Sawing Techniques

Anyone who’s ever tackled a board knows that sawing can be harder than it looks – even if you’re using beefy power tools. From small hand saws that you use for delicate dovetail work, to the table saw techniques used to make repeatable cuts in a complex project, we have every knowledge base covered for you. Learn to saw like a real pro; know how to choose the best saw blades for the job; become a master at all aspects of this essential woodworking skill.

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Almost-forgotten Handsaw Tricks

by Carl Bilderback pages 64-65 from the October 2006 issue This article also appears in the book “Handsaw Essentials.“ About 35 years ago I was using a handsaw in what I considered the usual method: Cut, blow the sawdust off my pencil line and then cut some more. The foreman on the job was...

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My Favorite Band Saw Blade

While I do most of my work by hand, there are two machines that I refuse to do without: a thickness planer and an old Delta 14” band saw. These two machines remove the drudgery from reducing boards in thickness and long rips. So I baby these two machines. When it comes to band...

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Get Lubed Up in 19th-century Style

Ever since Roy Underhill wrote about the joys of mutton tallow as a tool lubricant in Popular Woodworking Magazine in the August 2010 issue, readers have been asking where to purchase the stuff. Or, even more alarming, how to render it themselves. The good news is that Lee Valley Tools has started to carry...

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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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Tweaking an Over-set Coping Saw

When cutting dovetails, I’ve always cleared out most of the waste with a coping saw. Why? I learned it that way in 1993 and am faster with the coping saw than I am with a chisel. Even though I’ve been dovetailing for almost 20 years, I’m always looking for small things to improve my...

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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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The Saw Painters’ Mother Ship

Attention woodworkers in and around the Great Falls, Montana, area: Have you noticed a curious lack of vintage handsaws in your flea markets and antique malls? Well there’s a reason that greater Great Falls is the black hole of vintage saws. The saw painters have made a 22’-high mechanical shrine to the craft using...