Hand saws, Using a Tenon and a Panel Saw: A Makers Year 30.


I need a decent strong pencil or ink line if my poor old eyes are to follow it. That line I marked reasonably carefully around the box. I then use two tools. The first of which is a pretty large Tenon saw and the second is an old panel saw made by Disston. Both are fairly fine toothed and give us a similar kerf or width of saw cut. So they’re made and set, to work together.

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I use the Tenon saw to start the cut beginning at the far side of the job. Placing the saw against my finger to locate it, gently lifting the toe of the saw so it just touches the surface of the wood. I make little tiny movements of the saw to locate and engage the saw in exactly the point I want to start.

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Then I make longer cuts, longer movements of the saw, bringing the saw down and lengthening the cut towards me. I watch like a hawk how the saw is engaging exactly on the line. I don’t saw very deeply down in to the job, I’m sawing across. Once I’ve gone across the job I’ll probably switch over to my panel saw. This is a longer saw and can make a faster and more accurate job than the Tenon saw.

With this saw I’ll cut the top through and then go down probably about half way down the nearest side. I then have to take the box out of the vice and turn it over to repeat the process on the other side. Trying to cut through from one side would be too much of a high risk. So approach the centre from two opposite sides. You may get a little bump in the centre but hell, you’re only human!

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