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Pete W

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The first thing(s) I built in my novice's woodworking shop were a pair of sawhorses. These work well for all kinds of things, from crosscutting timber and small sizes of sheet goods, and as an assembly table (with the addition of a couple of cross-pieces and a sheet of ply over the top).

What they don't work well for, however, is ripping. It occurs to me - belatedly - that there probably is a traditional solution to this, and that some folks around here know what it is. So, do tell. I have found some items described as 'saw tables' but they didn't strike me as a particularly useful alternative to what I have.

Descriptions, pictures, plans, pointers to relevant websites - all would be welcome.
 

MikeW

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Hi Pete,

Couple things. I don't know how tall your saw horses are, nor how wide the top of them is.

Mine, for which I don't have ready pics of, have a 6" or so wide top and are of about knee height. A board is marked for cutting, stradles two horses (horses are crosswise to the board being cut) and the cut begins with one knee resting on the board to be cut. The board being cut is in from the legs of the horse for stability.

When the saw is about to the first horse, the board is shifted to allow the saw to now be between both saw horses. The cut is continued and the plank shifted again upon reaching the second horse.

The weight of the knee on the board being cut stabilizes the board so it doesn't bounce (much), which makes for inefficient sawing.

I also have a couple holes drilled in the horses for a hold down when sawing in case I have to use two hands on the saw due to either the hardness of the board (takes longer = tired arms) or simply to go faster. One can just use a clamp in place of a hold down.

I just grabbed the issue of Popular Woodworking that has Klausz'a article on dovetails. In that issue Adam is in it showing the same thing, basically. Actually, I just breezed through it and it looks like a good article for technique as well. I don't know if he goes through PPI of rips/CC saws or not, but it is also good to match the saw to both the wood and the task--more reason for more saws :lol:

Mike
always looking for a reason for another saw
 
A

Anonymous

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A saw bench is like a saw horse except the top board is horizontal.

The best set up I have ever seen for ripping is Jr. Strasil's. Here is a picture of him ripping with a framed saw he made.



Here is a better view of his saw bench which he uses in conjunction with a stool for supporting the end of longer boards.



His bench/stool setup works great with western style rip saws as well. Jr. has many saws, including several he has made and they all cut better than any equivalent saws I've ever seen or used. With the above setup, he could cut 2" per stroke in 3/4" white oak. I could only get about half that and couldn't saw as straight as he could. :lol:
 

Pete W

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MikeW":1xhei8ez said:
Ooh, Ahh. Thanks for the pics, Roger!
Yes indeed! Now there's a man that obviously knows a thing or two about wood :).


Roger, in that first picture I can't quite make out whether - apart from the stock being ripped - there's another board that ties the sawbench and stool together, or whether I'm looking at two sawbenches perpendicular to each other. That framesaw looks efficient though.

Mike, thanks for the info - your technique sounds like mine, so I'm guessing my technique is at fault. I'll look forward to the new issue of PW; if past performance is anything to go by, I should be seeing my copy early in Decmeber :roll: :D
 
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Anonymous

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The stool is separate. It only supports the long end of the stock when Jr. is ripping but it is used in connection with many other operations. He is a fascinating guy to watch.
The problem I have with sitting to rip is the limited reach. I had to reposition the stock after ripping 10"-12" so it takes about as much time to reposition the board as it does to rip it. It is easy on the back and breaks between sawing kept me from getting tired.
Jr. also demonstrated a handsaw he had filed "pug tooth". I translated that as "peg tooth" but he insisted "pug tooth" was the proper description. It was filed to cut on both pull and push strokes and it would crosscut awesomely fast with a fairly rough cut. He would crosscut the 2" wide 3/4" white oak strips we ripped by taking a pull-push-pull stroke sequence that took maybe 2 seconds. It was very difficult for me to fight muscle memory and keep the saw cutting on the pull stroke but I got to the point I could cut the board with 2 pulls and 2 pushes.
Jr.'s tools and setup look odd when taken individually but work together so efficiently it is hard to describe. He can go from rough lumber to the multiple precise pieces he needs for his parquetry work (check his toolboxes) in an unbelievably short time.


 
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