I learned about the trade from my father starting when I was 6 years old. I took woodshop courses in high school, and was granted the Industrial Arts Award my senior year. I also took some college courses in woodshop before I started my own business when I turned 19.My average work day is laying out jobs, cutting parts, designing the different jobs, and assembling the cabinets. I also am teaching my daughter how to build woodworking projects and cabinet parts, as well as helping with our cutting boards.
Re-sawing is the method for making two thinner pieces out of one board. Say you need two pieces of wood 3/8” thick, but only have a 1” thick board, you can slice the wood into to thinner pieces by cutting down the middle, making the two pieces. This is not the same as ripping, as you’re not cutting down the width of the board, but through the thickness instead.
The highly popular Vaughan Pull Stroke Japanese-style Rip 12-inch Hand Saw has been made according to Vaughan's strict manufacturing specifications and it features a thin, spring-steel blade which is durable and rust resistant. As the Vaughan hand saw is specially designed to cut on the pull rather than on the push stroke action, it is a good choice for more demanding woodworking tasks.
We offer the best hand saws for woodworking. A fine hand saw's image has long been the emblem of a craftsman at work. Used for carpentery, dovetailing, joinery and many other tasks around the shop, we stock a large variety of hand saws. You will find the hand saw you need among our selection of British Bowsaws, Gent's Saws and Tenon Saws, our extensive collection of Japanese Hand Saws, and the fine hand saws of Lie Nielsen. Be sure to check out the newest additions to our Backsaw collection from Bad Axe Tool Works - the ultimate in premium hand saws, made in the USA. Selecting the best hand saws for woodworking can be daunting, to help sort through all the options we recommend reading Essential Woodworking Hand Tools by Author Paul Sellers. His book includes a lengthy chapter on hand saws to help you decide which hand saws you need in your workshop.
I’ve got a three other bits of advice: First of all, get really, really good at woodworking. There are lots of people who enjoy it as a hobby. To sell your services, you’ve got to be able to do far superior work or do it much faster than everyone else (preferably both). Failure to do so means competing against hundreds of amateurs who make things for the pleasure of it, then sell their work at cost to fund the hobby. Second, develop great people skills. Most professionals do custom work and few focus on selling a product. Most of them sell a service, and a big part of that is getting customers to enjoy the experience of collaborating with a woodworker to create their dream products. If your customers don’t like you, they can usually save time and money by getting something from an online catalog. People who buy handcrafted items from woodworkers are often attracted to the idea of supporting artisans. The face behind the work is important to them. Last, develop an iron-clad work ethic. In this field you’re directly trading time for money, and that time is very limited. It’s important to be productive, so try to get 40 hours of actual productivity (as in making things) every week. Accounting, phone conversations and social media marketing may be important, but none of them provide an actual paycheck, so they don’t count as productive work.
Aside from modern heirloom saws (like Lie-Nielsen & other high-end custom saw makers) I would stay away from any cheap hand saws manufactured after World War II. Yes, this is the same advice that I gave with hand planes. Tool quality really declined after WWII. What brands should you look for? Historically there were a lot of hand saw makers, because saws are easier to manufacture than hand planes. Here are some of the old and new quality saw makers (in alphabetical order). The blue links lead to eBay and other searches for those hand saw brands so you can compare different models (some of the antique brands are not always available on eBay, so keep checking back):
The worst part of the job for me is dealing with legal matters and paperwork. There may not be a lot, and hiring an accountant and lawyer removes much of the burden, but it still seems like I’m filling out a form or making a phone call at least once a week to deal with red-tape. Even something as simple as setting up to buy from a new supplier can require filling out and submitting a tax document. We did have to spend a half hour unloading a wood delivery in freezing rain once, which was a terrible experience, but still not as bad as the constant need to fill IRS forms.
Sound overwhelming? Then just start off focusing on Disston saws. The Disston saws were manufactured by the millions and are the easiest to find, and most are of exceptional quality, especially the below common models. Remember to buy pre 1940’s era vintage hand saws. Here are some ebay searches for wood saws. To ensure that you don’t over-pay, when you’re on ebay click “sold” to see what they’re selling before and to see which saws are desirable. It’s fun research:
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