Saws

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New Sawmaker Builds Ancient Saws

Anyone who has ever read Joseph Moxon’s “Mechanick Exercises” (1678) has puzzled over his pictures of saws. There are some frame saws, a whipsaw and a fancy handled saw without a back that Moxon, as far as I know, doesn’t discuss in his text. That fancy saw has always caught my eye. What was...

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Another Solid $10 (and Change) Saw

It sounds like a difficult question, but it’s really not. “I really want a Wenzloff & Sons handsaw, but I am a (graduate student, hobo, philosophy major) and cannot afford it. Can you recommend a saw that works almost as well but costs only $10?” Yes, I can. For many years I have been...

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For Accurate & Heavy Sawing, Try a ‘Shangie’

One of the great joys of reading old woodworking magazines is that they includes lots of tidbits that aren’t in old woodworking books – such as the one I found last night about the “Shangie.” What’s a Shangie? It’s a shopmade device that converts a typical 26” handsaw into a two-man saw that is...

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Report Card: 6 Months Without a Chop Saw

When I reorganized my shop last Spring, I sold a lot of stuff. I sold so much stuff that I was afraid that I was cutting into the bone. I sold my routers. My router table. My sliding compound miter saw. And lots more (a biscuit joiner, sanders and shop vacuums to name a...

Get a Consistent Set on Your Saw With Paper

Whenever I teach a sawing class, I typically reduce the set of students’ saws using a metal file. And when I do this, I’m also amazed at how many times I’m also filing an errant tooth that is sticking out beyond its brethren. But I can say with all honesty that I have never...

On Storing Handsaws and Backsaws

Recently I’ve become somewhat obsessed by the puzzle of storing saws. During my years as a woodworker, I’ve been admonished many times for how I handle this tool. Here are a few choice ones to chew on: 1. With handsaws, you should never lay the entire tool on a flat surface. This will cause...

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‘I Want my Micrometer…’

Charles Hayward, the dean of woodworking writers, once wrote a column about the continued industrialization of the woodworking craft. All hand work was being set aside and forgotten. People who were once craftsmen were become machine minders. In the end, Hayward noted, it will be only the engineers who will ever find real joy...

Ron Herman: ‘Sharpen Your Handsaws’

The first time I saw Ron Herman sharpen a handsaw, I learned more about sharpening the tool in 20 minutes than I had learned in all the years I’d been a woodworker. I had been sharpening my saws for years, but I was mostly trying to replicate the saw’s existing tooth geometry. I wasn’t...