Thursday, August 24, 2006

Saw choice

Well wouldn't you know it? Post in the morning and find the connection is behaving as nice as pie in the evening. So it goes.

As I have this unexpected opportunity to include what I meant to say earlier, I will. To aid my decision making (maybe) should anyone want to share their #1 backsaw choice in terms of p (or t) pi and length and, more importantly, why, I'd be obliged. Yeah, there are all those "what saws do I need?" threads on forums, but there's nowt to beat personal experience and prejudice I always say. You may assume the presence of the LN dovetail saw as a given... Okay, so it almost certainly won't give me a cut and dried "right answer", but it might clarify my currently muddled thinking. We can live in hope, eh?

Of course I could apply the info in the "Arts and Mysteries" column in October's Popular Woodworking, which showed up yesterday (quick, no?), and pick my ppi on the basis of wood thickness. But I fear that might just end up as justification for all of them... The forgotten handsaw tricks were interesting; the shiny saw plate one isn't new, but it is difficult with the old saw unfortunately. But the different return stroke to clear the dust came all bright and shiny new to me instead and I'll definitely be giving it a go.

Hmm, I may be peaking with the handsaw stuff a little early here. Maybe I should be thinking about that chisel handle WIP that was sort of promised, before I forget how I did them.


  1. Oh, I posted the what, not the why below. But we don't have the space here [g]. 9 ppi and a 12 ppi rip because filed well, they will rip any tenon you want regardless of the wood selection. A long saw is a good saw...

    The smaller ones for the cross cuts simply because sawing tenon shoulders or miters is more about smoothness of cut, and balance for remaining level.

    The open handle as simply a because--they are not common.

    btw, I haven't seen Adam's article. I won't get my PopWood for at least a week! I don't know if it was the economy of space restrictions, but I have seen many chests of 5-6 saws, 2 of which were long saws. That only leaves 3-4 backed saws...I suspect that for many of those workers, there wasn't as much variance in wood selection like us. I dunno, though.

    I'm reading through a book about the Domineys--and there seems to be a decent selection of saws. But not really more per se.

    The rest is want or simply to make what we expect to attain easier--wider selection of ppi takes less thinking during the cut. But I would contend we as woodworkers most often use too fine a pitched saw.

    Anyway, I'll stop hogging the space...Take care, Mike

  2. Mike, excellent stuff. I shall peruse at length, inwardly digest and then explain how none of the existing tooth counts fit The Plan... ;)

  3. Oh, I didn't think they would! But that's why files were invented [g]...and computer printouts for spacing after jointing...

    But really, you did ask...

    The reality of most workers is that we make due with what we have. Oh, we might change a rip to x-cut or the other way, but often don't choose the change the ppi.

    But in an ideal, utopian sort of way, there are ideals for the work and the wood.

    That's why you just might need 'em all.

    Take care, Mike


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