Hand Tools

Subject:
Re: thanks
Response To:
thanks ()

Derek Cohen (in Perth, Australia)

I suppose the longer blade made sawing it quicker.

I have not been able to saw shoulders so I chisel them.....That said, I probably can't saw shoulders because I only practice chiseling them. so much to learn, so little time to learn it. I still struggle with M&T joinery to get it near perfect. I have an easier time with dovetails, for whatever reason. Maybe because I make more of them.

Bill, a longer saw plate enables a longer stroke, which is a smoother and more efficient movement. Short plates with relatively larger teeth or more vertical rake with create a jerky, staccato-like movement. A long plate will even out the cut. Larger rip teeth are needed on a tenon saw for sawing cheeks. We are likely to be sawing 2 - 3" lengths here, and 10 - 11 tpi are typical for the saw. I use two tenon saws, one 14" and the other 16" long. By contrast, the shorter dovetail saw, also making a rip cut, will have the same shaped (vertical) teeth, but only has to cut 1/2 - 3/4". The plate may be shorter and the teeth smaller, generally 14 - 16 tpi. Dovetail saws tend to be about 10" long.

When you mention chiselling shoulders, you are clearly referring to joinery that would involve sawing across the grain (rather than with the grain, as above). Ideally, this is done with cross-cut teeth. Nevertheless, the rule still applies: the longer the plate, the smoother the movement, and the more accurate the cut. For most tenon shoulders, I use a saw with 14 tpi and an 11" long plate. One could use a dovetail saw for this since the teeth are small, although you may have to put up with a tad more spelching.

The really big crosscut backsaws are those used for mitre- and crosscuts in a mitrebox. My smallest mitrebox uses a 16" saws, while the largest has a massive 26" saw. Again, longer plate enable more efficient movements, but saws like these benefit from guides to keep them on track. By contrast, the tenon cheek is less precise and benefits from later fine tuning with a chisel or plane.

Regards from Perth

Derek

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