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How to make cuts using a Hand Saw

October 3, 2018Olen Murriel

It might seem that cutting with a hand saw is an activity that anyone can do. Unfortunately – you have to follow a few rules to make the cut effective and above all safe. Moreover, poor selection of the saw and incompetent cutting technique can lead not only to the wasted material but also to an accident during work.

When preparing for cutting, remember not only about the purchase of material but also about the right selection of tools and the preparation of the workplace. In order to use the hand saw correctly, choose the right type for the material that we will cut, taking into account the shape of the teeth and ensure the correct cutting technique.

Saw-type and tooth shape

For simple cuts, choose a universal saw blade or a precision ridge saw, which is most often used when making cuts in joints or borders. If we want to make a custom cut, eg rounded, than we use a haircut; in turn, to cut the hole we use a hole saw. In addition to the destination of the saw (this information is always visible), it is worth paying attention to the shape of the teeth. If they are reclined, it means that the saw is used for cutting in two directions, the isosceles is intended for cross cuts, while the teeth are inclined – for longitudinal cuts.

Preparation for sawing

For the sawing to be carried out correctly, the workplace must be prepared accordingly. The board (or other surfaces to be cut) must be immobilized on the worktop by means of screw clamps. It is important to place a wooden washer between the clamp and the board to avoid damaging the surface. On the surface, we draw a line along which we will carry out the cut, clearly marking the part to be dropped. We accept a comfortable, non-binding position. When preparing for sawing, remember to place the board upside down (decorative side) to avoid splinters.

Cutting technique

It is important to keep the ball firmly, but not tightly! The first cut is performed very precisely, keeping the saw almost in a horizontal position. When cutting in a basin, we tilt the saw by about 45 degrees, setting the saw in a swinging motion. It is important to remember that when sawing, you should push the saw with the weight of the body, so as not to force the arm. When approaching the end of the cut, the saw should be tilted to a vertical position, while reducing the amount of movement and supporting the falling part – thus avoiding damage to the edges.
For woodworking there is also a special saw for almost every sawing task. The classic handsaws are cross-section saws such as foxtails, frame saws, fretsaws, and hacksaws. However, there are also longitudinal saws.

Longitudinal saw

Longitudinal saws are specially designed for sawing wood along the grain. Their teeth are filed at an angle of 90 A to the saw blade and not ground laterally. The saw teeth act like a series of tiny chisels they cut directly into the wood fiber and remove the waste in the form of chips or wood fibers.

Working with the longitudinal saw

If a workpiece is to be sawed along the grain, then this saw is just the thing. Make sure that the workpiece is clamped at a comfortable height. The blade tip should not touch the ground during work.Position your workpiece so that you can look directly at the torn sawing line and at the same time bring your shoulder into line with the push and pull movement.
Place the saw blade on the waste side of the scoreline. Hold the blade at a shallow angle and pull it over the workpiece a few times to mark the kerf.
Move the saw over the wood in ever-longer movements until you saw it with the full length of the saw blade. When the board is sawn lengthwise about two-thirds, then turn it over. Place the saw again on the waste side of the score line and repeat the operation as described above. Saw them until they hit the first cutting line.

Cross-cut saws

For sawing across the fiber, it is best to use a cross-section saw. Your teeth are at an angle of about 65 A to the saw blade and are diagonally filed. The saw teeth cut the wood fibers first by cutting on both sides of the kerf. Then they carry the waste in the form of fine wood particles.

Working with the cross-section saw on the sawhorse

To cut a board end, place the board on the sawhorse so that the score-line is on the right side of the sawhose. Stand next to the sawhorse and place your knee on the wood to hold the workpiece firmly in place. Place the saw on the waste side of the score-line.
Grasp the wood with your left hand and guide the saw blade with the thumbnail. First, move the rear center of the saw blade over the beginning of the scribe line in some careful strokes. Then continue sawing with the full length of the blade – until about 5 cm before the end of the cut. If the piece of wood to be separated falls almost by itself, then place the left hand supporting the piece of waste and saw through with ever lighter movements until the end.

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