How to Saw Straight

Posted by on Jul 30, 2013 in Uncategorized | No Comments

You probably know that it can be difficult to saw a piece nice and square. This is an important skill when cutting tenons by hand. If the shoulders are not square then they will not sit down neatly onto the mortice piece. So here is my advice on how to saw straight and square. This applies to pieces up to about 100mm (4″) wide, any wider and this system is not so useful.

It is difficult to saw precisely to a pencil line, the pencil line has a width of it's own so where do you saw to? Instead of using a pencil use a marking knife or scalpel to mark your line.

It is difficult to saw precisely to a pencil line, the pencil line has a width of it’s own so where do you saw to? Instead of using a pencil use a marking knife or scalpel to mark your line.

Use a sharp chisel to cut a slight chamfer down to the knife line from the waste side. Remember my safety tip! You should be able to flick away slither you have chiselled.

Use a sharp chisel to cut a slight chamfer down to the knife line from the waste side. Remember my safety tip! You should be able to flick away slither you have chiselled.

Use a sharp chisel to cut a slight chamfer down to the knife line from the waste side. Remember my safety tip! You should be able to flick away slither you have chiselled.

Use a sharp chisel to cut a slight chamfer down to the knife line from the waste side. Remember my safety tip! You should be able to flick away slither you have chiselled.

The quality of the vertical cut is determined by your stance. Try to get a straight line from your shoulder through the elbow and a long the saw. Also try to get your eyes over the top of the saw. You may have to change your standing position to achieve this.

It takes practice to get a good square cut. I often do a few practice cuts on some was just to get my eye in before working on the real thing.

It’s not easy to explain this in words so you may like to see the video I have on YouTube which deals with this.

If, after trying out these techniques, you still can’t get a square cut all is not lost, there are ways of dealing with this which I will deal with in the next FWN.

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Thankyou, Chris.

 

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