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A Variety of Saws

March 10, 2022 in Uncategorized

 

I use a “Swede” saw to cut branches quickly, I know of a hack saw for metal and the basic big-bladed wood saw, but there are many more saws in the tool box of a boat builder. Jon Lidstone, of the BoatBuilder shop in Port Carling, explained some of these to me.

Jon got into the boat building business through his love of working with wood and hand tools. Boat building gives him an opportunity to be creative, work with wood and constantly be challenged with the intricacies of restoring wooden boats. For example, he showed me how a feeler gauge is used to make a new transom for the Nika fit perfectly.

Back to the saws, Jon explained that the teeth on the saw can be designed for cutting when just pulling or just pushing. While the western hand saw cuts wood on the push, the Japanese saw cuts on the pull, which is his personal favourite. It has two cutting edges with different numbers of teeth. The side with more teeth is for cross cutting and the side with fewer teeth is for ripping. These two different kinds of saws evolved to deal with the kinds of wood native to the region. The Japanese saw also has a thinner blade and copes better with softer woods. Its teeth are also more complex is their design and more difficult to sharpen. The Western saw is thicker and designed to cut denser woods with a simpler tooth pattern, which is also easier to sharpen.

 

By Tim Du Vernet

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