Tool Primer: Hand Saws for #Woodworking

Every tool has a purpose.  The Tool Primer Series explores common #makerspace and #woodworking tools.  You can check out the entire series here.

When a problem’s too big in my shop, I cut it down to size with a hand saw.  Hand saws have several inherent  advantages over power saws.  They don’t run out of batteries, so makers can use them all day.  The light weight means novice and  smaller makers can comfortably use the tool reasonably safe.  Hand saws can make delicate joinery and also rip through 3” slabs.  No circular saw or table saw has that type of range.

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Hand saws are not made equal.  Each hand saw excels at certain tasks.  In this tool primer, we will examine the Western & Japanese-style divide, learn to match the saw to the cut direction and classify saws by type and function.

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How To: Teach Sawing to a Young Student

I have a perfect record in the woodshop.  No fatalities. I have had two injuries though this year (I average about one a quarter or semester).  Both happened due to good sawing habits gone bad. This picture shows my basic hand-saw set up when I cut a board to size.  I’m right-handed and for south-pawed students, I mirror the set up. I would saw about an inch from the edge of the table.  Notice I use a bench hook to keep slips/movement to a minimum and pinch my thumb in so I don’t catch it on a saw (though I’m lazy … Continue reading How To: Teach Sawing to a Young Student