Not quite in the workshop... #27: If I use a Japanese hand saw to cut wood, must I bow to the wood first?

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by dbhost posted 12-17-2010 09:52 PM 1403 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 26: Chillin out, and giving my back some time to rest. Part 27 of Not quite in the workshop... series Part 28: Been a busy bugger.... Progress on the lumber wagon, and in the house... »

I am not sure if I ever mentioned how fond I have become of the Marples Japanese pull saws I got from Home Depot… These things are a breeze to use, and last night, while working in the attic, laying down some new bracing for decking, and then the decking I had an opportunity to use said Japanese pull saw to clear out some 1/2” ply bracing (no kidding) that was completely unsupported, and just dangling in to thin air that was over the joists… (I do not think the builders of my house were drug tested…).

Well while I was stooped over in the short attic space, it happened to cross my mind of the traditional bow to one’s opponent in Martial arts, and I wondered, if this wood was my opponent, was I supposed to bow to it before I took the weapon that would cut it down to it?

Yeah my brain works that way… Kind of a dumb thought, but that is what crossed my mind…

Anyway, so the closet space is finished, I have another 4 panels of 2’x4’ 5/8” OSB decking down in the attic, and the remaining totes from LOML’s scrapbooking addiction are in place. I have the shop dog induced drywall hole in the kitchen patched, and mudded, I need to sand it today, and at least prime it.

I have so much more to do, the guests will be arriving on Tuesday, and it looks like I am going to be working this weekend. I think LOML is going to end up having a conniption fit…

All things considered, I’d rather be at the hunting lease right about now.

-- Please like and subscribe to my YouTube Channel

5 comments so far

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3697 days

#1 posted 12-17-2010 09:59 PM

I love those saws too. I made the mistake of kinking mine because I’ve used it for much rougher work than it was intended for. It just worked so well I couldn’t resist. I’ll probably pick up another one and keep the one with a couple bent teeth for the rough work.

View dfdye's profile


372 posts in 3006 days

#2 posted 12-18-2010 01:29 AM

Yea, the Irwin disposable Japanese style saws I have used have all cut well out of the package, and unfortunately I too know how easy they are to kink. As cheap as they are, I really don’t have too much trouble replacing them when needed, but I am increasingly drawn to back saws since I can re-file them and keep them in shape when needed. The cost has definitely been keeping me from switching away from the cheap Japanese saws, though—I just don’t do enough hand sawing to justify a LN. Maybe the Veritas back saws will end up on my bench some day, but for now, I don’t really have an complaints about the Irwin saws for general use. Ironically, their “dovetail” saw is filed for crosscutting, rather than ripping, but as long as you aren’t cutting dovetails with it, it is actually a pretty good little saw.

-- David from Indiana --

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 2857 days

#3 posted 12-18-2010 04:50 AM

Ah, sensei, bowing to the wood is optional, depending on the quality of the wood. Nice hardwood deserves a bow before attacking it with cold steel. Cheap 2 by 4s may be cut down without compunction. (grin)

-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4170 posts in 3133 days

#4 posted 12-18-2010 04:54 PM

Right now the only hand saws I use are my hack saw and my coping saw. Neither are Japenese, so neither gets a bow.

My Hitachi half sheet sander gets a bow because he is my longest lived Japenese tool, and will never die, so must be considered a diety. I may install him in a shrine…....................(-:


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View mafe's profile


11643 posts in 3058 days

#5 posted 12-20-2010 08:39 PM

I’m also a admire of the Japanese saws, so I think a bow is in it’s place.
But it makes me think, what should I do for a hacksaw then?
(I do sketchbooks not scrapbooks –
Best thoughts, and thank you for the smile,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics