4 January 2019 at 3:12 am #554222
I am hardly an expert on everything that can go wrong while sawing, but I have had a lot go wrong and figured out some of my problems! Here is one problem I had: my lie Nielsen cross cut tenon saw kept binding, especially (but not only) in harder woods. The wider the board, the worse the binding. The binding was so bad that I almost sent it back. But I figured out the problem. No, it wasn’t the saw. I figured out that my hand twisted on every stroke, though I could not at the time feel the twist. I realized this was happening when I noticed that when I crosscut a board, the first part of the cut was plumb or nearly so, but the last half was seriously out of plumb. The only way this could happen was twisting my hand as I cut. And that twist caused the saw to bind. Bing. I still have to fight that twist, but have gotten a lot better and now have relatively little binding.
That might not be the problem you are having, especially if you have no problems with other saws. Just a thought.4 January 2019 at 3:45 am #554223Matt LundParticipant
Yeah, that makes sense. Perhaps that is my issue, but it sees like no matter how hard or soft I push I just cannot seem to get it started easily. Once I set the saw down onto the piece of wood the points catch and dig into the wood that I cannot get the cut started.4 January 2019 at 6:48 am #554224
So the problem is not binding of the saw plate. It is teeth catching at the start of the cut. That is a different thing. And once again, it is a problem I had pretty seriously but not so much any more. Many folk like to sharpen rip saws with less aggressive teeth at the tip. You start the cut with those less aggressive teeth and then shift to the more aggressive ones. Paul did that, if I remember correctly, in his tutorial on rip saw sharpening. But you should not have to learn to sharpen to use a new saw. One thing I have found is to hold the saw more tightly with the bottom two fingers, sort of putting pressure on the bottom horn of the saw — it is there for a reason after all. That helps though I am not sure why. I think that this lets you use the lower horn to unweight (is that a word?) the front of the saw. That solved a lot of the problem for me. Also, I sometimes start the cut on the near side of the wood rather than the far side. This gives a sort of climbing cut. I read about that somewhere or other and I found it can help with some pieces of wood.
Oh, one other thing. I have bought a few brand new saws and they all seem to catch a bit at first. I wonder whether they are just too sharp initially since a bit of use makes them easier to use. Or maybe I just get used to them.4 January 2019 at 11:24 am #554233Ecky HParticipant
Shannon Rogers addressed those starting difficulties in one of his videos, but unfortunately he made such a lot of videos that I can’t remember which one it is.
He explained that the cause of that catching is that three or less saw teeth are in contact with the wood. That sounded reasonable to me, so I gave it a try to cut a notch on the waste side of the knife wall to give a “starting ramp” for the saw. That works fine.
Another argument for that catching theory is the fact, that cross cutting thin stock becomes more and more difficult, the lesser the ration between the thickness of the stock and the saw teeth spacing is: it is much easier for me to cross cut 22mm (7/8″) stock with a 10 tpi saw than with a 7 tpi saw.
Veni, vidi, serravi.
Münster, Germany4 January 2019 at 2:53 pm #554249EdParticipant
Paul explained that this can happen if you start your cuts by drawing the saw towards you, especially if you allow the full weight of the saw to rest on the work. The teeth don’t cut very much on the draw, so the saw bounces on its points as you draw, which leads to divots in the work where you want to cut. When you push, the teeth get stuck in those little divots. Try unweighting the saw when you start and try starting on the push rather than pull. Have in mind that you aren’t trying to cut in the first strokes, but are just trying to barely rub the saw on the work, like little gentle scratches. Scratch, scratch, scratch to get things lined up and started, then a strong, definitive, more weighted push. As others described, the shape of the handle lets you try to keep the weight off the work. It’s hard to describe. Or, it could just be that the sharpening is very aggressive, but I think you can have confidence in the saw. It’s a good one. This sort of thing can also happen if you try to shift the cut towards the toe, which again is overcome by unweighting the saw and/or picturing shifting the cut to “dropping the heel,” especially in wider cuts. Honestly, I suspect I start on a bit of a draw (it’s hard not to), but the saw is unweighted.4 January 2019 at 3:27 pm #554252Keith WaltonParticipant
paul posted on instagram lately and youtube today about filing the first few teeth of your saw with a flat file straight across the tips, as if they are too sharp and want to prick and stick in the wood.5 January 2019 at 12:43 am #554267Matt LundParticipant
Wow….weird how the Youtube video popped up today. I took a couple swipes with a file to the last 3rd of the saw and that was all it needed. Thanks for the help!5 January 2019 at 7:15 pm #554278
I would like to second Eckyh’s reference to Shannon Rogers. He has a number of videos on sawing and does an amazingly good job explaining all sorts of things about sawing. He has a large website (perhaps a competitor of Paul’s) and a youtube channel. Every time I watch one of his videos I learn something else and my sawing gets just a bit better. However, at least some of what he says is different from what Paul says. There are always controversies!
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