Having sharp tool is a must in the craft, for many reasons including safety. When you work with blunt tools accidents happen because you’re exhorting more pressure on the tool than needed. Most cringe at the idea of using a handsaw to saw a board. They think it’ll take forever to get the job done and their arm would drop off from fatigue. None of this is true if your saw is sharp. There are of course some species of wood like iron bark where even a circular saw would struggle, let alone a handsaw. I avoid these types of wood. The picture you see below is American white oak, this is a tough timber to saw, plane and chisel. Yet I sawed through it with little effort at all because I sharpened my saw using the technique I recently learned upon reading Mark’s article. Look at the clean surface it left on the end grain and the very minimal tear out on the back side. There is a steep learning curve to sharpening saws, something I’m working towards getting real good at. You need a good saw vice, the right size high quality saw files, and plenty of patience through practice. In time, you’ll get to be a great beginner.
Now I’m going back to finish the rest of my saws. Thanks Mark.