the whole hog and start by jointing the teeth. I have a Veritas jointer and new mill file which made that job easy and finished by setting the teeth with a sawset. The whole process was very straight forward - eased by the teeth being sharpened for ripping - so no fleam to worry about. If I had any sense I'd have started to saw sharpening experience with a panel saw, but I had a few spare back saws to practice on, so started small ...

I was really pleased with the result. Not only did the saw cut more effectively, it felt so much more controlled. I don't know how to describe it ... I could "feel" the saw cutting through the wood, in a way I haven't with the S&J saw. Perhaps it's the sharpening,......
Definitely the sharpening! Saws are very simple devices and only as good as the last sharpening.
Rip saw better at 4.5 tpi or even less.
I cheat by kerfing all round first, over the TS. Then hand or band saw out the middle.
There are rumoured to be kerfing planes for this purpose i.e. cutting narrow but deep slot before ripping.
 
Definitely the sharpening! Saws are very simple devices and only as good as the last sharpening.
Rip saw better at 4.5 tpi or even less.
I cheat by kerfing all round first, over the TS. Then hand or band saw out the middle.
There are rumoured to be kerfing planes for this purpose i.e. cutting narrow but deep slot before ripping.
Hmm. I might have to see if I can find a nice second hand low tpi panel saw to play with. I've got a couple that I plan to sharpen for cross cut.

I also fancy building a bad axe roubo saw. The kit comes with parts for a kerfing saw too. Though to be honest, I wonder if using carcass saws to cut the kerf will work OK for me.

Too many perspective workshop projects, too little time.
 
Get some paint stripper on the S&J to get the lacquer off - it'll feel altogether different. This works for throw away saws as well.
One of the best quick jobs I did in the workshop was to knock apart one of those cheap, mass produced beechwood mallets and smooth off all the sharp, machine moulded, edges on the handle using a a power sander.
It's now plesant to use instead of making me wish I had gloves on every time I picked it up.
Same must surely apply to those mass produced wooden saw handles👍
 
Hmm. I might have to see if I can find a nice second hand low tpi panel saw to play with. I've got a couple that I plan to sharpen for cross cut.

I also fancy building a bad axe roubo saw. The kit comes with parts for a kerfing saw too. Though to be honest, I wonder if using carcass saws to cut the kerf will work OK for me.

Too many perspective workshop projects, too little time.
This is typical rip-saw but teeth filed for crosscut. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/276369069701
Look out for similar - if not named as rip saw and not spotted can make them cheaper
 
A little research (OK - I've been googling) suggests that the "Warranted Superior" medallion suggests that the old saw is a fairly generic bog standard saw that could have been made by any number of makers. Though its interesting in itself as to what generic standard looked like years ago.
 
In the U.S., some of us say that those saws were made by the prolific sawmakers Warren and Ted Superior. The medallion is often found on "second line" saws, or saws made for someone (say, a hardware store), by respected sawmakers. Frequently, the difference is in the finish details, not in the saw steel or tooth configuration; for badge engineered saws made for someone, the saw may be just about identical to the maker's saw, but with a different etch. The proof of quality, or lack thereof, is in the use.

The gap between first line and second line tools in general was often far narrower than we find nowadays, particularly for hand tools. When hand tools were how you got things done, even someone without a lot of money would demand/expect a tool that would, indeed, get things done. A lot of modern consumer grade hand tools are suitable for binning (to use y'all's term), not for use.

But surely, there were garbage tools produced back in the late 19th/early 20th century, too. Perhaps it's just that the saws with the "warranted mediocre" medallions have not survived.
 
Last edited:
I've had a very pleasurable morning sawing.

I'm making a shelf unit for my granddaughter and have an off-cut of oak that I thought would be nice for end boards. First job was to cut it to size.

My main ripping panel saw has been a Spear and Jackson Skew Back 7tpi saw. This has been a great saw for me to start my handsaw woodworking as Paul Sellers suggests, and I would highly recommend it to anyone starting hand tool carpentry. However, I have picked up a second hand panel saw for a couple of quid from a junk stall that feels really nice in my hand but was blunt. This morning I decided it was time to sharpen it, and cutting the panel to size was the perfect job to try it out on.

My previous saw sharpening has been on carcass and dovetails saws, so I found sharpening the panel saw so much easier as the teeth are so much bigger. No need to get my magnifier headset out, I could see the teeth clearly with just my ordinary workshop glasses. As I realised this was going to be easier, I decided to go the whole hog and start by jointing the teeth. I have a Veritas jointer and new mill file which made that job easy and finished by setting the teeth with a sawset. The whole process was very straight forward - eased by the teeth being sharpened for ripping - so no fleam to worry about. If I had any sense I'd have started to saw sharpening experience with a panel saw, but I had a few spare back saws to practice on, so started small ...

I was really pleased with the result. Not only did the saw cut more effectively, it felt so much more controlled. I don't know how to describe it ... I could "feel" the saw cutting through the wood, in a way I haven't with the S&J saw. Perhaps it's the sharpening, or it could be the balance. The handle is a lot closer to the blade with the old saw. With the S&J there is a significant amount of wood in the handle between the blade and the grip.

View attachment 177267
I don't know the make of the old saw. Can anyone identify it from the stud/button:

View attachment 177268
Once I had the board cut to size, the next job was to resaw it in two. I'd initially planned to do this on my bandsaw, but at 11 inches square, found the board to be too big. So I decided to do it by hand. Something I'd wanted to have a go at for some time.

Resawing by hand took a lot of effort over about an hour. After a little trial and error I found it easiest to cut the kerf using my crosscut and rip carcass saws. I went as deep as I could with these alternating them as i rotated the board; cutting into each side in turn. I then moved to my bow saw, it's Japanese universal saw blade being good no matter which orientation I held the board. However, even that wouldn't get the the last central part and I finished the last part of the cut with the newly sharpened panel saw (after trying attacking it with a froe to see if I could pop the final bit apart - I couldn't but it made access a little easier for the saw).

I'm very pleased with the result.

View attachment 177269View attachment 177270

I'll probably keep to using the bandsaw for day-to-day resawing, but it's good to know this options is available to me when I want to separate a large board.

I'll leave planing the boards flat for another day.
 
Nice post Rob.
Reminds me of a massive sawing day I had many years ago (35+) after a visit to John Body fine wood yard. I bought some quite large stock of a South American wood they called ‘Rosita’ . Unseasoned. A loverly red fine grained wood. I had no saw table or band saw in those days. All had to be sawn by hand with a sharp rip saw. Cutting diagonally then turning over and cutting from the other side to be accurate and not wander of course. Finally ended up with boards suitable for furniture making. Hard work but worthwhile.
Roy
 
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