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Rip sawing

Rip Saw

Today I sawed my first plank of wood with a saw I refurbished myself, again bought for a couple of quid and in a rusty condition. This saw is a rip saw, made for cutting along the grain.

The saw blade is 26 inches long and the willow I cut was 9 inches wide, it did take a while to cut. The plank also got a little thin at the bottom end and it is difficult to work out why. Was it my technique or was it because of the how I set and sharpened the saw? I did change the sides I sawed on now and again, and a slight bow across the cut can be seen. For a saw only 26 inches long I think sawing through a 9 inch plank could be a bit too much.
Detail of the rip saw teeth
I have nearly got a full complement of saws, and will never have to buy another plastic handled hard point saw again. There is something very satisfying about being able to set and sharpen my own saws, a self reliance which is empowering.
The old saying goes that the blacksmith is the king of all trades; this is because they are the tool makers. I would love to be able to make my own saw one day, but then again I will have to learn the craft of making files as well.
Here is a video of a craftsman making a saw in Japan. 
If  you have an interest in Japanese tool making do watch the other videos Noko, Kanna and Genno.
This link was posted on the Bodgers forum, by Dave Budd. If you have an interest in green woodwork, you will love this forum.

1 thought on “Rip sawing

  1. Bravo Sean. I find ripping much, much harder than crosscutting. I learned the hard way that the first millimeter is crucial. If you start wrong the saw will drift off the line. I use Japanese saws but the principle is the same. I finally made myself a little wooden square (won't dull the teeth on the saw) and use it every time I start a long rip. Once you are 10 cm into the cut, it is very difficult to get the saw back on the line. In fact I find it impossible! I still have a long way to go, but am improving with practice.

    Our great-grandfathers no doubt learned how to use a ripsaw at age 10. They would laugh at us. But the prevalence of power tools has caused us to forget how to rip boards out of logs. Shove it through the bandsaw, mate. Wot!? By hand? (expletives deleted).

    And I still rip oversize and use a plane to clean up. Shame on me!

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