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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So i'm hand rip sawing some thick stuff. ie: a split off a log. it's 16"x10"x6'. it was split and hewn/adzed to this size with a bit of rough planing.

i'm doing fine up top when sawing, but the bottom will go way off line.

i keep flipping the log over to cut from the other side and i check frequently, but perhaps not frequent enough?

perhaps i should set the teeth better on the part of the saw that's furthest from me.

perhaps i should make my saw into a frame saw? i think i would run into the same problems. what i really need is another guy that's as gung-ho about stuff as me.

thoughts?

if i could get it to go nice and straight i would have this done in a week easy working an hour a day. but the bunny trail sawing is slowing me down.
 

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I'm very very far from an expert or even that knowledgeable, but I'll tell you what I've been doing when I had the same problem you described.

Like you I'd have no problems with the start of the cut but would start drifting the farther I went down the board. When I started the cut I'd be at maybe a 30-40 degree angle to the edge of the board and flip it regularly. When I got to the point that the cut was deep enough to enclose the entire saw blade I started cutting at closer to 80-90 degrees almost straight across the board thinking that the kerf was helping keep the saw on line. That was when I started having problems similar to what you are describing. I was still flipping the board, but maybe not as often as I did at the start of the cut.

I've now been trying to keep the angle of cut closer to the 30-40 degrees for the entire length of the cut and it seems to keep on line better. I still have quite a bit of work to do on the boards with a plane, but I'm not ending up with a board that varies in thickness by 1/4" anymore.

I don't know if what I'm doing is right or wrong or if I'm just getting lucky, but it seems to work so far for me.

Hopefully, someone with a lot more knowledge and experience will chime in and educate both (all) of us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
thanks for even reading the thread thoroughly and responding in a direct manner.

i've done very similar things. i would start with a complete line down the end grain. then i would use that end grain kerf to angle the cut, flip it over, cut it similarly, then start going at it.

it just doesn't stay in the line still. i flipped it constantly, put my wedges in to let the saw find it's way, but it still does it's rogue wandering.

i had an idea after much frustration yesterday. I think i'm going to take metal from an old bed frame or something. straddle the the line with 2 beams, then clamp them on the bottom. then i can just let those guide the bottom portion of the saw while i do it by eye on the top.

i also attempted to score the line all the way down the board on the endgrain and the long grain to create a groove to help it all over, and that helped but not enough.

second time through should be better.
 

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sorry, but i don't have any advice. i am interested to learn any tricks or tips too because i have the same problem, even on thinner stuff like 2x or even 1x stuff.

once i have cut enough that the saw is in a groove, i have a very hard time trying to get it to change the direction.

for me, it seems like my initial angle is just a tad off, so that the further down the cut i go, the further away from the desired line the saw goes.

Is it that one side of the saw stays on the line, but the other side ends up off the line? or does the whole cut (both sides) get off the line by the end?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's just the other side for me.

if you're having trouble with both sides it may be the offset of the teeth. it's pretty delicate work with smaller teeth. I'm using 2 tpi so there's only 44 teeth to deal with. there are certain tools to get the right angle for the smaller rip saws. i adjusted my set a bit, and that may be a bit of my problem, but i think there's always 2 guys on a milling saw for good reason.
 

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To saw thick material with the result you would like the saw must be in near perfect condition. The set must be equal left and right and the teeth must be sharpened at exactly the same angle in every respect or the saw will tend to pull off the mark.

And last but certainly not the least is body position including the feet, shoulder and hip. If those body parts are positioned correctly the hand will be taken care of when taking long smooth even strokes.
 

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The New Guy
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I'm not a hand tool guy, but I have worked with a hand saw a few times. I have noticed that I cut a very different line if I'm not cutting at the same position I'm used to cutting at. If the board is too high or too low to be in a comfortable position, I get a poor cut. I also have to cut with my right hand and be in a position to where the cut is on the right side of me, or I twist the blade and don't get a good cut on the bottom side of the cut. You might not be cutting where it's comfortable for you which can make your cut quality suffer. Try cutting in a position where your hand naturally keeps the blade straight and doesn't impart any lean or torque on the saw.

I've never tried to cut something as thick as you're talking about though. It would take me forever to cut through that much wood.
 
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