Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
Piercing long boards

Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)
My original idea for the sofa table's front apron was to pierce it. I thought that this would do two things: add a bit of whimsy, and also create a filigree that would lighten the solid front.

The bowed apron is planned to be built from solid pine with a 4mm veneer of walnut behind a 4mm veneer of hard maple, the latter which would be pierced.

I have never done piercing before, but am prepared to practice to get this right. It does not seem particularly difficult ... as long as one is able to saw forwards. The problem with the apron is that it is too long to do this. Either the saw must turn, or the blade must turn in the saw. I have two Knew Concepts fretsaws, one is a 5" that I use for dovetails. The blade turns to 90 degrees. The other is an 8" KC fretsaw, which is especially for jewellers, and the blade turns 360 degrees.

When sawing straight, there is no problem. I have tried a few different types of blades to saw along the board. One was a 46 tpi spiral fretsaw blade. Interesting blade. I could go sideways, but the cut out looked like a rat gnawed its way through the board. My regular 15 tpi blades were too coarse. And the very fine blades I had (purchased in error many years ago) produced a fantastic cut moving straight ahead, but they just snapped when changing direction (any sideways tension is too much).

Is there a secret to this?

Here is the pattern I made and transferred to the maple veneer ..

Some practice pieces ...

Regards from Perth

Derek

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