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Joinery: sawing by hand

It is not easy to saw properly. You have to get the knack for sawing straight and select the saw to use depending on the hardness and thickness of the wood. It is essential to know some basic principles and to have good, well-honed tools. The handsaw is the basic tool.

Necessary material

  • Handsaw
  • Counter Saw
  • Radial saw
  • Cutting guide
  • Compass
  • crankshaft

Steps

  1. Basic techniques
  2. Cutting guides
  3. Special cuts

Basic techniques

The piece is held securely at the start of the cut

The piece is held securely at the start of the cut

1. The piece of wood must be securely held on the workbench, held between the jaws, and the left hand weighs on it, in order to immobilize it. Start cutting by guiding the saw blade with the thumb of your left hand (if you are right-handed). Bite in the wood by pulling the blade slightly towards you; operate slowly so as not to burst the wood. The blade should be placed a little next to the cutting line, towards the fall: this small gap can then be adjusted to the exact dimensions using the plane.

Sawing must be regular using the greatest blade length possible

Sawing must be regular using the greatest blade length possible

2. The saw must form an angle of 30° with the surface of the piece of wood. To saw straight, the blade must always be in the extension of the forearm. Saw on a regular basis, using the longest blade length and without pressing too much: it is when the saw returns that the tool bites into the wood. Always place the chute to the right during sawing, in order to see the cut line while working (invert if you are left-handed).

The inclination of the blade is changed at the end of the cut

The inclination of the blade is changed at the end of the cut

3. A little before the end of the cut, change the inclination of the saw to prevent the wood from bursting. Start the sawing again and follow the cut line so that the two saws meet precisely. If you saw in the middle of a board, put the part to eliminate (hatched) on a trestle or on any support to maintain it. Indeed, the weight of the wood may cause breakage during sawing, at the location of the notch, resulting in cutting irregularities.

Small wedges prevent the blade from jamming during long cuts

Small wedges prevent the blade from jamming during long cuts

4. To saw a board in the direction of the length, observe the same precautions: saw straight, because it is difficult to catch an error. When sawing long (cutting), the saw may get caught between the two sawn parts. To avoid this, place small wedges of wood to maintain spacing.

A saw with strong teeth will be suitable for cutting a plank

A saw with strong teeth will be suitable for cutting a plank

5. It is essential to use a saw suitable for the piece of wood to be sawn. To cut a plank, use a saw with strong teeth; it performs a less precise job, but much faster.

Fine-toothed saws offer high precision

Fine-toothed saws offer high precision

6. For delicate woods, such as pre-painted and pre-varnished wood chips or wood veneer, use a fine-tooth saw, avoid splinters and make very precise cuts.

Cutting guides

Cutting guides allow cutting at a particular angle

Cutting guides allow cutting at a particular angle

7. For sawing at a particular angle, other than 90°, use a cutting guide. This instrument exists in various forms: it is generally composed of a fixed piece, which is placed along the cutting board, and a movable and adjustable plate against which slides the blade of the saw. A cutting guide avoids difficult layouts and allows for a large number of similar cuts.

Some guides can be attached to the workbench

Some guides can be attached to the workbench

8. Some guides attach themselves to the workbench using a squeegee clamp. If it is intended to perform a number of carpentry work, the acquisition of a radial saw may be justified. It allows a precise adjustment of the angles of cut that one meets in carpentry, that they are of more or less 90°.

A miter box is ideal for small rooms

A miter box is ideal for small rooms

9. The miter box, the most used cutting guide, allows you to make miter cuts (45°) on small pieces of wood. It is often used to cut electrical chopsticks, chopsticks and door moldings. The cuts made, very precise, are done using a back saw with fine teeth. The most common types of miter box are made of wood: placing a wooden board at the bottom of the box avoids damaging it during sawing. There are plastic models.

Recent hand saws allow tab plot but accuracy remains relative

Recent hand saws allow tab plot but accuracy remains relative

10. Recent saws allow you to make miter plots. Indeed, an edge of the handle forms an angle of 45° with the back of the blade. Only one disadvantage: these plots do not have a great precision.

Special cuts

A well fixed cleat facilitates cutting in the direction of the thread

A well fixed cleat facilitates cutting in the direction of the thread

11. To saw straight, in the direction of the wire (edging), use as a cutting guide a cleat with well-erected edges. Secure it to the cut line with clamps.

Wood shim simplifies end cuts

Wood shim simplifies end cuts

12. A similar process is used for end cuts: a fixed block of wood serves as a guide. Saw slowly at the end of the cut to avoid splinters. A piece of wood placed under the sawing cutter makes it possible to cut it without risk of bursting it (splinters occur on the protection piece).

The window saw allows curved cuts

The window saw allows curved cuts

13. The hole saw is a small handsaw with a very narrow blade (a few centimeters). This feature gives the possibility of cutting curves. It is also necessary to saw outside the route, to rectify then and bring the piece to the exact dimensions. To cut a circle in the middle of a panel (to embed a circular object, for example), draw a compass circle and drill a large hole in the crankshaft to engage the blade. Strive to follow the path by forcing a little on the flexible blade. Correct if necessary with a half-round rasp.

Joinery: sawing by hand: blade

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