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2017 Rip Saw choice

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Forum topic by Just_Iain posted 04-29-2017 04:25 PM 666 views 0 times favorited 20 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Just_Iain

225 posts in 249 days


04-29-2017 04:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: rip saw advice 2017 question

Fellow Lumberjocks,

I need some advice. I’m trying to find a Rip Saw with the following needs and inclinations on my part:
1) Hardwoods capable (3” maximum).
2) Resharpenable, but I have never sharpened a saw in my life so worst case scenario is use a quality sharpening service.
3) Somewhat reasonable price. Lets put the Pax Rip that Lee Valley sells as being the top of comfortable range so if more expensive, I need the value explained to justify it.
4) Older saws are not a problem but not 1890 Disstons (desirable but not what I envision as easiest to maintain as a new saw).
5) Willing to go Japanese but need to be able to rip 2” to 3” hardwood as a worst case scenario. If you have used one for this, please advise on brand and style.
6) Size! I live in an apartment with limited space so a Frame Saw as promoted by Tom Fidgen is too much for now (seen in video and while I was at the Unplugged Workshop last weekend).

The easiest to look for on eBay are rust buckets, questionable condition or quality refurbished that can get new saw expensive. Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated.

Many Thanks,
Iain

-- For those about to die, remember your bicycle helmet!


20 replies so far

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

918 posts in 1944 days


#1 posted 04-29-2017 04:31 PM

I have the pax rip from LV. I really like it. I had to stone one side to get it to cut straight out of the box but it was two or three passes and it works like a champ now. If there are antique saws in your area I’d probably recommend going that way, but if you live somewhere like me there is almost nothing of any quality and new is your best bet. Some people don’t like the pax handles but it doesn’t bother me.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8287 posts in 1319 days


#2 posted 04-29-2017 04:57 PM

typically the older the better when it comes to saws.

Upkeep will be pretty much the same for new/old. They all need to be sharpened eventually.

There are plenty of cheap rip saws out there.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

18603 posts in 2516 days


#3 posted 04-29-2017 05:12 PM

I have a Disston Keystone Challenger #6-1/2 saw for a rip saw. 5and a half teeth per inch (5-1/2 ppi)

Easy to sharpen. Handle is comfy. Use it more than the 6ppi I also have.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View noahm's profile

noahm

8 posts in 389 days


#4 posted 04-29-2017 05:13 PM

For that budget, I would look for a refurbed Disston 12 that has been filed rip by a reputable refurb guy. You might pay around $100, but you will have a better saw than the Pax and there is no maintenance issue with an older saw vs a new saw.

I have gotten several 12s off the bay at around the $25-40 range that were very easy to rehab to superb users, but since you aren’t currently in the rehab mode, I would spend that $ on a good refurb than the new Pax any day. Even a good D-8 with the thumb hole will make a better user and can be gotten for far less.

Bottom line is even if you spend the same as new on a refurb, you are almost certainly getting a better saw. Check out the ‘saws using, collecting …’ thread and you will find a handful of guys that do this full time. Just PM one of them with your needs and budget and you will likely get a fine user.

View BlasterStumps's profile

BlasterStumps

397 posts in 273 days


#5 posted 04-29-2017 05:34 PM

To start out, I wouldn’t be afraid to try a heat treated hardened tooth saw in about an 8 PPI. Plenty to choose from and they won’t set you back much. You might just be surprized at how it cuts hardwood. They can’t be resharpened but they can be replaced when the time comes.

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

918 posts in 1944 days


#6 posted 04-29-2017 06:58 PM



For that budget, I would look for a refurbed Disston 12 that has been filed rip by a reputable refurb guy. You might pay around $100, but you will have a better saw than the Pax and there is no maintenance issue with an older saw vs a new saw.

I have gotten several 12s off the bay at around the $25-40 range that were very easy to rehab to superb users, but since you aren t currently in the rehab mode, I would spend that $ on a good refurb than the new Pax any day. Even a good D-8 with the thumb hole will make a better user and can be gotten for far less.

Bottom line is even if you spend the same as new on a refurb, you are almost certainly getting a better saw. Check out the saws using, collecting … thread and you will find a handful of guys that do this full time. Just PM one of them with your needs and budget and you will likely get a fine user.

- noahm

I’m curious about how a vintage saw will be better than the Pax. I’ve used both and they both cut wood just fine. There seems to be prejudice against pax by people who have never used them. Other than needing a stoning out of the box I have no complaints about mine.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany

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noahm

8 posts in 389 days


#7 posted 04-29-2017 07:09 PM

I m curious about how a vintage saw will be better than the Pax. I ve used both and they both cut wood just fine. There seems to be prejudice against pax by people who have never used them. Other than needing a stoning out of the box I have no complaints about mine.

- JADobson


The main reason on the Pax is they are panel saws, so they are shorter which for ripping is a real issue and the handles are far less ergonomic. I don’t know how much taper grinding is done on them, but I doubt they are near the level that the #12 was. Not that they are bad, just that a good #12 is better. The main thing is why pay more if you aren’t getting more?

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

8287 posts in 1319 days


#8 posted 04-29-2017 07:15 PM

I think the odds are you can find vintage cheaper. To each his own really. Hell I have nothing but LV/LN planes.

The older saws were taper ground 2 ways which helped to keep it from binding in a cut among other things. I’m not that knowledgeable about sa s so someone else could probably add some thing.

Edit: I spoke with someone recently about taper grinding and if there are any out there they are far and few between. Not to mention probably expensive.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

18603 posts in 2516 days


#9 posted 04-29-2017 11:42 PM

Disston made a line of saws back in the 1930s, called Keystone. There was a “Challenger” model, No. 6-1/2

Straight back, 26” long, and had 5-1/2 points per inch..

Very nice rip saw, easy to sharpen those big teeth. A file can be about any brand you prefer, I use Stanley, a 6” extra slim taper.

I also dug up a handle for the files..

And, I found an old saw vise. Wentworth No. 1

That can either be attached to a dedicated bench, or just attached to a 2×6 scrap and clamped into a vise.
I mentioned I had a second, 6 ppi saw?

Disston No. 7, 6ppi. Sitting in the saw vise as you would when sharpening these teeth..

Neither saw costs all that much. Look for a straight saw plate, a decent handle with out cracks. Handle should feel good in your hand when you pick the saw up. Use a tape measure or ruler, to count the number of teeth points per inch. You can find anywhere from 4 ppi up to a 6 or a 7 for rip saw work. The higher tooth counts are easier to start the cut…..and slower.

You can add a bit of candle wax to the saw plate, to help it slide in the cut easier. Do not get any on the teeth themselves, as it will cause them to retain sawdust…making the saw act dull. Clean,SHARP teeth is what you want.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View Just_Iain's profile

Just_Iain

225 posts in 249 days


#10 posted 04-30-2017 11:59 AM

Good Morning and Thank You all for your help. I put in a bid on a Warranted Superior at 6PPI this morning and will see where that goes. Disston’s I keep loosing on the one’s that I have bid on (somewhere around 6 in the last 3 weeks) and considering that shipping and cost can push it over a $100, it can be an ouch before I even get my hands on it. I’ll keep looking and bidding till I succeed up to a point then worse comes to worse, I’ll buy the Pax.

Thank you again for your help.
Iain

-- For those about to die, remember your bicycle helmet!

View noahm's profile

noahm

8 posts in 389 days


#11 posted 04-30-2017 05:49 PM

272630425987 on the bay. This is the kind of thing that might be worth it IMO if you are not interested in sharpening yourself. I have no idea on the seller, but the feedback indicates he sells good sharp saws. If you make a $75 ish offer… Again, I am more inclined to go cheap and refurb, and you never know with the bay, but it seems like a good saw. Might be worth just contacting him or look around and some others. If you look carefully for pitting, and straight plates and uncracked handles, I have had very good luck with several sellers.

Just to be clear, you can get a way better deal if you have a decent eye when looking at pics and learn to sharpen yourself. Sharpening is not rocket science especially for rip teeth.

View Tim's profile

Tim

3678 posts in 1794 days


#12 posted 04-30-2017 06:02 PM

I should really start fixing up and selling off some of my extra old Disstons.

View noahm's profile

noahm

8 posts in 389 days


#13 posted 04-30-2017 06:47 PM



I should really start fixing up and selling off some of my extra old Disstons.

- Tim


I just had to finally cut myself off. I use about 3 of my full sized saws, but have 15 or so quite nice ones. I can’t help myself if I see a good deal on a poorly described listing. I tend to drop the minimum bid and see what happens. I like my Disstons, but have a soft spot for Atkins as well. I’m not interested in doing the estate sale thing though. That is the only way you get the steal on a $3-5 saw you can sharpen up. Too much time and effort.

View BlasterStumps's profile

BlasterStumps

397 posts in 273 days


#14 posted 04-30-2017 08:16 PM

Just_Iain, the saw bug will bite you when you get your first old one. Then look out, you will want files, saw sets, saw vise, saw till, all the handle making stuff and pretty soon you will be free! Free of all your mad money that is. Once you start, you can’t stop! : )

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

18603 posts in 2516 days


#15 posted 04-30-2017 09:50 PM

Scary thought…

Ain’t it…

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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