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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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...

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Video: Not Sawing, But Nibbling

Aside from Bender, Zapp Brannigan and Hypnotoad, my favorite character on the show “Futurama” is Nibbler – a cute little alien that can swallow an entire elephant in one bite and then poop starship fuel. What does this have to to with sawing? Everything. Nibbling before swallowing the whole giraffe is how I saw...

And at Age 11, I Hosted my Own Woodworking Show

Roy Underhill looks over the rim of his beer at the City Tap – the bar behind his woodworking school – and asks me the following left-field-what-are-you-doing-inside-my-skull question. “You built your first bench at 11,” he asks, “what were you building there?” In addition to my crappy crafty projects and pseudo-furniture projects, that workbench...

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Scrape Your Saw Clean

I have always been fastidious about keeping rust off my tools. I have to be. My shop is partially underground and we live in a humid river city. Blink, and your tools will turn to iron oxide. The most difficult tools to keep rust-free are the machines, especially my Unisaw for some reason. The...

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Spiral Blades: Good for Dovetailing?

While packing my tools to teach a toolbox class in Germany, I knew two things: 1. The students had to cut a lot of dovetails in 7/8”-thick material. 2. Coping saws are uncommon on the Continent. So I packed an extra coping saw blade in my luggage, which turned out to be either a...