Handsaws In The Shop – The Three Classes Of Cuts

Saturday, March 9, 2013
Presented by: Paul Ray
6545 Hamilton Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15206

Meeting Agenda

Meeting Date: March 9, 2013

Meeting Start Time: 10:00 AM

Meeting End Time: 12:00 PM

WPW member Paul Ray is a hand-tool enthusiast who has a fondness for hand saws, among many other tools. Through discussion and demonstration, his program will take us through a basic primer on handsaws (Western style, sorry you Japanese-saw enthusiasts), and how to properly use them for some of the most common cuts in the shop. Paul cites Robert Wearing (author of The Essential Woodworker, reprinted in 2010 by Lost Art Press), as he describes these cuts as “three classes of cuts:”

  • 3rd class cut. A rough cut to get a board down to approximate length or width. The crosscut is quickly laid out by eye and cut with the aid of a saw bench. The rip cut is laid out with a pencil or chalk line. He will go over the three common methods of using a rip-filed panel saw: The American hunched over, the British standing at the bench, and the French sitting position.
  • 2nd class cut. A cut for precision, but not looks, and used for things like tenon cheeks, half laps, and other glue-surface cuts. These cuts are laid out with a knife or marking gauge, and then cut by eye to the lay-out line.
  • 1st class cut. A show-surface cut of the joint, for precision and appearance, and used for things like tenon or dovetail shoulders. Marked out with a knife, and then a groove is pared away to allow the saw to have a track to ride in, for maximum accuracy and cleanliness of cut.

If time allows, Paul will also briefly discuss/demonstrate some basics of saw sharpening. Please join us to learn more about the pleasures of quiet woodworking, and how all that beautiful furniture and joinery was cut in the days before Edison and Westinghouse.

About the Presenter

Paul Ray