Power saws are great, unbeatable for big or repetitive cuts. Hand saws, though, are still useful. With just a few inexpensive saws and a little practice, you can make certain cuts by hand more quickly, safely, and conveniently. The barriers to entry are quite low; the extra skills are often valuable; what's not to like?
The great diversity of hand saws and baroque nomenclature can seem bewildering. But much of that stems from efficiency concerns. If your job demands ripping boards all day without power, you want a saw that is optimal for that exact task. For our purposes, a simpler approach, easy to get started, will work just fine. Anyone can cut a straight line but usually not the first time. For some folks, it only takes a few practice cuts to achieve reasonable results whenever and wherever the need arises.
The class will include discussion and limited hands on experiences:
* a variety of saws that might be relevant for you
* suggestions on a small starter set
* a way to classify the saws you encounter
* how to sharpen those saws that require it
* the basics of cutting a straight line
Select the photo below to see the caption with names of the saws.
Even if you have access to a room full of band saws, table saws, and more, you need some hand tools to handle certain smaller tasks and to add refinement to your projects. Hand tools can help you:
quickly and quietly complete some small cuts
fit joints with precision
prepare edges for glue
add elegance to joints and surfaces
foster affinity with your material
explore creative options too risky for power tools
So use power tools for the big stuff. Slow down and finish up with hand tools. A basic set of hand tools is not too expensive, not too big to store, and not hard to maintain. Basic skills are easy to pick up at first, improve quickly with practice, and open up to growing mastery over time.