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Thread: Saw advice

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
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    Saw advice

    I'm almost a completely 100% hand tool user. I would like to get away from using the band saw for cutting lumber down to workable pieces and cut it all by hand. I have a dovetail and tenon saws, what I need are the bigger saws.

    I think I could maintain and keep a good saw sharp but I do not have the experience right now to take an old saw and joint, retooth and fix up. And the few I have have been given to me need a lot of teeth work.

    Where can I buy a good quality saw that'll meet my needs? What sizes should I get and do I really need both a rip and a crosscut saw?

    As a second option, if cheaper, two of my saws cleaned up OK. Maybe you guys can point me in the direction of someone who can sharpen/retooth them? See picture.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    I also use hand tools exclusively, including stock breakdown. In my opinion, you should have a full sized rip saw, 26 - 28-inches 5 - 7 ppi and a 26-inch crosscut saw 10 ppi for stock breakdown. Then at the bench I have recently added both a rip (7 ppi) and crosscut (12 ppi) 20-inch panel saw. These are great! I bought the LN panel saws a year ago at Christmas and they work great! But they're admittedly spendy.

    Before quarantine I took a saw-sharpening class with Matt Cianci, and now I can maintain my own saws. If you have the opportunity to take a class, or work side by side with somebody knowledgeable, it's well worth it. There's also a hundred videos on Youtube that could get you started.

    DC

  3. #3
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    I went through a similar thought process, I had never sharpened and set saws so I didnít want to try to get an old saw that was in bad shape fixed up. I got a crosscut and rip saw from Pax. They are about $130 each. I havenít seen any better prices on new re-sharpenable panel saws. I was happy with their quality. I had to stone the rip saw to get it to cut straight, but other than that they worked well for me right out of the box. Iíve resharpened both of them and found it pretty straightforward since they started out in good shape. I donít love the handles, but I figure I can re-shape and re-finish those if they start to really bother me.

    if you are going to rip anything more than 3/4Ē thick or re-saw anything, you definitely want a dedicated rip saw. You can rip with a crosscut saw, but it will take all day to do it. My crosscut saw is 11 tpi and the rip saw is 7 tpi, which is a pretty good combo for me. Similarly, you could cross-cut with a rip saw but it will be really rough.

  4. #4
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    Do yourself a favor and go to vintagesawsdotcom (Pete Taran) or PM Mike Allen. A saw from either of these folks will be excellent. If you tell them what wood you need to saw, they will provide great advice.

  5. #5
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    Is pax a seperate company? A search brought me to thomas flinn saws. Some say pax on them.

  6. #6
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    Interesting timing on this. My tenon saw was sharpened today. My sharpening is definitely of a nonprofessional quality but the saw now cuts much better.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  7. #7
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    I recently sharpened my dovetail saw from veritas for the first time. Bought bahco files and watched videos. Fairly quick and easy since I just followed good teeth. I took one of the bigger saws that was given to me and tried to see what I could do. I had to joint the teeth but I had trouble following and reshaping the old teeth.

  8. #8
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    Oh, I’m not sure which is the parent company, but Pax/Thomas Flynn are the saws I’m talking about. Apparently there is one company in England that sells saws under a bunch of brand names.

  9. #9
    If you're going hand tool only then you certainly do need a rip saw as well as the cross cut. You might also consider a bow saw as well as the panel style. I'd suggest 26"ers if you're truly going electron free but I get by with 22'ers. Cross cutting is a simple and pretty fun affair but ripping can be a real chore depending on your projects. Don't sell the bandsaw just yet!

  10. #10
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    +1 on Mike Allen's saws.

    The only stumbling block for a novice is how to hold the saw plate.
    The trouble for us Galoots us seeing itty-bitty teeth.

    https://www.theenglishwoodworker.com/i-saw-a-vice/

  11. #11
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    What are your thoughts on these?

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/153712335775

    I'm also going to PM Mike Allen too, does he make saws or refurbish them?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blake M Williams View Post
    What are your thoughts on these?
    [Edited]
    I'm also going to PM Mike Allen too, does he make saws or refurbish them?
    It amazes me a quality saw can be "hand set and sharpened" at such a price. It must be something other than a common saw set to avoid carpel tunnel syndrome.

    Mike Allen refurbishes and sells saws. He had a recent ad in the SMC Classified > https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread....efit-food-bank

    He has high ratings from many of the members here.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  13. #13
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    Thank you, I sent him a PM.

  14. #14
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    Blake,

    A few thoughts. My handsaw use has been carpentry work primarily, rather than fine woodworking, so I am biased because of that with regard to handsaws. I like 26" handsaws, primarily due to the carpentry work, although I own and use carpenters handsaws of from 16" to 28," and although a bit slow, the 16" saws will do acceptably well even for carpentry work if space for tools is a big issue. Again, however a big saw is my personal choice. When bench space is a problem, like when working on short planks on sawhorses doing small carpentry jobs, sometimes I use my 16" Disston #7s, just due to space limit on the bench.

    With regard to the link to the saws on Ebay, they look better than a lot of major maker off the shelf saws, and are likely not too bad, but I would prefer a vintage saw. Some.......well a lot actually, of the major manufacturers saws have blister maker handles. The handle on that Ebay link saw, has some of those traits, but might be marginally OK, and they look much better than most. On the other hand, the Disston #8 handsaws made from about 1900 to 1918 or so (rough dates...i didn't want to take the time to look up the actual dates)....had handles that were wonderfully user friendly. They were designed for the carpenter who was going to use one all day. Those vintage D-8s had very user friendly handles.

    On the saws to get, I basically agree with David, but my details would be a bit different. I would have 4 handsaws: 1. a 8 point cross cut saw, 2. a 12 point finish cross cut saw, 3. a 4 1/2 point rip saw (26" minimum length), and a 7 point rip finish saw, again 26" minimum length.

    The 8 point cross cut and 4 1/2 used for breaking down the material. The 12 point cross cut 26", and the 7 point rip for finish work.

    Due to my carpenter days, I like big saws, 26", and for big rip jobs a 28" rip if available.

    I will add a bit of explanation tomorrow.

    Regards,

    Stew
    Last edited by Stew Denton; 05-24-2020 at 12:56 AM.

  15. #15
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    Odessa, Tx
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    Thank you the advice. There are so many options on saws, saws sizes, and different teeth configurations. I think your description is the best I have read on why to have different ones.

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