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Thread: What manual saw style for this task?

  1. #1

    What manual saw style for this task?

    So I live in Northern CA. In Winter we usually use our forced air heater to heat the house. But we also burn our wood stove for comfort fires ( to get the living room toasty..) and for keeping the house from getting too cold on the coldest nights.. I probably only go thru a cord and a half of wood in one winter.

    I keep my wood a few steps outside the garage in a small wood storage shed built special for firewood.. holds maybe 3/4 cord of wood.

    I keep enough for about 3 or 4 nights of wood in the garage . my firewood is usually pre-sized ( from my supplier)for the stove sometimes i like to have half logs or logs come thru just a bit too big to fit in my smaller sized stove. this happens about 10% of the time.. do enough that i'd like to have the right tool for this but not enough to tension up my nd move my bandsaw into position or fire up a chainsaw..

    In those cases, I like to cross cut those pieces in half by hand. Most are about 6 inches or so in diameter. Seeing as I usually save my handsaws for finer work and not wanting to trash sharp blades on my power tools,with the grit and dirt found on firewood.. what hand saw style would work best?

    the logs usually get chucked into my face vise and cut in half there inside the garage/woodshop. half the time I'm in pajamas or a robe and don't want to fire up a chainsaw. So been trying to use some bowsaws I have around but they seem to bind up fairly often. I have A 5pt rip cut disston d7 (one of my lesser qaulity hand saws) from the 50's I sometimes use but am trying to find the BEST tool for the job..

    So Any help would be appreciated.

    options are

    Metal Bowsaw. I have a 30 Almost 40 incher but the blade is old and the thin blade seems to wander and bind real bad making me really hate it.. Doesn't seem that EVEN a new blade will make his thing cut sweet.

    Vintage buck saw. Blades seem a bit wider.. i'd have to find one and learn to sharpen but already fettled planes and restoring handsaws doesn't scare me off of this option as long as it provides the best cutting..

    Make a frame saw fitted with good off the shelf or custom blades.. Something wide enough to not wander like the bowsaw?

    get a beater hand saw file big crosscut teeth on it ?

    vintage one man crosscut ?

    modern japanese or euro pruning type saw?

    So Any one with experience that would like to chime in I'd appreciate it...



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Longview WA
    My firewood hand is a cheap crosscut bought either in a hardware store or a big box for my son about 30 years ago. My recollection is it cost $10.

    Your 5pt D7 could be filed cross cut and would likely tear right through your logs.

    A small log bucking horse would help.

    Search > log bucking horse < to find various images.

    Mine was built 9 years ago, has often been left outside. It has only needed a few repairs over the years. It gets used with my chain saw and hand saws.

    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 12-03-2017 at 11:37 AM. Reason: changed was to is
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Get a better bowsaw with a blade designed for cutting limbs.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    mid-coast Maine and deep space
    I gave up on bow saws after I discovered SILKY saws. They come in a great variety of blade styles and purposes. One of their curved blades - TSURUGIs in the 200 to 300 mm size would be perfect but the straight saws would be fine too. These cut so much better than anything else I have ever used for woods work (and I've cut firewood in my PJs with one of my Silkys) . Shop around for the best price. They are well worth the money. I resharpen mine and they just keep going.
    Last edited by Sam Murdoch; 12-03-2017 at 8:27 AM.
    "... for when we become in heart completely poor, we at once are the treasurers & disbursers of enormous riches."

  5. #5
    One of these type saws should get your pieces cut in short order. Steel Handle Bow Saw
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    USNA- '71
    Captain USN(Ret)

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Broadview Heights, OH
    If you are looking for something more traditional, consider a docking saw. Disston made the model 196. There are two flavors, one is an earlier model with cast iron handle that is permanently riveted to the blade. A later model had a wooden handle applied with traditional saw screws. Almost all are heavily breasted and come with 4 ppi cross cut teeth. They were intended for dock workers and other folks that had to cut thick timbers to length. I presume the cast iron handle was to protect it from the many falls it likely took. I think the one man CC saw would be too long and floppy for what you are looking to do.

    I have one that I tuned up many years ago and use it once a year to cut down the Christmas tree. A search on Ebay will find several examples or a call to any of the saw vendors here could likely hook you up.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Cockeysville, Md
    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Murdoch View Post
    I gave up on bow saws after I discovered SILKY saws. .....
    I'm in TOTAL agreement with the Sikly saw option! I keep this one in my truck for camping trips but also gets used 'round the property at home. it will surprise you how fast it cuts.

    For times when the saw binds, a squirt bottle with water and a few drops of dish soap is helpful
    The significant problems we encounter cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

    The penalty for inaccuracy is more work

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    mid-coast Maine and deep space
    That Silky Katana Boy - linked to byBrian ^ - is my "quiet chain saw". It is likely lots more saw than the OP is looking for but I highly recommend this as a woods saw. Can easily cut through 4" to 8" soft woods and if you are younger than me, with more stamina and muscle tone - hardwoods too. What a beast of a handsaw. Bought mine for less than a $ 100.00 directly from Japan 4 or 5 years back. I carry it in its sheath to do trail clearing around the local nature preserve. I don't hesitate to clear most blow downs with it. The smaller Silkys are just as impressive saws.
    "... for when we become in heart completely poor, we at once are the treasurers & disbursers of enormous riches."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Bakerton WV
    I use a Bahco bow saw with 912mm or 36" nominal blade from Amazon under $35. The teeth are hard and sharp, the saw cuts well with a straight cut and works best with an easy stroke, if one bears down the blade will deflect. Replacement blades go for $10 to $12 and will remain sharp for a heating season. Call me well satisfied. Used on mixed hardwoods hardness range of black locust on through to pulpy hardwoods. On my fourth heating season with the frame and I will likely remain as long as I can get blades.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Mandalay Shores, CA
    Blog Entries
    I cut firewood like this reasonably often. I use a decent metal bowsaw. It has climbed trees for pruninfg but I use it more often when I donít want to break out the chainsaw. But I think any of the options will work. It is after all, firewood.

    "no trees were harmed in the creation of this message, however some electrons were temporarily inconvenienced."

    "I resent having to use my brain to do your thinking"

  11. #11
    Nice thanks for all the suggestions.. Cant say it helped me decide anything but I'll try some of the cheaper and more accessible options (accessible to me) and move up if I don't find a good solution.. Definitely looking for a vintage tool option but will just try to find what works best.

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