The number of saw teeth per inch (or points per inch) is another important factor in selecting a hand saw for a particular purpose. Large hand saw teeth will cut quickly through the wood, but will leave a rough surface. Small hand saw teeth will cut finely and accurately, but are not practical for cutting long lengths or widths. When dealing with normal hand saws or frame saws, “Rip” teeth are typically larger than “Cross Cut” teeth. In back saws, rip and cross-cut teeth can vary in size. The number of teeth per inch are usually expressed as “points per inch” (ppi) or “teeth per inch” (tpi) and the number is usually stamped into the saw plate. However, you can change the tooth count during your sharpening. Here are examples of large (rough) and small (fine) hand saw teeth:
Typically furniture such as tables and chairs is made using solid stock from hardwoods due to its strength and resistance to warping. Additionally, they also have a greater variety of grain patterns and color and take a finish better which allows the woodworker to exercise a great deal of artistic liberty. Hardwoods can be cut more cleanly and leave less residue on sawblades and other woodworking tools. Cabinet/fixture makers employ the use of plywood and other man made panel products. Some furniture, such as the Windsor chair involve green woodworking, shaping with wood while it contains its natural moisture prior to drying.
What is the one thing every woodworker needs? Yes, a workbench. Now that you have or at least I am assuming you have worked on so many woodworking projects, you are close to becoming a professional woodworker. You now probably owe yourself a nice woodworking bench. You should also know that a true woodworker never buys his bench from the market, but always builds one himself. But before you start this project, you should know what a workbench is.
A dozuki saw has a thin, flexible blade, with fine teeth and a straight handle, which makes it well-suited to flush-cutting pegs. The flexible tip helps it get close to the base of a pin, and the straight handle is easier to hold and control with the saw on its side than a pistol grip would be. Get a crosscut dozuki with about 20 tpi. So why not just use a flush-cut saw? Their teeth have no set, so they clog and don’t cut as well. Dozukis don’t have those problems. The thin blade can kink, so get a saw with a replaceable blade.
A hand saw comprises of two parts, the blade, and the handle. The blade will usually be made out of high carbon steel, and the handle will either be made out of thick plastic like the Vaughan or the IRWIN Tools Universal hand saw, or exquisitely hand-crafted beechwood like Crown Tools hand saw. The secret to a hand saw's cutting success lies in its jagged edge or teeth. The teeth are measured by inch and most sizes range from 9 teeth-per-inch to 17 or 20 teeth-per-inch.
Don’t be afraid to ask if there are internship or apprenticeship opportunities. Even if you’re declined, people will know you’re looking, and if you continue to hang out in their circles and demonstrate that you’d be a model employee, someone will take notice. There’s no shortage of woodworkers, but there is a severe shortage of enthusiastic and phenomenal woodworkers.
Woodworking power tools include various saws for cutting the wood to size and drills for creating holes. Sand pieces down to the finish you want before you sand with portable sanders. Use drivers to install woodworking fasteners for a durable final piece. Cleverly designed rotary tools feature removable bits that can drill, drive, sand, cut and more, so you can use a single tool to accomplish virtually every task of your project. For a production-level project, nail guns can save you hours or even days depending on the work involved.
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:
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.
Some woodworkers obtain their skills by taking courses at technical schools or community colleges. Others attend universities that offer training in wood technology, furniture manufacturing, wood engineering, and production management. These programs prepare students for jobs in production, supervision, engineering, and management, and are becoming increasingly important as woodworking technology advances.
Cross-cut saw teeth are more difficult to sharpen than rip saw teeth, but very possible (I enjoy doing it). Look for cross cut hand saws with 7-9 ppi (points per inch). If you can’t see the tooth shape up close the PPI number (points per inch) can sometimes assist in identifying a hand saw as a rip hand saw or cross-cut hand saw because rip saws usually have smaller teeth. But the shape of the tooth is the best identifier if you can inspect it in person.
A good Japanese pull saw isn't cheap, perhaps $60-75, and they have to be replaced when dull. They also tend to be brittle and teeth can break off if you nick them on your vice. Also, after trying to improve my technique for 9 years, I still can't follow a straight line, the saw goes where it wants to. My newest Japanese saw came with instructions that said to grip the handle with two hands, which I had never thought about nor read anywhere. Could you comment on that, Matt? Thanks.
Upon graduating from high school, I wasn’t sure exactly what career to pursue, but I knew it had to be something that involved creating things with my hands. I’d always had natural talent working with tools, and despite having been an A-average student, I was never fond of conventional academics. Not having better plans at the time, I took one calculus course, got an “A”, then promptly decided two things: I didn’t enjoy college and taking on any debt would force me into a dull, conventional 9-5 job until the debt could be paid off. I didn’t know this back then, but I was pretty much a textbook case of the restless student with the entrepreneurial spirit. Just a few months later, I got the opportunity to accept an apprenticeship at Remmert Studios which was an incredible break. It was a result of reading a local newspaper article about the business, then going to meet the owner. Not many are able to break into woodworking that easily, especially in the high-end market. That company did a lot of contemporary furniture for churches, and being short-staffed, it wasn’t long before I was given a full-time position.While working that job, I was also taking week-long classes at Marc Adams School of Woodworking as time and money permitted. The combination of hands-on work and classroom study allowed me to acquire new skills very quickly. Being at the school also netted an internship opportunity with one of North America’s most prestigious furniture-makers, Michael Fortune.
This group primarily works on custom projects because they love taking on a challenge. They truly took pride in their work and the honing of their craft. We watched them work diligently on our projects (and others) and couldn’t believe the attention to detail they employed as they carefully made beautiful products out of single pieces of raw wood. It shows through on every beautifully simple design we worked with them to bring to life.
There are two types of electric circular saws, the worm drive and the sidewinder. The worm drive saw has enough torque to cut through wet lumber and concrete. The behind-the-blade handle placement reduces kickback, and the blade’s left-side position makes it easy to see your cut line if you’re right-handed. The sidewinder’s motor, attached directly to the blade, weighs less but also has less torque.