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Sawing straight

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stubtoe

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Hi all,

I'm slowly practising my hand tool techniques and thought I was beginning to see progress at sawing in a straight line, until last night... :roll:

I've got a mixture of Japanese pull saws and traditional western back saws and with shorter cuts I've been pretty happy with what I've done.

However, when I came to do quite a long rip of an ash plank last night it went all horribly wrong! I was ok for about 150mm, then it started to go off track and I couldn't get it back straight. So I flipped the board round and started ripping down the other side with the same problem so the cuts didn't meet in the middle where they were supposed to - about 5mm off on a 750mm long rip cut. Oh, and I was using a Japanese ryoba.

So, what are the key techniques to sawing straight with 1. Pull saws and 2. Back saws and how do you correct with both if you start going off line (i.e. do you put pressure in one particular direction to get it back on track)?

Cheers,

Jonny

P.S. If there are any previous posts on this subject that I've missed please point me in their direction...
 

Grahamshed

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You are not alone Stubtoe. I couldn't saw straight if my life depended on it.
 

wcndave

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If you're right handed keep your right eye over the back of the blade. I used to have my head to the side and this corrected saying a curve.

If you go off, lower the saw to almost horizontal to start a new kerf, trying to twist it back never works in my experience.

Once you have created a few cm flat kerf you can start to lift the back again. This works for both types of saws.
 

Hardwood66

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Make sure you have a good stance legs shoulder width apart and you dominant foot about a shoulders width back gives you a good stance and can help with hand sawing
 

snikolaev28

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Hello Stubtoe!

As earlier wrote - you are not alone. I've carefully learned and read all topics regarding ripsawing by hand on Sawmillcreek. So I've elaborated this one method for me.
I'm not professional woodworker, on ly doing this as hobby and not every evening.

So, this is mixt from a lot of topics, but I use it and sometimes succesfully :D
Only for Japanese saws.
I try start resawing by making a little kerf by crosscut saw - it is narrower usually than ripcut. I use 2 katabas - rip and cross cutting.
Further I start to rip, but at firtst I establish a groove by tilting ripcutsaw closer to the board. Than I flip board and make this groove from other side.
Than I start to rip and count! Count saw's strokes.
For example, I make 10-20 or 30 strokes by saw and than I flip board and make equal quantity of strokes from other side. Than again - flip board and do a few strokes, flip over and make equal amount of strokes.
From time to time I need to reestablish the groove - long kerf on the surface of board.

So what we have - more time for ripping. But long groove=kerf help to keep saw within it. Flipping of board and making equal amount of saw strokes from each side make the result kerf wider but keep it from tilting from side to side.

Following the link below you can find photos I've made for some of my Russian friends - the same newbie as I am.

http://www.radikal.ru/users/snikolaev28 ... awing-show

Some times it is more easy to resaw when board is clamps vertically - You make main saw strokes for ripping and by tilting saw closer to the board you establsh a groove.

Photos were taken on the kitchen - it is my 'evening shop' and while I've resawed at the same time I've cooked some eat.

MUST to say again - I'm not author - all method were took from Sawmillcreek, different topics.
 

twothumbs

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A sharp saw and properly set teeth. It sounds obvious but you cant work with blunt saw tools. Same for planes, chisels, penknife, etc. Get your eye over the cut and line through, and dont force it. Best wishes.

PS As a teenager I watched cabinet makers on site fitting, putting an aris on edges and vowed that I would be able to do that. Thought it was the bees knees. It took practise ...but in time.
 

bugbear

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stubtoe":3b2sx9zz said:
Hi all,

I'm slowly practising my hand tool techniques and thought I was beginning to see progress at sawing in a straight line, until last night... :roll:

I've got a mixture of Japanese pull saws and traditional western back saws and with shorter cuts I've been pretty happy with what I've done.

However, when I came to do quite a long rip of an ash plank last night it went all horribly wrong! I was ok for about 150mm, then it started to go off track and I couldn't get it back straight. So I flipped the board round and started ripping down the other side with the same problem so the cuts didn't meet in the middle where they were supposed to - about 5mm off on a 750mm long rip cut. Oh, and I was using a Japanese ryoba.

So, what are the key techniques to sawing straight with 1. Pull saws and 2. Back saws and how do you correct with both if you start going off line (i.e. do you put pressure in one particular direction to get it back on track)?

Cheers,

Jonny

P.S. If there are any previous posts on this subject that I've missed please point me in their direction...
I found that the key thing was spotting and correcting TINY errors before they have a chance to grow; this involves going quite slowly (at least in the learning stages) and looking very carefully.

Large errors are not correctable unless the saw has more set than it should have.

BugBear
 

woodbloke

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wcndave":3cpdpclg said:
If you're right handed keep your right eye over the back of the blade. I used to have my head to the side and this corrected saying a curve.

If you go off, lower the saw to almost horizontal to start a new kerf, trying to twist it back never works in my experience.

Once you have created a few cm flat kerf you can start to lift the back again. This works for both types of saws.
Agree, this technique works quite well. How you stand is everything when using a saw (of any sort) and it's best if someone else looks at how you're sawing...it's then very easy to correct, but very hard when you try and do it yourself - Rob
 

whiskywill

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twothumbs":3iovfvzw said:
PS As a teenager I watched cabinet makers on site fitting, putting an aris on edges and vowed that I would be able to do that. Thought it was the bees knees. It took practise ...but in time.
Please remind me what an aris is. Google brings up a village in Azerbaijan.
 

Sgian Dubh

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whiskywill":2mc3fcjr said:
Please remind me what an aris is. Google brings up a village in Azerbaijan.
It's a misspelling of arris, which is a sharp edge where two planes met, and the word is also used to describe things like the ridge found at the top of two sloping pieces of ground, eg, in mountain or hill nomenclature. Slainte.
 

stubtoe

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Thanks all. Think there's a few pointers I can take from that, but clearly the most important thing is practice, practice, practice...
 

johnwc812

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Hi Jonny
A silly idea, works for me, might work for you:
Instead of drawing one line down the timber and cutting to the waste side,
Draw two lines, a smidgin over the kerf width apart, and it is easier to see
when the saw starts to deviate.
Cheers John
 

RogerP

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johnwc812":1xvcnm47 said:
Hi Jonny
A silly idea, works for me, might work for you:
Instead of drawing one line down the timber and cutting to the waste side,
Draw two lines, a smidgin over the kerf width apart, and it is easier to see
when the saw starts to deviate.
Cheers John
In the past that worked for me too :)
 

stubtoe

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johnwc812":duex5v2j said:
Hi Jonny
A silly idea, works for me, might work for you:
Instead of drawing one line down the timber and cutting to the waste side,
Draw two lines, a smidgin over the kerf width apart, and it is easier to see
when the saw starts to deviate.
Cheers John
I like that idea =D>

Sometimes you don't realise you've gone off track before its too late...
 

Mr T

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Hi

Something worth considering. Could the saw have been blunted on one side? This would make it tend to wander to the opposite side.

Chris
 

stubtoe

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I don't think so as the ryoba I was using was almost brand new. That said could have been a manufacturing fault, but more likely my technique!

Sent from my Nexus S using Tapatalk 2
 

sdbranam

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Since most people think they can't saw a straight line, I love to have them rip a 1" strip off a 4'-long board. It's a combination of several things already mentioned here:

1. Mainly work with the saw about 45 degree angle.
2. If it starts to go off track, don't twist the handle, drop it down closer to horizontal and gently bend it to the right direction as you saw. This steers it back on track (just don't over-correct). Once back, raise the angle back up. It's like driving a car along a road that gently curves from one side to another.
3. Especially in thicker stuff, flip the stock periodically and do some from the other side. It's easy for the hidden side to be off worse than the visible side.
4. Why do you need to get it any closer? No matter how ugly a cut you end up with, you can take the edge down to exact dimension, flat and precise, in 30 seconds or so with a plane or two (start with one set rank, the other set fine). Don't sweat the cut, get as close as your current skill level allows and rely on the planes to make it look pretty. That just means you need to allow yourself whatever margin is necessary, 2mm, 5mm, 10mm, whatever works. You'll improve naturally over time.

I also have them deliberately go off track, then over-correct, then get back on track, to see how they can control it, then clean up all that ugly waviness with planes.

This works with both western saws and Japanese pull saws. Take advantage of their flexibility rather than cursing it!
 

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