Wood Arts

How To Use A Hand Saw

A hand saw is a very useful tool especially if you are engaged in a do it yourself project. There are different handsaws suited for each job. Some examples include the crosscut saw and the rip saw among others. Below is how to use a hand saw.

Prepare the working area

You need to have a good working bench that can support your knee or upper body weight when holding the piece of wood in place. The work bench should be of a comfortable height. You will need to have a few pieces of wood of varying length and thickness.

Bench vices can come in handy especially if the piece of wood to be cut is too long and might break when pressure is applied on one end.

How to hold a hand saw properly

Depending whether you are left handed or right handed, you need to practice holding a hand saw correctly. The best way to do this is to wrap your thumb on the handle of the saw from one side while the three fingers beginning with the middle finger, should wrap around the handle to meet the thumb.

The index finger should be on the handle’s side supporting the hand and pointing towards the blade. Other people prefer wrapping four fingers around one side of the handle while the thumb wraps on the handle from the other side.

You need to hold the hand saw at a steady position for easier cutting.

How to properly use a hand saw to cut a piece of wood

Start by placing the wood on a bench. You can hold the piece of wood down by placing your knee or hand on one side. Measure your piece of wood and using a pencil, mark with a small line the point you need to cut. You can measure twice in order to confirm. The mark made will be able to guide you in cutting the piece of wood in a straight line.

Place the blade of handsaw on the wood with the teeth on the mark. Using your free hand, place it beside the mark to help hold down the piece of wood when not using a bench vice or your knee. If the hand saw you are using is a crosscut saw, you need to make the cut by starting with the teeth near the handle. If the hand saw is a ripsaw, you need to make your cut with the finer teeth further from the handle. Proceed by making a few cuts creating a nice kerf on the wood. You need to make the cut beside the pencil marking made earlier. This is because that is the waste wood and you will not be using it. It is better to have a long piece of wood rather than a short one. You can sand down the edge afterwards to achieve the correct length.

After making the kerf, angle the hand saw in order to achieve the best cut. For those using a crosscut saw, you need to make 45 degrees between the wood and blade of the saw and for those using a ripsaw, you need to make 60 degrees between the wood and the blade of the saw.

To cut the wood properly, you need to start making forward strokes in an easy and free running movement. Make longer strokes when cutting the wood so as to utilize all the teeth of the saw. Making short strokes will make the handsaw teeth dull faster.

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