Today we are going to look at sawing stuff by hand and the types of hand saws. In any project you take on, whether fixing or building something, you are going to do one or more of the following:
- Fasten two pieces of something together using nails, screws, bolts, glue or duct tape.
- Drill holes in something to aid in fastening or because it needs a hole for some other purpose.
- Shape something into a particularly useful shape, and
- Cut one or more things into useful pieces to be fastened together.
Saws have teeth.
Wood has grain.
Grain is the growing pattern in wood and it goes generally in one direction. There are two basic kinds of saws, one for cutting against or across the grain called a “cross cut” saw, and the other for cutting with the grain called a “rip” saw. You can tell which saw you have by looking at it’s teeth.
Cross cut teeth have a beveled (sharp) edge on the side of each tooth, while the rip saw tooth doesn’t. Also cross cut saw teeth are generally a lot smaller than rip saw teeth.
Remember: Grain and Cut. Cross grain – Cross Cut, with Grain let her Rip.
Cutting plastic and metal.
Generally speaking plastic and metal doesn’t have grain, so even though you would use a special blade such as a hacksaw blade, those are generally in the cross cut category, but with even finer, smaller teeth.
Special Purpose Saws
Aside from what kind of teeth, there are special purpose saw blades in a variety of shapes and sizes. Below is a partial list and the types of usage.
Keyhole Saw. Used for cutting holes out in a wall or sheet of wood. Usually you would drill a large pilot hole and start sawing from inside that hole.
Coping Saw. Used for cutting curves and intricate shapes. Noted for it’s distinctive C-shaped metal frame.
Back Saw. Allows for greater control due to the stiffening metal rib along the spine of the saw. Typically used in miter boxes for precision cutting for dovetails and joining pieces of wood together like molding around a door frame.
Hacksaw. Usually used for cutting metal and plastic such as cutting off the end of a rusted bolt so you can knock the bolt out of the hole. The cuts are typically cleaner due to the very fine teeth pattern on the blades.