For me, ripping boards on low sawhorses is a quick trip to a sore back. It’s a balancing act done while bending over and pushing hard. So I’m always on the lookout for ways to do the same work with less effort.
Some might call this “lazy.” I prefer the term “American!”
Last month I wrote a blog entry about a style of ripping that was common in France and Germany (and, as I later found out, lots of other countries as well). The reaction from the people was mostly that of concern , that I would rip myself in two and do it by starting in the softest place possible.
So I wanted to post a short video that shows this in action and also points out that the saw’s teeth face away from the user. This method of ripping is tons easier than crouching on sawhorses. And I actually found that the saw was easier for me to control.
I did a fair amount of ripping like this while I was up in Maine last week. We didn’t have any power equipment around. Check it out above. First: I usually use a full-size ripsaw for this operation, but mine is in the mail, so I used a rip-filed panel saw instead. It’s fine for this operation , just slower.
And here’s a quick tip: If the saw starts to jam, lean the saw’s tote forward (away from you), which will make the teeth engage more sweetly.
Also, here’s another form of ripping I like better than crouching: overhand ripping at the bench. You actually have to stand up for this, but it does have one distinct advantage compared to ripping while sitting: The saw is unlikely to hit the floor or your bench.