A new saw added

I met a sawyer at the timber two weeks ago and saw one of his many saws he had on display, one particular saw I favoured was a 12ppi crosscut Simonds.  I have been actually looking for one to get those smoother cuts for a while now, the less time I spend shooting means less work.  Well it turns out that saw wasn’t for sale and out of all his saws the best saw he had was another Simmonds as he is a fan of this brand dated 1916-1923 11ppi.  He’s done some repairs to the horn, general cleaning and sharpened it for me.  The saw cost me $105 + $11 for postage and that I think is a bargain.  These saws on eBay would not sell for less than US$223 which is one more excuse to look else where and not rely on eBay as much.

He doesn’t have a website that I could refer you too as this is only a hobby for him, he does it for the passion more so than the dollars.

Connections are important and the best ways to gain these connections is to get yourself off the computer and out into the real world, attend shows, look at the links in the magazines, join forums and woodworking clubs.  Shows and clubs would be the best viable option to get quality goods at normal to even bargain prices.  Swap meets are good as well.

eBay sellers, antique dealers are running a muck, their prices are high and most of them don’t even understand the tool they are selling.  It bothers me very little on whose toes I tread it’s time to speak up and this I can safely say I learned from Paul.  People fear what magazines and tool makers can do but Paul has shown than in fact these conglomerates  have no power whatsoever infact they can neither increase your business nor take it away.  I can name some prominent woodworkers whose skills are unmatched and have been in magazines but didn’t make it in the real world through their craft but are doing other things to survive.  This is the story of generally most people hence why woodworking or let’s say making what we want to make are generally kept on a hobbyists level.  So as you can see magazines didn’t create work for them, museums they worked also didn’t help so what’s to fear.  Paul came out into the open and opened a can of worms that was controversial and went directly against the preachings of every magazine and tool maker out there.  He’s openly attacked majority of the big name brands and yet his popularity has increased more than any other online teacher.  He has well over 1000,000 viewers and that say’s something, I know I’ve gotten off the track a little as I usually do but it is time to make a stand to bring some normality to this world and lower those prices so people can enjoy this craft whether professionally or as a hobbyist.  Just remember this that magazines have everything to fear from the tool makers as they pay for their advertising another words their wage, but we the craftsmen and women have nothing to fear from them because it is we who pay them their wage; without us they cease to exist.

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Ripping straight

Ripping straight and to these insane tight tolerance you see here isn’t achieved overnight but as you can see it also isn’t impossible and dare I say not even necessary.  On occasion your board just may be not wide enough to leave a 16th or more to get two pieces of a specific width and instead of laying aside an offcut for another project how great would it be if you could economise and get two pieces out of that one board.

This is where these tight tolerances come into play but of course your sawing skillsets must be up there to achieve this.  As I’ve measured this from the knife line to the cut it’s dead on 1/1000″.

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While the other side is 2 thou which is very disappointing to me but also very acceptable and still within the safe zone.

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However the aim is to rip square because if you angle the saw to one side a little more you will saw into and over that line without realising it and ruin your cut.  This mistake will cost you dearly not only in one piece but the entire width of the board as both pieces now are undersized.  This is the risk you take when sawing to such tight tolerances, of  course if you have a bandsaw and you don’t want to run that risk go ahead and employ it but check prior the thickness of the blade as you may end up also removing too much material.

People talk about drift I personally have never experienced drift as my saw is calibrated perfectly, my blades are sharp and tight.  The bearings are at the right distance from the blade so there is no reason for it to drift.  The only issue I have when resawing boards into specific thicknesses or book matching is my fence.  After all it is made in China and I have to prop the fence up a little to make it square to the table.

The starting cut is the most important cut of all, you must start square there really is no room for error.

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As you can see in this photo there is a slight bow, this is something I need to work on.  I start then shift positions which is wrong.  Once you place that saw next to your line and it appears to you to be straight commit to that cut, my problem is I keep over thinking it instead of following my own rule.  Practice on scrap, check to see which way you are angling your saw and shift it to the opposite direction, if your slanting in one way then slant it the other ever so slightly and keep doing this till you get it right.  A good idea that I saw Frank Klause do in an early video of his is by placing a mirror in front of you, if you don’t have that then record yourself through your phone or get someone to stand in front of you.  Once you get it right do a few more boards till you develop this muscle memory of it and you should by now be on top of it.

There’s an old saying you could be sawing for 20 years but if you don’t get it right from the get go then you could be sawing wrong for 20 years.

One last tip and I think this is pretty important, many people including me dred ripping long boards but if you don’t have a bandsaw obviously you have no option.  The problem is muscle fatigue, if your going to do hand tool work and I’m not referring to joinery but the whole nine yards as the yanks say then start focusing on developing strength in your arms.  Do regular pushups or even go to the gym and increase your biceps and stamina.  Because if you’re going to flatten a rough sawn board like you have seen me do many of times it’s pretty darn tiring and if you have severe arthritis like I do well bear it and grin.  But strength is the key to remain in the hand tool world especially for ripping and planing.