Reverse overhand grip for ripping

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    Topic
  • #555082
    James Robnett
    Participant

    I have some 15′ or so 1″x14″ 100 year old ponderosa pine boards I’m turning into cabinet frames. For a tall pantry portion it involves ripping down 6′ long 3″ wide boards out of them. I’d roughed them to length and was cutting them to width by overhanging my bench and sawing using a normal two hand grip. At one point I though hmm, and turned around and used a reverse two hand grip so the teeth were pointing away from me. The dominant right hand reaches out and grips the handle with the saw pointing back toward you, left hand over laps that.

    It worked fabulously, easy to guide, very easy to push into the wood rather than pull and just generally better. I did some googling and saw it referred to as ‘continental style’ sawing. Anybody else ever tried that method.

    I have a brief video of it I might try loading later.

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
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  • #555103
    James Robnett
    Participant

    @jrobnett

    Made a quick low quality video.

    It’s hard to actually see since I’m in the way. Once I turn around and hold the saw more traditionally it’s a bit more obvious maybe. The end of board nearest the camera is supported by the vice so there’s no risk of it dropping and splitting the wood,. Replay seems to show a lot of motion in the board but it was actually relatively stable at the cut point. With the reverse grip each full down stroke was advancing about 1/2″ so the cutting was quick.

    I find this stance and grip very ergonomic, much better than the normal forward facing two-handed grip and much faster than any one handed grip. There is a tendency to get a slightly out of square cut but since the board is cupped I’m a generous 1/4″ over final width so any out of square is not an issue. I suspect I will do all long rips this way from now on.

    Possibly I’ve essentially rediscovered the wheel that every body knows about but I don’t really recall ever seeing anyone using this grip for a standard western rip saw.

    #555264
    Henry van den Top
    Participant

    @henryvandentop

    Looks interesting. I might try this when ripping long boards.

    Love is not a feeling, it's a decision you have to make everyday if you want your relationships to last

    #555265
    Mike Goodwin
    Participant

    @mike003

    I’m afraid your right, you have essentially rediscovered the wheel. This method was common enough that the old saw makers, like Disston and Atkins, made handles to accommodate the grip. Google Disston D8 thumbhole saw.

    #555429
    James Robnett
    Participant

    @jrobnett

    The D-8’s are for using a western saw in the normal 2-hand grip such that the teeth are toward you. In normal sawing you’re pushing the saw down and through the wood but pulling toward you between strokes so you so you have to keep backing up. What I’m describing is rotating the saw and reversing your dominant right hand so it’s in the over hand portion and the left is in the normal position. Then the teeth are facing away from you and you’re pushing the saw through the wood both for each stroke and as you advance.

    Aha, I should have known somewhere Chris had a video on it. Same grip though I think standing is easier than the sitting method.

    So apparently it is a thing. Surprised it doesn’t get much coverage, it’s much easier in my opinion for long rips.

    #555433
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    @lorenzojose

    The Disston D12 and D16 handles are also designed for ripping two handed and I think that style works better for the reverse grip than the D8 style.

    You don’t have to overlap your hands so much and your grip isn’t so restricted.

    And just today Chris Schwarz shows a fellow using what looks looked a number 12 on a Roubo bench build.

    https://blog.lostartpress.com

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    #555436
    James Robnett
    Participant

    @jrobnett

    Hey, thanks Larry for that link. I looked all over for a good image, figures it would be posted weeks after I looked. That’s an excellent shot to show the form. It’s an amazingly effective method, a lot more power and I think better tooth presentation.

    I agree the slot style Disston’s likely work better.

    #555437
    Larry Geib
    Participant

    @lorenzojose

    If you find a Number 12 or a D12 grab it. I think they are the peak of handsaw design, and with all the wheat carving they look great also. Even rusty they are easy to spot in a pile of old saws.

    Disston selected their best plates, tapered them more than most so they don’t hang in a kerf, and put more time in hammer tensioning them also, which stiffens them up nicely.

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