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Forum topic by Holbs posted 12-17-2017 09:21 PM 3311 views 0 times favorited 33 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Holbs

1843 posts in 1997 days


12-17-2017 09:21 PM

I have been doing lots of reading about 24”+ handsaws last couple of days, and have my variety of estate sale plates being cleaned up along with some backsaws. I will soon have to decide how many I keep and what their purpose are for.
Let me see if I get this straight:
1.) you should have both rip & crosscut for 4/4 softwood.
2.) you should have both rip & crosscut for 4/4 hardwood (different rake angle than softwood).
3.) you should have both rip & crosscut for 8/4 softwood.
4.) you should have both rip & crosscut for 8/4 hardwood (different PPI than 4/4).
5.) you should have some saw for plywood or behind truck seats.
With searching through previous posts here on LJ’s, the recommendation is usually just a single pair of 1 rip and 1 crosscut, not 4 pairs. Is it necessary to have dedicated handsaws down to the minute job detail? It certainly would not hurt in my case as I have…6 or 7 being cleaned up right now and could always acquire a 8th somewhere with the amount of handsaws at estate auctions I come across.
What would I use the saws for? I am hoping to build my joinery bench and eventual roubo bench all from hand tools, and other future projects but yet still use machinery 1/2 the time for stuff.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter


33 replies so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2505 posts in 615 days


#1 posted 12-17-2017 10:16 PM

I don’t know about all of that … I have/use but one cross cut and one rip for everything. I also have one back saw for use with a miter block, one tenon saw for … well tenons, and one half-back saw that I use for long rebates. My rip saw of choice is a No. 7. I do have in the shop a No. 6 rip saw that hasn’t seen much use … I just can’t seem to part with it. I use no machinery … unless you want to consider my reciprocating treadle saw, hand crank drill press, and spring pole lathe a machine.

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

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Holbs

1843 posts in 1997 days


#2 posted 12-17-2017 10:19 PM

Ron, what PPI & rake do you use?
How does the rip saw work with 3/4” thick versus 2” thick hardwood?

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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summerfi

3883 posts in 1655 days


#3 posted 12-17-2017 10:44 PM

I would say focus on quality rather than quantity. Many of the saws I see in your picture appear to be post-1950 era saws when quality had begun to decrease significantly. Look for vintage saws made prior to 1928. The period from about 1870 to 1920 was the peak of saw manufacturing quality. Those saws are still readily available at reasonable prices if you search a little.

As for how many and what type, I believe 4 handsaws would be adequate for most people. Backsaws are a whole other topic. Of the 4 saws, I would have 2 panel saws (less than 24”) and two full size handsaws (greater than 24”). For the panel saws, I would have a rip of around 9 ppi and a crosscut of around 11 ppi. For the full size handsaws, I would have a rip of around 6 ppi and a crosscut of around 8 ppi. That would get you by on just about any job unless you got into really big material.

Perhaps even more important than how many or what type of saws is to ensure that your saws are properly and adequately sharpened. Even the best saw will do a poor or inefficient job if it is not properly maintained and sharpened.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works http://www.rmsaws.com/p/about-us.html

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Ron Aylor

2505 posts in 615 days


#4 posted 12-17-2017 10:49 PM

Holbs – My rip saw cuts both 3/4” and 2” stock like butter. I keep all of my saws sharp, oiled, and with little set. I have worked through walnut, cherry, black oak, birch, maple, mahogany, ash, alder, and pine with no issue. I guess it’s all what you get used to.

Cross = 7 ppi 15° rake
Rip = 7 ppi 0° rake
Half-Back = 10 ppi 0° rake
Back = 12 ppi 0° rake
Tenon = 14 ppi 0° rake
Dovetail = 18 ppi 0° rake

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

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Holbs

1843 posts in 1997 days


#5 posted 12-17-2017 11:25 PM

Bob…from what I can see from the etchings, I have the Disston 23 (I believe early 1900’s), Disston 95 (post WW II i believe), Pax backsaw, and 2 more Disston’s that for sure are in the last 20 years. The other ones are no names for 26” saws. However, the 3 or 4 backsaws that I have yet to clean up are Sheffield plates by local makers (rather interesting), one showing 1917 date.
But yea… I’ll be keeping an eye out at auctions for saws that I can identify as being better quality. It seems the Disston D8 is highly recommended. Can not afford newer $200+ saws.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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Holbs

1843 posts in 1997 days


#6 posted 12-18-2017 01:33 AM

Looking at the emblems and Disston Online Reference, looks like I have 3 Disstons (D23, D95, and unknown) but all medallions are Disston USA which means after the war.
I have one E.C. Atkins with AAA medallion which is dated 1893-1952.
I have one E.C. Atkins partially etched, but no medallion on handle.
I have one Warranted Superior with the eagle wings folded along side, not out sprayed like most medallions.
And then a couple Spear & Jackson backsaws, wzeyak & sons backsaw, etc.
Looks like it’s hit or miss for pre-war / post-war. I’ll continue with these saws since I have no others, and practice sharpening, jointing, etc.

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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summerfi

3883 posts in 1655 days


#7 posted 12-18-2017 02:27 AM

Holbs – The Spear & Jacksons may be good saws if they are early. The wzeyak is probably a Tyzack.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works http://www.rmsaws.com/p/about-us.html

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Holbs

1843 posts in 1997 days


#8 posted 12-19-2017 06:02 AM

Ron… your 7 ppi 15 degree rake (where is that degree symbol?), do you use the standard 20 degree fleam angle?

Bob… you say backsaws are another matter. How so?
What is not in any pictures are my 3 backsaws from Veritas: dovetail, tenon rip, and tenon crosscut.
I would imagine the need of a single 14” backsaw unless there is need for both rip & crosscut. What I have left from cleaning are 5 14” and 2 12” backsaws (which most are unknown date of manufactured).

-- The Carpenter Bee is derived from the Ancient Greek word wood-cutter

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summerfi

3883 posts in 1655 days


#9 posted 12-19-2017 06:14 AM

Bob… you say backsaws are another matter. How so?

The primary use of handsaws is for breaking stock down into smaller pieces. The primary use of backsaws is for joinery.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works http://www.rmsaws.com/p/about-us.html

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Tim

3784 posts in 1929 days


#10 posted 12-19-2017 02:09 PM

Only you can decide if having 3 extra sets of saws tuned to specific operations is worth it to you. I haven’t tested all those combinations so I can’t say how much more efficient they are, but I would think that unless you enjoy cleaning up saws, then it’s not worth your time for the slight increase in efficiency. It would take an awful lot of breaking down stock by hand before the hours of time cleaning up the saws would be made back in time savings in the cuts. But again, if you enjoy it, go for it.

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Ron Aylor

2505 posts in 615 days


#11 posted 12-19-2017 05:03 PM



Ron… your 7 ppi 15 degree rake (where is that degree symbol?), do you use the standard 20 degree fleam angle?

- Holbs

Holbs – Yes, 20° fleam on the cross cut saw. As to the degree symbol … simply hold down your Alt key and type 248 … once you release the Alt key you will see the ° … if using italics for emphasis you might consider following italicized word with Alt255 … this inserts a space and looks less crowded. I use the Alt255 to arrange the photos on my blog … the portrait photos are preceded with fifteen Alt255 characters to place them in the center of the landscape photos … cool trick! See Alt Codes.

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile

Smitty_Cabinetshop

15283 posts in 2586 days


#12 posted 12-19-2017 05:12 PM

On a Macbook, the ‘degrees’ symbol is Option-Shift-8. Wanted to figure this out for a while, this post pushed it to the forefront. :-)

°

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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gargey

958 posts in 743 days


#13 posted 12-19-2017 06:11 PM

What about 1/2” stock, or 1.5” stock, or hard softwoods and soft hardwoods? You need at least 6 trillion saws to be able to saw wood.

Not.

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Ron Aylor

2505 posts in 615 days


#14 posted 12-19-2017 06:17 PM



On a Macbook, the degrees symbol is Option-Shift-8. Wanted to figure this out for a while, this post pushed it to the forefront. :-)

°

- Smitty_Cabinetshop

Thanks, Smitty … I guess I should have specified that the above was for Windows.

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

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Smitty_Cabinetshop

15283 posts in 2586 days


#15 posted 12-19-2017 06:25 PM

No problem at all, Ron. Mac users know there’s no ALT key on our machines, just like there’s no Command (⌘) key in Windows.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

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