Rip cuts following the grain, not the line

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  • #14833
    davewilkinson
    Participant

    I’ve been practicing sawing some scrap before starting on my first project and I’m really struggling with my rip cuts.

    On a crosscut I get a beautifully straight cut using both a cheap panel saw and a large tenon saw. But on my rip cuts the saw keeps following the grain, never the line (see my lovely photo for more on this).

    Anyone have a suggestion to help me figure out where I’m going wrong?

    Attachments:
    #14835
    undergroundhunter
    Participant

    Doesn’t look to be following the grain to me, are you using the same saw for ripping and cross cutting?

    Matt

    #14836
    davewilkinson
    Participant

    The cut in the photo was done with a cheap panel saw which I have used to make decent looking cross-cuts.

    I keep feeling that I’m the problem, not the saw. Maybe it’s my angle of attack that’s wrong, maybe it’s my stance or my arm. Maybe I just need a lot more practice.

    #14837
    undergroundhunter
    Participant

    I had this problem with my old Tyzack 14″ tenon saw and it was a mix of the saw and me. I found that if I compensated for the tendency to wander to the left it cut dead straight. Does it always go to the right? If it does try compensating for it and see how you get on. Just out of interest how are you holding the saw?

    Matt

    #14840
    davewilkinson
    Participant

    I’ve just tried it on a couple more pieces. I tried compensating as you suggested and the result is much better.

    I’m now able to follow my line all the way through, although I’m still getting a slight angle across the depth of the board. Moving my body a couple of inches and another thousand practice cuts should fix it 🙂

    My grip is 3-fingers in with my index finger guiding.

    #14842
    Scott
    Participant

    Bob’s podcast from Logan Cabinet Shoppe helped me. My problem had to do with how I was aligning my sight with the saw plate.

    http://logancabinetshoppe.com/blog/2011/12/episode-40-sawing-to-a-line/

    -Scott Los Angeles

    #14843
    Timothy Corcoran
    Participant

    Looks to me like you might need to acquire a rip-tooth saw. A tenon saw should do both rips and cross-cuts although, I use my tenon saw strictly for ripping tenon cheeks/haunches. If you are using a cross-cut panel saw for ripping this is where you may be having a problem. I will add that over time when compensating if you are using a cross-cut saw, there is the possibility that you will throw the saw teeth out of set.

    #14849
    undergroundhunter
    Participant

    Are the saws you have hardpoint saws?

    Matt

    #14884
    davewilkinson
    Participant

    OK, so after some more adjusting and some more practice I’m getting closer to a decent-looking cut.

    So, if I was going to buy a rip saw, what should I be looking for? eBay doesn’t seem to have much going, Axminster has a tenon and a panel saw from Lie Nielsen, but they’re out of my budget at over £150 each.

    #14887
    aledpugh
    Participant

    Dave,
    If you’re comfortable with the thought of rehabbing an old saw then good quality Disston tenon saws pop up quite often on ebay. I got a great condition old disston 14″ tenon saw a couple of months back for a steal.

    #14894
    undergroundhunter
    Participant

    Tyzack, spear and jackson are also good makes to look out for. If you follow Paul’s sharpening video and buy a good saw file (www.workshopheaven.co.uk is where I get mine) you wont go far wrong. I use pauls method on all but my big crosscut saw.I would advise buying a really cheap one (ebay or car boot) to practice on before you let loose on your 150 year old tyzack.

    Matt

    #14897
    Philip Adams
    Participant

    You can get the files from tool city as well, possibly cheaper, as recommended in this blog post of Paul’s

    http://paulsellers.com/2012/05/saw-files-revisited-bahco-raises-the-bar/

    I have bought quite a few spear & jackson saws from ebay. I bid on a few with gixen. Can’t always tell what you will get, but re-filing is good practice I guess. Also, it’s worth checking out oldtools.co.uk as you can be more sure of what you’re getting and they are a good price.

    I don’t think the expensive saws are really necessary, especially not whilst learning to sharpen. Perhaps the tyzack just needs re sharpening. Have you looked down the edge to see if it’s straight?

    Hope that’s some help,
    Phil

    I work alongside Paul to plan and produce the videos for Woodworking Masterclasses

    #14898
    Scott
    Participant

    So, if I was going to buy a rip saw, what should I be looking for?

    First, let me say that I am no sawyer.

    If you are ripping long boards on a saw bench, a longer 24″-26″ saw in a coarse 4.5 – 6 TPI would be good. If you are ripping shorter stock in your bench vise or on your bench, a shorter 20″ Panel Saw in a finer 6-8 tooth would probably suit you better. A Panel Saw also fits in the tool box more easily if that is desired.

    For any heavy duty ripping, I try to use a blade loop, around 2-3 TPI, tensioned over two wheels driven by a motor. Life is too short, and I am not a glutton for punishment. 😉

    If you are going to buy a vintage saw, make sure the saw plate is DEAD straight (no bows, waves, or kinks). Call the dealer to confirm straightness if they do not say as much in the description. Please note that one person’s straight is another person’s bowed, so it is good to buy from someone whose judgement you respect. Also, the saw does not have to be sharp (you can sharpen w. proper files), but it is good if the TPI is what you are looking for and that there are very few (if any) broken teeth. Make sure there is not any significant pitting, especially near the teeth as the pitting will cause the metal to be brittle. Light staining/patina can be OK in limited amounts. Handle can have some minor chips on the horns, but otherwise should have no cracks or missing hardware. Modern saw handles will have oversized, 4 finger grips. Generally avoid those.

    Like most vintage tools here, decent saws are usually overpriced – but once in a good while I will find a bargain. I recently bought a 24″ George Bishop hand saw via Ebay for $34, which ended up being one of my best saws. Tool Swaps are the best place to find hand saws for less than $30, especially since you can inspect them yourself. Usually need a good cleaning though.

    This UK site routinely has some handsome vintage saws at what I think are OK (by US standards) prices:

    Old Tools UK

    -Scott Los Angeles

    #14899
    RL
    Participant

    I try not to look at the spot where the saw is cutting, but an inch or so below it. If I aim for a spot an inch or so below the saw cut, I saw much straighter.

    I can’t explain why this works for me but it does. It reminds me of riding a bike and looking ahead instead of down.

    #14963
    robinhc
    Participant

    You could be holding the saw too vertical. Try letting the saw drop down into the cut so that more of the saw blade is in the kerf. That way the kerf will help hold the saw on the line.

    Definately get a rip saw. Like Paul says, you do not really need a crosscut saw if you use his method to sharpen your rip saw.

    Robin ... Richmond, Virginia, USA

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