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Thread: Starting an aggressive saw

  1. #1
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    Starting an aggressive saw

    I recently picked up this old Disston. IMG_20200823_114506996.jpgIMG_20200823_114452139.jpgIt is stamped on the plate 5. It has a very aggressive tooth pattern but once it gets going it can rip.The problem is starting a kerf. I have been using a less aggressive saw to start a kerf and then come in with this one. Is there a trick to starting a saw like this?
    Last edited by Jason Buresh; 10-15-2020 at 3:56 PM.

  2. #2
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    I draw back several times with aggressive panel rip saws, at an angle across the corner. It essentially creates the start of the kerf for you. I also start at the heel on those.

    I could be wrong, but that's how I was taught. Backsaws, are a different story.
    ~mike

    scope creep

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    Some will cut a notch with a knife next to their knife line, pencil line or chalk line.

    Others will use the heel of their hand agains the lower horn to lightly lift the saw through the starting forward motion.

    Then, many do as Mike posted by starting the kerf with a backward stroke or a few.

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

  4. #4
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    Try starting with the wood tilted away from you and/or lowering your hand so the saw is attacking the wood at a steep angle, ~45 degrees. After a few strokes you can raise your hand slightly and have at it. The wood your ripping needs to be fairly thick, 1" or more. need to keep several teeth in the wood

    Brian
    The significant problems we encounter cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Hale View Post
    Try starting with the wood tilted away from you and/or lowering your hand so the saw is attacking the wood at a steep angle, ~45 degrees. After a few strokes you can raise your hand slightly and have at it. The wood your ripping needs to be fairly thick, 1" or more. need to keep several teeth in the wood
    Brian
    This is good advice.

    I would add, relax your grip on the saw. The tendency is to try to hold it more firmly to make sure it starts where you want it to, and you want to avoid that.

  6. #6
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    The big rippers are a bear (for the non-expert) and I have the same struggles as you. What I have found (so far) that helps me is to:
    Start at the heel @ ~45° to the corner
    Try holding the saw with 2 fingers and just rest it on the wood before pushing forward
    Use a good starting kerf or notch

  7. #7
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    I back up across a corner too, and then a light hand until you get the feel for that board.

  8. #8
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    So i was playing around tonight. I used Jim's trick of using a knife to cut a a small wedge out, changed my angle, loosened my grip, and did the pull back technique and i am able to get it going.

    Thanks for all the advice!!

  9. #9
    Even once the rip gets going it helps to keep the wood tilted away. I try to rip on my saw bench which makes you do it this way.


    However, I was taught that if you just kiss the teeth and keep extremely light pressure you can take a fairly long stroke and the cut will start. If I can do it with a little practice anyone can. There’s no need to draw back on the saw or to start with a less aggressive saw.

  10. #10
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    Probably true, I learned on work sites. We had stuff to do.
    ~mike

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    Good advice Mike...Agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    I draw back several times with aggressive panel rip saws, at an angle across the corner. It essentially creates the start of the kerf for you. I also start at the heel on those.

    I could be wrong, but that's how I was taught. Backsaws, are a different story.
    Jerry

  12. #12
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    Hard to tell from the one picture, but you _might_ have some smaller teeth at the tip end of that thing away from the handle.

    Of the rip saws I have numbered 6 or less, I only have one with the smaller teeth on the tip. They were a bugger to sharpen, but now that I have the sharpness dialed in I can start a rip cut with the three inches or so of the blade tip with the msaller teeth, and then take longer strokes. If your saw has those it is probably worth giving it a try once the baby teeth are sharp.

  13. #13
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    I’ve found this exercise helpful, though all of the techniques above are good.

    https://brfinewoodworking.com/video-...-hand-saw-cut/

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    I am not sure if it applies to panel saws, but in one of Paul sellers videos on sharpening back saws he mentions shaping the first few teeth with what I would call a 45* rake angle. Basically straight down triangles. Like I said not sure if that works with low tooth panel, but a idea.
    I just picked up a harvey piece 4-1/2 point and have had the same exact issue as you.

  15. #15
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    I am not sure if it applies to panel saws, but in one of Paul sellers videos on sharpening back saws he mentions shaping the first few teeth with what I would call a 45* rake angle.
    That would be like having a kerf starter at the end of the saw.

    Maybe that is what the nib on the back of saws was meant to be.

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

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