Handsaw: 26" too long for woodworking?

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Forum topic by Brett posted 06-14-2012 03:01 PM 1122 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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665 posts in 2921 days

06-14-2012 03:01 PM

I’ve read some comments recently that 26”, a fairly common length for old hand saws, is a bit too long for a saw used for making furniture (the 26” saws are common because they were used in construction). Has anyone found that to be the case, or is 26” okay for a saw used for ripping and/or crosscutting?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

4 replies so far

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21999 posts in 2921 days

#1 posted 06-14-2012 03:20 PM

Here’s a test you can try. Take two saws, one a 26’ one, the other a shorty (panel) saw. Clamp up a 2×4 of whatever you have in the old scrap box. Cut off a chunk with each, but, COUNT the number of full strokes you used to cut the chunk off.

Old saying: “Son, you bought the saw that long, might as well use the whole saw.”

You might find that it is less work to use a longer saw, simply because it is longer. Less strokes to complete a cut = less work on my tired old arm. Remember, use the whole length of the saw blade.

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

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3599 posts in 2725 days

#2 posted 06-14-2012 03:39 PM

When I use to work at house framing, a young fella just starting out didn’t know how to swing a hammer. He would grab it at the spot where the rubber handle ended and the steel haft began… It would take him at least 20 smacks to drive a 16d nail into a pair of 2X4’s… An old hand came by and told him, “If that handle is too long for ya, I’ll be happy to cut it off!”

The young guy got the hint and became one of the better framers in our crew.

Use the same standard with your saw.

I like my 26” saws, but then I like my 22” #12 ships saw. It’s made of thinner stock, has a narrow nose and was made to be able to cut large radius curves if needed but can still cut a straight line down a 3X6 piece of oak with no problem.

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

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2601 posts in 3256 days

#3 posted 06-14-2012 04:47 PM

Well the 2 guys that posted above me are correct! The 26” goes to waste if your arms are really short and not able to utilize the full length of the saw otherwise it is not too long!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

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4152 posts in 3189 days

#4 posted 06-14-2012 04:57 PM

I’ll use a long hand saw when I need to cut lumber down to rough dimensions. I prefer that over my SCMS.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

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