I used to use a saw horse for all my rip and crosscutting, but a single saw horse isn’t just wide enough to support your material. So the choice was to make one more, but that also posed some problems. I have to kneel on the board which meant thinner boards would bend under my weight and the clutter of it eating my shop space didn’t sit well with me either. There just had to be a better sawbench and so I devoured the net for ideas.
I looked at Chris Schwarz saw bench, then Shannon Rodgers bench and finally at Tom Fidgen sawbench. Well that definitely was a winner for me, the bench stood 20 1/4″ x 12 7/8″ wide with a split top and 35″ long. I like the idea of a split top, it meant that I can safely rip not so wide material. It has dog holes for clamping and a fence for crosscutting. I made holes on both sides so the fence can be used on either side. What I also like about this design is that one side legs are splayed and the other is square. What this means is that you can use the square side as a reference while ripping while the splayed side provides great support to stop the bench from tipping.
It was a no brainer so I ordered his book “Hand crafted Project for the home and workshop” this book is great as it has so many other beautiful projects and none of which I ever got around to building and I bought this book probably about 2 or more years ago. Hopefully this will change as work outside my hobby always seems to get in the way.
As I was today continuing with the build of the planter box I thought it would be great if I showed you just how fast ripping with a handsaw can be. This video isn’t sped up and no edits has been done to it, there’s nothing to sugar coat hand tooling is what it is. It can be fast or slow it all depends on you, you are the machine, the driving force behind the tool.
The saw I’m using is a Disston 28″ 4 1/2 point with hooked teeth. This type of saw is mainly used for carpentry and works well slightly damped wood. The timber I’m ripping is Radiata pine 3/4″ thick. True not very thick stuff so ripping is made easier plus it being Radiata and not hoop pine also makes ripping easier but none the less whatever material your ripping, your stamina and muscle strength is something you’re going to greatly rely on.
In the first video this is the full rip and in the second video I’m ripping probably just proud of a 1/16″ from the line. You can see as I got very near to the end I used my foot to clamp down onto the work. Not sure if this is correct but it works for me.
Btw today was scorcher, sweat poured out of me like a running tap and sadly it landed on the sole of my LN hand plane and immediately rust formed on it. It broke my heart.