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rip-cutting seasoned oak?

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amongoaks

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i've got some twisty blocks of seasoned oak that i'd like to start working with, small projects and some diy workshop toolage. in particular i need to rip-cut the blocks down to workable size but, of course, no bandsaw (yet). splitting is an option but as i mentioned, it's fairly twisty stuff and i'd rather go at it a little more predictably.

so, any saw recommendations to do this by hand? i'm mostly familiar with japanese saws and softwood work so i'm pretty much starting from zero here. obviously i don't mind a little elbow grease but i would like to start with the right tool.

thank you.
 

MikeG.

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If you don't have a hand-held circular saw and are just confined to hand-tools, then a cheap plastic-handled hard-point hand saw from your local tool/ builders merchants should cost around £10. Get one with a rip-cut tooth setting. If these are boards you are planning on ripping, then saw horses or the like will be necessary.
 

marcros

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Can you get rip toothed hardpoint saws? I have seen many versions for different tasks but not rip cut.
 

amongoaks

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thank you Mike. as it happens i do have a circular saw but I imagined that it would be unsafe and unwise to go at these blocks with it. am i wrong? happy to hear that i am and all ears as to how you'd tackle it.

perhaps more info would help. these blocks are basically 1/2 split log chunks that someone rescued before they ended up as firewood. i worked some of them when they were more or less green and loved it, wild figuring and crazy patterns that i loved so much i got a bit more and stashed it in the shed. that was two years ago and they're hard as rock now.

i did try a cheapo hand saw -- borrowed from a neighbour, i'm pretty sure it was a rip-cut saw given the larger tooth configuration -- and it did not like this dry twisty oak. did more skating than cutting though now it does occur to me that it was certainly not a new saw and may have seen (much) sharper days.

i should add that i'm not adverse to spending a bit of money on this. i'm getting back into working a bit of wood after years away and anything that is good, useful, not too dear and earns its keep in the workshop is fair game.
 

MikeG.

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marcros":3a7eaobn said:
Can you get rip toothed hardpoint saws? I have seen many versions for different tasks but not rip cut.
It's been years since I bought it, but I have one. That doesn't mean they're still available, but the cross-cut saws are sort-of a hybrid anyway, and don't do a bad job ripping.
 

AndyT

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Have a search on here and generally for the Huntley Oak saw. It might be what you need.
 

amongoaks

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AndyT":7fn3p6ea said:
Have a search on here and generally for the Huntley Oak saw. It might be what you need.
oh, now that sounds promising! on the hunt for one now.
...
hmm, maybe easier said than done.
 

woodbloke66

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AndyT":14pmx5rn said:
Have a search on here and generally for the Huntley Oak saw. It might be what you need.
I have one and it's definitely not suited to ripping down blocks of oak; Mike's suggestion of a cheap hardpoint saw is a good one and what I would recommend as well - Rob
 

amongoaks

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woodbloke66":hpodyjz2 said:
... definitely not suited to ripping down blocks of oak ...
thank you, that saved me some disappointment, assuming i was even able to find one.
trying a cheapo hard-point sounds like an obvious first step forward. if it doesn't work out i'll always find other uses for it i'm sure.
 

AndyT

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Thanks Rob. I'd remembered it as being recommended for oak but it sounds like something more robust is needed here. Nor can I remember who sells them...
 

woodbloke66

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AndyT":1mmxrx26 said:
Thanks Rob. I'd remembered it as being recommended for oak but it sounds like something more robust is needed here. Nor can I remember who sells them...
Mike Huntley is a very good pal so I bought mine directly from him. It's a decent, fairly robust Japanese saw with a tooth configuration suited to work with oak (or other moderate hardwoods) at the bench for joinery purposes. For ripping big chunks of oak I'd suggest you'd need something with a much coarser (rip) tooth pattern - Rob
 

Nelsun

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Ripped over 10m of 8x4 oak sleepers with a [new at the time] hardpoint saw. I wasn't the most enjoyable thing I've ever done with a saw but it wasn't too bad.

I did try using a cheapo Irwin Japanese saw but it was like being drunk; I just couldn't follow a straight line (homer)
 

amongoaks

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Nelsun":1c3dcw0a said:
Ripped over 10m of 8x4 oak sleepers with a [new at the time] hardpoint saw. ...
may i ask, seasoned or off the rack (typically only partly seasoned, afaik)?
also, what saw? i don't know push saws and there are 100s to choose from. anything to narrow this down would be most welcome.
 

Nelsun

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They weren't seasoned by any means but not soggy (they'd been stored indoors) either. The saw in question was a Bahco Barracuda of some sort. Something like this https://www.screwfix.com/p/bahco-barrac ... w-22/65127

I did try a slightly coarser toothed one (can't remember the make) with a non-stick coating but the Barracuda felt easier / faster.
 

Ttrees

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So you have short half logs....what are you thinking of doing with it? Do you wish to obtain maximum yield from these , if you want you could spilt /saw these again after slicing , orientating the boards to counter cupping , or you could quarter saw them for more stable stock,I.e not warp. I might think of trying to split it into some quarter sawn/radially split stock. Splitting off the rubbish sapwood off the edges of the half log might give a clue on how well this might go. It might be a good idea to put out the feelers for someone with a bandsaw nearby, and buy a blade for it and bring a few beer tokens. It's always possible for a blade to get destroyed if it hits a nail ,stone or it beeaks for another reason. Tom
 

amongoaks

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Ttrees":3v88muz8 said:
So you have short half logs....what are you thinking of doing with it? ...
first projects are going to be some scratch-built mallets. i also want to prep a supply of handles for files and rasps: the grain in this oak is so lovely that i'm just going to ditch the old store bought handles. after that i'd like to try doing a couple knitting bowls for the Mrs -- power carving ala Arbortech i think given the hardness of the material -- plus a few other tradition knitting tools that are all worked from 1 1/2 inch billets. if I could also get a small collection of flat stock for future projects that would be ideal.

the issue with splitting is that a lot of this stuff is really wild and twisty grained. it's dry enough now that it pretty much only wants to split along the grain and I've found that just ends up wasting too much material once you've trimmed the split billets back to something useable.

a bandsaw seems the only good choice here but that's beyond my reach just now. hence the question of suitable handsaws. i'm in no rush so if it's slow going then so be it but i didn't want to repeat the frustrating "neighbour saw" experience by going at it with an unsuitable tool. they obviously used to saw seasoned hardwoods in the pre-industrial woodworking days so how and with what is the question i ended up asking myself.
 

MikeG.

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The Barracuda is an excellent saw, with a thicker plate than most. It is certainly OK at ripping. However, it isn't cheap, being generally around the £25 mark, I think.
 

amongoaks

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happy to pay that for a saw that does a difficult job reasonably well. looking forward to giving it a go!
 

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