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Thread: Pull saws - can't seem to cut straight lines?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Michiana
    Posts
    2,339
    I had a Japanese saw for a time. It cut like a laser, but I couldn't keep it straight. It was suggested all I needed was lots of practice. I have a much easier time with Western saws.
    Sharp solves all manner of problems.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Stone Mountain, GA
    Posts
    679
    You really cannot put any downward pressure on them or the cut will start to wander, especially on the backside. On a western saw you can lean into the cut a little bit without a problem, but not with the typical Japanese style. However, the tooth geometry is such that you don't need to provide downforce- the aggressive rake angle pulls itself into the work. So focus on pulling straight back, without imposing any other force vector on the saw. To cut quickly, think of moving the saw fast instead of forcefully.

    Another thing is that most of the commercially available pull saws have more set to the teeth than you'd ideally want for the finest, straightest cuts. Stan Covington used to recommend lightly stoning the sides of the teeth to remove some of that set and make it more like a fine handmade Japanese saw. I don't mind the extra set, but it does require more diligence on long cuts.

  3. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Hazelwood View Post

    Another thing is that most of the commercially available pull saws have more set to the teeth than you'd ideally want for the finest, straightest cuts. Stan Covington used to recommend lightly stoning the sides of the teeth to remove some of that set and make it more like a fine handmade Japanese saw. I don't mind the extra set, but it does require more diligence on long cuts.
    I read his blog as well and can say from experience that the American Japanese saws have a huge amount of tooth set compared to the genuine Japanese saws. Sometimes pull saw and Japanese saw get used interchangeably but there are many differences when you look into them.
    As Stan says, "a good handsaw will have no more set than absolutely necessary to get the job done. "
    https://covingtonandsons.com/

  4. #19
    I've never had much luck with pull saws, maybe because I put too much pressure on them. Western saws work better for me because they're a bit more tolerant of downward pressure.

    I don't think there's any reason to wax the saw blade unless there's tension in the wood that makes the kerf close up. The set in the teeth should prevent the saw plate rubbing on the wood.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    2,680
    I was taught to mark out all 4 sides of the cut for the first step. Then cut and always move the angle of the saw. On thick stop you can cut all 4 sides and meet in the middle. I barely put any down pressure on the saw, and let it skate on the cut when I push it backwards. I see quite a few people actually put pressure on the push back like they are using a western saw. This craftsman's technique is close. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4C6oygCSaz0

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