Hand Sawing Plank to Accurate Thickness? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 04-15-2014, 08:38 AM Thread Starter
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Hand Sawing Plank to Accurate Thickness?

So this topic likely belongs here, even though it's not technically a trim piece I am working on, but a longer frame peice. In order to achieve even staining with an iron buff solution and to reduce the overall cost of my project, I have purchase all four of my frame sides as one plank of wood, to be cut into four much narrower boards and then routed and carved.

I am in need of some advice though. This is the second time I am building this project, and I would like to not build it a third time. So, given the following information, should I be worried about any common errors or setting up a bench or horses in a specific way?

- I am cutting through 3/4" White Oak
- Length of my cuts are about 3'
- Width of the boards will be about 1" or 1/2" (depending on design revisions)
- I have a bench plane to finish my edges and am patient with this process, so am willing to leave plenty of room for error if necessary
- I currently do not have a rip saw, but intend to pick one up new.
- I have never sharpened a saw before...heard I might need to do this with a new rip saw. I have sharpened planes and chisels with great patience and success, though.

Basically I just need to know that there isn't some pitfall I am going to fall into here, and that I don't miss any helpful tricks. I have done my due research and reading already, but was having trouble finding a lot of specific info on this since table saws are standard for this process now (I have only one power saw: a miter saw).

Thanks for reading, and thanks more for any help you can offer!

Last edited by Sirnanigans; 04-15-2014 at 08:45 AM.
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post #2 of 3 Old 04-15-2014, 12:18 PM
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A new rip saw should be sharp enough to make the cuts you need, take your time and you will be fine. Saw sharpening is an art, I really doubt that if you have never done it before you could improve anything.

It might be easier if you clamped your board along a plank that is resting on your sawhorses.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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post #3 of 3 Old 05-20-2014, 11:00 AM
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I can tell you what worked for me, although your experience might differ.

1) Use a bigger tooth rip saw than you expect. For 3/4" material, I use a saw that's something like 5 1/2 points per inch. Yeah, it leaves a rough surface. That's what the planes are for. If I want a fine surface and very little planing, I use a Japanese-style Ryoba saw. The one I have curves like crazy when I'm using the ripping teeth, though.

2) Build a sawbench. My rip cuts come out MUCH straighter when I'm cutting on a sawbench than any other way. There are a lot of good articles about building them if you search google for "sawbench", but the short version is that it's a low bench, roughly knee-height, with a birds-mouth cutout at one end. For ripping, set the board over the birdsmouth, and move it every time you've cut six inches or so.

3) Flip your work frequently. Mark both sides from a known-true edge, and every six inches or so flip your work over. Small inaccuracies will be fixed much faster that way.

As a final recommendation, try your cuts in something cheap first: 1x4 pine won't give you any impression as to the difficulty of the cut, but you'll be able to tell right away if the saw is going to tend to drift in one direction or the other.
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