Tagged: Ripping straight in thin wood
19 October 2016 at 8:29 pm #141637jeffpolaskiParticipant
Yes, I watched Paul Sellers rip saw a thin board into two thinner boards, using the bench clamp. He’s good, very good. Much better than I am. My sawing was crooked. So, in idle moments, when the conversation got boring, I put my mind to work.
— The first thing I thought of was The Kerfing Saw, the latest rage on YouTube. Too much money, too much time, I’ve got canes to make!
— My grandfather, “Zada” Polaski, left a scoring/slitting gauge in that old toolbox I had. The pin had broken off, the wood around it had splintered. He had glued in a broken razor blade (the kind he used to sharpen by spinning it in a drinking glass half full of water), on a slant perpendicular to the shaft. He could have patented that and beat Veritas by decades! A perfect slitting gauge that would cost $44 if you called it a Kebiki. This was free.
— I used Zada’s old scribe to score a thin line right down the middle of a 24″ test piece of wood.
— I held a straightedge precisely alongside that score line by putting a 22 TPI dovetail blade into the scored line and clamped it at either end of the test wood (which of course was in my bench clamp). (No cost; already had the saw)
— I gently ran the dovetail saw to and fro until I had a kerf replacing the razor’s score line.
— I replaced the dovetail saw with a small ripsaw blade held in a nice piece of wood. In reality, it is a stair saw with a broken handle that I haven’t fixed yet. The kerf widened and got deeper. (No cost; the broken stair saw had been trashed.)
— I replaced the stair saw with a 15 TPI rip saw, and continued to the end as per Paul Sellers, on both sides and both ends of the test board. (The Disston 240 rip saw cost very little; I think no one knew what that saw was supposed to be used for.)
You see, I remembered that Paul once said that the saw blade follows the path of least resistance. I also knew that the kerf would be on the corner of a squared shaft of wood that would be worked into a rounded walking cane shaft. The kerf would be obliterated by the shaping that would follow.
One more improvement, yet to try but it’s a slam-dunk! I have V-edged carving chisels. I can run one lightly up the finished saw kerf, and the path of least resistance would lose even more resistance. The saw’s cutting edge would be further guided down the righteous path, and the evidence of my prep work would still disappear by subsequently shaping the cane’s shaft. (No cost; the 1.5mm V-cutter has been used to texture animal hair and bird feathers.)
Now to bed to sleep a well-earned, one-less-problem night of sleep. One more lesson from “Zada” Polaski, who died many, many years ago.
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