what kind of hand saw to cut the thick stock to thin?

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  • #60185

    Hi All,

    I have a piece of ash, roughly 30x30cm, which is 5cm thick. Now yesterday I wanted to cut the board to half thickness, hence roughly 2.5cm.

    After 1.5hour I have won the battle, but I have an impression, that the cutting process could take much shorter time if I had a proper saw for this. I was using Stanley 20″ fatmax fine cut, like the one here:

    was the saw suitable for this job? Or I shall buy another one with e.g. roughler teeth or something?

    any info appreciated


    Frank Joseph

    Yes you need s lot better saw.Ash is a tough wood to hand saw. I would sugest a bow saw or a fram saw you can make bouth for less than $50. U.S
    Go to tgiag they sell saw plates to make your own saws.

    In South Jersey the good part of New Jersey, USA.


    I would have just grabbed a 8-10 point rip sharpened Disston (D-8). It does take a bit to rip ash but not that long – unless it’s a really long piece.


    George Bridgeman

    Welcome David,

    Has your sawing arm recovered?! Reducing the thickness of timber, by using a saw as opposed to a plane, is called resawing. It’s normally the last step in the process of dimensioning components, so as to reduce the amount of work. Cross-cut to length, rip to width, resaw/plane to thickness. That way you’re ripping and resawing (the toughest work) the least amount of timber you have to.

    Resawing through 12″ of solid ash by hand is quite unusual and you should be applauded for your determination! The saw you used isn’t actually too bad for the job – they’re sharp (but don’t stay that way for long) and generally have a lot of set on them so clear the sawdust well. They just have too many teeth (and of the wrong shape for ripping/resawing), and are a bit short.

    Unless you really needed to keep the overall size at 30x30cm, you’d be better off reducing the length and width of the board first. That way you’d not suffer so much resawing with a saw like the one you used. If you can get better saw, a longer one (24″ or longer, depending on your reach), filed rip, with around 7PPI will make much easier work of the process. It must be very sharp!

    Hope this helps.


    "To know and not do is to not know"


    Dear All,

    sorry for late reply, i’ve just returned from my holidays. Thanks for all the fruitful hints. it seems hence inevitable to buy something with 7tpi. I saw on the youtube nice videos about making a frame saw, which seems to be used for the resawing. This makes me a nice woodworking project as well 🙂


    I think you’ve had some good advice so far.

    For my tuppence I would go lower than 7tpi; I have a saw for jobs like this which is 4tpi and works brilliantly. I wouldn’t want fewer teeth than that, but up to that point I think bigger teeth really are better, and as Mr Bridgeman has said they really do have to be sharp.

    There is a good chance you won’t find anything suitable for hand-resawing available new outside of the eye-wateringly expensive artisan saws. Re-cutting a used saw might be a cheaper option if you want to get into that side of things; coincidentally I’ve just finished refurbing a 60s Spear and Jackson, which involved re-cutting from about 7tpi to 4tpi, using the method Mr Sellers has posted on his website. As a word of warning, though I thought it might be fairly quick with the low number of teeth, at that tooth size there’s a hell of a lot of steel to remove. From start to finish took about two hours, there’s a photo below to show how it ended up.
    4 point re-cut rip saw

    Southampton, UK




    Heh, resawing ash? You have some good advice above, rip saw 7 tpi or less and time.


    Charles Hart

    Great advice George. Now I know this is all about hand tools but I think I would have found a friend with a band saw. Less time and effort. There are great bargains out there on eBay or estate sales. I recently bought a Disston D7 and a D9 and a lightweight from an estate sale for $11. Look around there are tons of saws for sale because most people would want to use a power something to cut wood rather than a hand saw


    The disadvantage for me is that my workshop is principally a balcony. Installing bands saw on a balcony would probably render my rental contract quickly terminated 🙂


    dejfson – they only come after you if you install a dust blower that exhausts onto a neighbours balcony. Don’t ask how I know :).

    Seriously tho, get in touch with some fellow woodworkers in your area, they can usually hook you up with someone who will resaw.


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