Ripping wood by hand, is my saw blunt or am i slow?

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  • #332036
    Matt Cromwell
    Participant

    I think the title really says it all. I’m ripping down some battens to use inside some sash clamps as per Paul’s recommendations. But although i’ve sawed a number of things before i seem to be taking excessive time to do it. Ripping a 36″ piece of pine, 25mm x 38mm, earlier today took me 45 minutes. About half of which was actual sawing, and the other half taking breaks to let my arm recover, and i was dripping in sweat by the end. I’m now looking at spending a similar time ripping it again to get both dimensions to fit, and the prospect of sawing for 90 minutes just to rip one 3′ length of timber seems mad to me. I know if i used a skillsaw or jigsaw t would take only a couple of minutes.

    Is this normal? Touching my saw and the teeth still feel fairly sharp. =/

    #332056
    stanley beggs
    Participant

    I’m rather new, but I had the same thing happen, I changed from a 13 tpi to 6 saw and got much better results.

    #332057
    bobmccct
    Participant

    I recently purchased 4 Spear & Jackson saws recommended by Paul Sellers. I have converted one of the 10 PPI crosscuts to rip. It seems, to me, to cut very well, as does the crosscut. I have not converted either of the 7 PPI saws to rip yet.

    I have done some ripping of 2″ red oak and I was able to rip considerably faster than you mentioned you were ripping 1″ pine. Are you sure you are using a rip saw? What type saw are you using?

    If you wish you can email me directly at: [email protected]

    Bob McConnell
    Redding, Connecticut

    #332168
    ehisey
    Participant

    @Matt-
    I do a lot of hand ripping and resawing, even by this forums standards it seems. I can resaw a 48″ 2X4 (making 1ish x4s) in about 20-25 minutes. Here are the things I would check:

    1) Is the saw really a rip saw? Crosscuts will be very very slow on the long rip.
    2) Is the tpi to high? I use a 3.5 or 4 TPI on the above cuts. 8 or 7 TPI would be quick on 1″ pine.
    3) Technique, are you sawing “uphill”, flat or possibly to steep?
    4) Probably not the issue here, but is the saw long enough? You generally want atleast double, closer to 2.5, the distance your cutting in length.
    5) Your teeth may be sharp but is the rake to shallow? If it is to shallow you wont get much cutting action on the stroke.

    Tuscloosa, Alabama
    Lung T'an Hu Huesh Kung-fu Woodshop

    #332940
    Matt Cromwell
    Participant

    I recently purchased 4 Spear & Jackson saws recommended by Paul Sellers.

    I must have missed that one, what did he recommend?

    I have done some ripping of 2″ red oak and I was able to rip considerably faster than you mentioned you were ripping 1″ pine. Are you sure you are using a rip saw? What type saw are you using?

    Not a dedicated ripper, just a universal saw i already had when i started. This is it here: http://www.wickes.co.uk/Irwin-Jack-Plus-880-Universal-Handsaw-22in/p/226384

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by Matt Cromwell.
    #332946
    Matt Cromwell
    Participant

    @Matt-
    I do a lot of hand ripping and resawing, even by this forums standards it seems. I can resaw a 48″ 2X4 (making 1ish x4s) in about 20-25 minutes. Here are the things I would check:

    1) Is the saw really a rip saw? Crosscuts will be very very slow on the long rip.
    2) Is the tpi to high? I use a 3.5 or 4 TPI on the above cuts. 8 or 7 TPI would be quick on 1″ pine.
    3) Technique, are you sawing “uphill”, flat or possibly to steep?
    4) Probably not the issue here, but is the saw long enough? You generally want atleast double, closer to 2.5, the distance your cutting in length.
    5) Your teeth may be sharp but is the rake to shallow? If it is to shallow you wont get much cutting action on the stroke.

    1) It’s a universal saw. TBH i thought the difference between saw types would be minimal…
    2) It’s 8 TPI
    3) I’ve got it clamped flat to a workmate bench, and i imagine the angle i’m actually sawing at would be between 45 and 60 degrees. I’ve noticed the saw is moving sideways at the entrace to the cut and giving me a wide cut, and i think that’s because the wood is a little higher than i really want it to be so i have to hunch my shoulder and flare my elbow a little to get full range.
    4) It’s 22″ which gives me a full arm motion with each saw.
    5) This is probably a bone question, but what does rake mean?

    #333635
    jamestrang
    Participant

    Hi Matt,

    Universal saws do go dull despite mean looking teeth. Also, most often the teeth are cut ‘hybrid’ neither rip nor crosscut. Not ideal solution if alternative saw choice is possible.

    I came to this appreciation after ripping 8/4 red oak (8 foot lengths) for the first time. I also had the wide opening at the beginning of the cut and wandering around. It was a huge effort, not much fun.

    After a few trips down boards, I retired them and went with a ‘nice” panel saw I have but was reluctant to thrash on my first saw fest as I had not tackled sharpening my saws (no files for the task at that point).

    Since then I’ve gotten a specific rip saw, 4.5 tpi 22″, for primary resizing a plank to get project components. I use this saw to work on sharpening process following Paul’s various videos on the topic. Huge difference (the saw was dull on purchase and just a bad experience before sharpening). It’s awesome now, a real treat.

    Check out Paul’s videos on rip saw sharpening. He covers off rake and easing the rake to make starting cuts easier. There’s also a crosscut sharpening video. An aggressive rake makes the saw tooth look like a right angle triangle, an eased rake makes the saw tooth look like an isosceles triangle.

    It’s a challenge for me to get a cut started in a board if it is flat on the bench as its so important to get the cut straight across of the top of the board (and can’t readily see the progress). I take the time to get that first inch of cut straight. When the board is flat, I’m more successful if I come down the top side of the panel just a touch then move the saw cut across the top of the board to the other side, then flip the board repeat by bringing the cut down the new top side of the panel.

    It’s often said to saw on the waste side. For these kinds of ripping efforts I mark my final line, then I put a marking gauge line on the waste side of that line, run a ultra fine sharpie marker down the gauge line and I saw on that line, ideally removing it as I go. It makes it quite easy to spot wandering saw and easier to correct, and reduces amount of planing to the final line.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 10 months ago by jamestrang.
    #336143
    ehisey
    Participant

    Sounds like your biggest issue is going to be the teeth on that saw. “Universal” as pointed out are not good for ripping. They are designed for stuff like waferboard or plywood were you are cutting both rip and cross in a single stroke. The saw will probably handle cross cuts decent thought.

    Also check this video at about 17 minutes for a very useful ripping method for a benchmate or other taller bench. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pL7gjW3ZYcg

    Tuscloosa, Alabama
    Lung T'an Hu Huesh Kung-fu Woodshop

    #339249
    Richard Kelly
    Participant

    FWIW, I’ve been ripping some 1.5″ thick walnut (offcut from kitchen hardtop) into strips. Being made from blocks it’s quite tough, has glue and finger joints and is patchy quality with some pretty hard bits.

    I’m using a reconditioned eBay S&J hand saw which is rip cut 11 tpi (the face rake I’ve sharpened to almost 90 deg so quite aggressive). The first and last inch or so are filed to 45 deg (then it tapers into the 90 deg) to ease start of cut.

    I’m not hugely powerful, but it takes 2-3 mins to cut 10-12″ long strips.

    Board vertical, I start across the 1.5″ and once established square (say 0.5″ down max.) I rapidly angle the saw on my side of the cut down to chase the line accurately – the ‘other’ side of the cut (away from me) seems to follow pretty true.

    If I try a very similar saw with cross cut teeth (same tpi), it’s very hard work – think of it like trying to cut a mortise with the chisel turned through 90 deg!

    #339509
    Edmund
    Participant

    I can’t judge your sharpening skills, but I can tell you that 11tpi seems far too many for top efficacy when ripping material that thick. If you can, borrow a nicely sharpened 5 tpi (or so), and report back on any differences. Good luck!

    #339629
    Richard Kelly
    Participant

    Understand your point, but I have what I have in terms of saws – I do have a 4tpi but it’s a cross-cut and I use that mainly for green wood, and yes, it flies through although with a coarse cut.

    The one I used gave me a finish that needed minimal planing to smooth – so overall efficacy to which you refer might be equal!

    #339900
    Edmund
    Participant

    You do have what you have, but that’s not a problem thanks to Paul…you mentioned your S&J rip saw has been “reconditioned” and also that you’ve altered the rake…is filing away and re-cutting the teeth (to something closer to 5 tpi) out of the question?

    If you’re most commonly ripping 4/4, 6/4 & 8/4 stock, it might be something to consider. If this instance of ripping 6/4 stock was a rarity, and you’re normally ripping 1/4 stock then definitely not. Just something for you to evaluate.

    #339928
    bobmccct
    Participant

    Matt – Sorry for not replying sooner. Here is the link to the handsaw video Paul did introducing the Spear & Jackson saws I mentioned.

    I hope this helps you. Lots of people are giving you good guidance.
    Bob

    #339939
    bobmccct
    Participant

    Matt – Sorry for not replying sooner. Here is the link to the handsaw video Paul did introducing the Spear & Jackson saws I mentioned.

    I hope this helps you. Lots of people are giving you good guidance.
    Bob

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by bobmccct.
    #339941
    Richard Kelly
    Participant

    You do have what you have, but that’s not a problem thanks to Paul…you mentioned your S&J rip saw has been “reconditioned” and also that you’ve altered the rake…is filing away and re-cutting the teeth (to something closer to 5 tpi) out of the question?

    If you’re most commonly ripping 4/4, 6/4 & 8/4 stock, it might be something to consider. If this instance of ripping 6/4 stock was a rarity, and you’re normally ripping 1/4 stock then definitely not. Just something for you to evaluate.

    You’re right of course – and every saw I own has been reconditioned – however, as you surmise, the ripping strips of walnut off is a 1 in 100 job.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by Richard Kelly.
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