Today’s post is from Andy over at Workshopshed. He’s just published a book on hand saws and joins us to tell us a bit about it. Thanks, Andy.
Hand saws are quite simple tools but there is a bewildering range of choice. How do you know you are using the right tool for the job? Do you actually know what your options are? The right choice depends on both the material and the tasks. For example, did you know there was a specialist saw just for cutting floorboards? If you are running on a budget which saw should you buy to get the best all-around usability?
The purpose of the book “A little saw” is to help you select that right tool. For the novice, the beginning of the book explains the parts of a saw and how the teeth are configured on different saws. This is followed by the chapters on selection.
The first selection chapter looks at the selection of the material. The saw has to both cut and the clear the material from the slot so the characteristics of the material determine the design of the saw. The hardness of the material can also determine the type of saw and teeth. Friction from cutting can heat the blade so a saw needs to be selected that can dissipate that heat.
It is not just the material that affects the saw selection. The activity you are completing also affects the selection. The chapter on “Selecting a saw by task” can help for this. There needs to be space for the saw so that can determine the size of the saw selected. Different saws cut at different speeds and produce different quality of cut so that also affects selection. Finally, if a task needs high accuracy or delicate cuts then that too could affect the selection.
Once you have picked your saw you want to ensure you get the best from it. The chapter on sawing helps you do just that.
From marking out, holding or clamping the wood the process of cutting. This chapter has practical advice and tips to ensure you saw straight and true and avoid breakout or splintering.
To help you understand the specifics of saws the second section looks at the saws in some more detail. For each type of saw, these chapters provide a description, cutting characteristics and notes help you get to grasps with each type of saw. The illustrations help you recognize the saws and understand how they work.
As a bonus, the appendix contains instructions and plans for you to make some handy accessories. These simple projects will help you get the best from your saw. The bench hook helps you to cut small to medium parts square to the end. The vice mounted coping saw table supports the work you are sawing so it does not snap or twist whilst you are cutting.