Thursday, January 17, 2008
Once I decide on a project the first step after the wood species or individual planks are hand picked from the lumber rack, the first stage of dimensioning the pieces is to rough cut them to length. This of course is done by hand using Hand saws. I examine each plank looking for checks or knots, I eye down the lengths to see any warps or twists, and then once the piece has been carefully studied I cross cut it to size. I use a panel saw made in England by Pax Handsaws. First developed in 1776, Pax handsaws have a reputation for quality and performance. The alloy-steel blades are taper ground and breasted to reduce binding and the teeth are all hand set and sharpened. Some other hand saws in my collection are Western Style Saws made by Lie-Nielson Tool Works USA. Known as back-saws, they have a Solid Brass chamfered back that provides some extra weight in an other wise delicate hand tool, giving superior rigidity for a straight cut with less binding. The three back saws I have in my collection range from a 15 TPI Dovetail Saw, a 14 TPI Carcass Saw, and finally a 13 point Tenon Saw that I tend to use with a miter hook atop of my workbench.