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MikeW

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I dimension wood with handsaws more than occasional.

The other night for a project I used them exclusively and it got me wondering how much/little others use handsaws. And if so, what lengths and PPIs (points per inch) do you find most useful?

This question was asked on another forum recently by someone else. When I answered I didn't really give it a lot of thought, but have been more conscious about usage since.

For myself, I have a few more than I need (some are getting sold in my quest for less), I find I tend to use the following.

Crosscutting--rough dimensioning
When I have serious work using saw horses, a 28" 5 ppi for thick planks and a 28" 7 ppi for 4/4 stock.

Ripping
Ripping using a handsaw is fast--sort of. It's all relative I suppose. As I shoot or joint edges following ripping, my gauge line is usually 1/8" wider than I want to end up on thick stock or about 1/6" on 4/4 or less. A few passes with a plane takes me to the line. I also joint one edge and gauge from it.

I use one of 3 saws. For thicker exotics, I use a 28" 4 1/2 or a 5 ppi, but sometimes it can be jarring at that ppi, so then it is a 7 ppi. For 4/4 and less stock I use a 28" 7 ppi. When held vertically in the bench vice for shorter lengths, I use a 24" 7 ppi.

I rip following rough dimensioning with a crosscut so there is less length to rip.

Crosscutting--final dimensioning
Done after the above and after initial jointing and flattening.

Most used is either a 26" 8 or a 26" 10 ppi. When done on my bench top, I use a 20" 9 ppi or else my miter saw if under 8". Small, thin stock I usually use a small Marples miter box and a backsaw.

So, does anyone else use handsaws for other than carpentry?

Mike
 

PowerTool

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I seem to end up doing joinery rather than carpentry (gates,heavy-duty shelves,fencing,lean-to's etc.) and use mainly Stanley Jetcut 22" 7tpi and 11tpi.
Cutting some sheets of 6mm ply last weekend,just used the handsaw rather than getting the tablesaw out.
Also have a couple of tenon saws and coping saws for smaller work.

So you are not alone... 8)
 

Philly

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Mike
I mainly use a hand saw for crosscutting long boards to a managable size-a Japanese pullsaw usually.
Otherwise its backsaws for joinery.
Cheers
Philly :D
 

Alf

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I tend to use an unremarkable 22" Spear and Jackson, who's ppi escapes me, for most saw horse cross-cutting. Never rip by hand, 'cos wood is more expensive than the damage to my soul caused by using a bandsaw. :wink: Backsaws of all sorts get used for bench work, but I've still to resolve on particular favourites probably 'cos I keep buying more of them. :oops: Not in the least helpful, I'm afraid.

Cheers, Alf
 

Matt1245

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I have just started to use 'proper' handsaws, my first being a
unremarkable 22" Spear and Jackson
:lol: I found that i get far better results with this reasonably low price saw than i have with any hardpoint. Back saws next.

Is yours the skew back saw Alf?

Matt.
 
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Anonymous

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never rip by hand but usually cross cut using my tenon saw rather than powered saws
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Hi Mike

I do dimension by hand a fair amount. However this is mostly in the crosscut mode.

A Japanese Z Kataba, 300mm long and 12 tpi.

A few Spear and Jackson #88s, 22" long and 9 tpi



My recently restored Stanley #358, of course:



Several backsaws of course, but these are used for joinery.

I have not worked up the enthusiasm (or a high enough level of masochism) for much ripping by hand. Still prefer to mainly use my tablesaw or bandsaw. But my mental state is deteriorating, and I am eyeing more and more the pile of Disstons in the corner.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

Frank D.

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I'm like several others here, don't really rip with hand saws (mostly because I'm lazy). I use Japanese saws a lot for rough crosscutting (my shop is small, like yours Mike, 11' by 14', so dragging out my power miter saw is impractical), a big bowsaw for big crosscutting and the occasional rip, japanese dozukis for fine crosscuts and joinery, and western backsaws for joinery. Once I get around to sharpening my big panel saws I'll probably start using them.
 

Mittlefehldt

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Well since you asked :twisted:

I have an R H. Smith 18" 10 ppi brass backed Tenon saw for cross cutting, this is a beautiful saw for this purpose, it is over a hundred years old and leaves a smooth surface after.

R. H. Smith (successor to J Flint & Co.) 16 inch 12 ppi steel backed tenon saw for rip cuts this one is a bit newer but still works very well both of the above were made in St. Catharines Ontario.

An almost new PAx rip cut dovetail saw, a real joy to use and one I like very much.

For ripping I have a Shurly (? hard to read it) & Dietrich 29 inch 5 ppi, rip saw that works best in harder woods for some reason. Made in Galt Ontario age unknown but an 1869 patent date.

I also have a fairly new rubber handled Sandvik rip cut saw that I use for soft woods though it works well in harder woods to.

I also have several others I have not as yet worked with including a D-8 I recently bought, and a cross cut tool box saw, which I want to sharpen and try out.

Oh I also have a Stanley mitre box but it has this really short saw in it that I doubt was original to it but I could be wrong. I rarely use it anyway, as I usually cross cut stock with bench hooks and the R H Smith crosscut back saw, mentioned above.

The two backsaws were purchased in a box lot at an auction five or more years ago for five dollars, that was a good lot.
 

Alf

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Mittlefehldt":2q8nx8ue said:
...18" 10 ppi brass backed Tenon saw...16 inch 12 ppi steel backed tenon...made in St. Catharines Ontario.
Gosh. Canadians like their tenon saws big. :shock:

Mittlefehldt":2q8nx8ue said:
The two backsaws were purchased in a box lot at an auction five or more years ago for five dollars, that was a good lot.
Yes indeedy.

Cheers, Alf
 

Mittlefehldt

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Alf":xbtiy1mg said:
Mittlefehldt":xbtiy1mg said:
...18" 10 ppi brass backed Tenon saw...16 inch 12 ppi steel backed tenon...made in St. Catharines Ontario.
Gosh. Canadians like their tenon saws big. :shock:

They may actually be designated for a purpose other than tenons, in fact I often use the cross cut saw for dimensioning stock, as I like the control I get with it.. The size is the over all length including the grip, is that not the way they are usually measured.

Mittlefehldt":xbtiy1mg said:
The two backsaws were purchased in a box lot at an auction five or more years ago for five dollars, that was a good lot.
Yes indeedy.

Cheers, Alf
 

Alf

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Mittlefehldt":eho8f0lw said:
The size is the over all length including the grip, is that not the way they are usually measured.
Ahhhh, that'll explain it then.

Cheers, Alf
 
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Anonymous

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I have more than a few :oops: saws and I use them more than powersaws unless I am turning out a lot of matching pieces. I don't rip by hand nearly as much as I used to due to some back problems but I don't hesitate to grab a nice 5 or 5 1/2 point (Disston method) thumbhole D8 or D100. I have recently added a #12 rip that I need to tune up as well.
Mostly I use 28" rips and 26" crosscuts on the saw benches and 20"-22" panel saws around the workbench. I have a Disston D7 panel saw that was 10 ppi crosscut that I have filed rip. I'd like to change it 7-8 ppi rip.
I use Disston #4's 8"-18" in length for dovetail, tenon and carcass saws and I have a Crown brass backed gents saw for dovetailing in thin stock.
I have a Marples 12" bowsaw for turning cuts and some standard coping saws.
 

cadders75

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Could i ask if any one can point me in the direction of how to sharpen old hand saws?

My father in law has just given me an old Disston Saw, which he was going to throw away when he moved house and i'd be interested to learn how to get it back to it's former glory?

The old boys 74 and has been a carpenter for 60 years, he still gets more offers of work than i do!

Could be that he still charges in old money? :D
 

Alf

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bugbear":15lyfvcg said:
The gadget is (imho, but not Alice's) quite helpful
I think it's more helpful if you use it when you start out. Trouble is I got used to Pete Taran's method and, as ever, find it difficult to change my habits.

Bob Brode's site works for me, btw. But maybe that's not what you meant?

Cheers, Alf
 

cadders75

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Thanks for the links chaps.

I'll give it a go after i've finished sharpening all of the wooden planes he was going to throw away.

You never know, by the time everythings sharp i might have time to make something.
 
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