The arm of the hand which is holding the saw should form a straight line from the shoulder down to the top of the saw blade. The body should be slightly to the left or right of the saw depending on whether the person is right- or left-handed ; but in any case the eye on the same side as the hand which is holding the saw should be in line with the blade.
To start the cut, the blade is placed on the line, with the thumb of the free hand supporting the side of the blade. The saw is drawn toward the operator several times until a slight kerf is cut. When this kerf is formed, the hand should be moved away from the blade and a slow, steady, full-stroke back-and-forth movement of the blade started.
A saw should never be forced. If difficulty is encountered when sawing a piece of wood, making it necessary to use force, the fault may lie in the condition of the saw, the way in which the saw is held, or the manner in which the wood is being supported.
Ripping to a line
The hand ripsaw has the same general appearance as that of the hand crosscut saw. This saw, as its name implies, is used to cut with the grain. The stock should be held or supported by means of a vise or on a sawhorse. Place the saw on the stock to be cut, maintaining an angle of 60 degrees between the tooth edge and the face of the wood. The cut is started and completed in the same manner as for the crosscut handsaw.
To cut a curve in a piece of wood, a saw with a narrow blade must be used. The sharper the curve or sweep to be cut, the narrower the blade must be. Saws designed for this type of work are the coping saw, the web saw, the keyhole saw, the compass saw, and the jig saw.
The coping saw
A coping saw is generally used with a saddle. A saddle is composed of two pieces of wood fastened together at right angles. The upright piece is placed in the vise, and the horizontal piece has a V-shaped portion cut away. Saddles are used to support stock in a vise so that a saw such as a coping saw can be used to cut away small pieces of material. The saddle is held in the vise with the surface at a height that will permit the free and easy movement of the saw.
The blade should be kept at right angles to the surf ace of the wood at all times. Each stroke should be as long as possible to avoid overheating of the blade. When using a saddle the work should be shifted so that the saw can follow the curve as it is encountered. Changing the angle of the blade once it has started the cut may result in breaking the blade.
If, when cutting a curve, the saw frame interferes by coming in contact with the stock, the frame can be shifted by means of the swivels in which the blade is placed. This is done by loosening the handle, then turning the swivels by means of the pins until the frame clears the wood. Make certain that the lover swivel is tight before continuing with the work.
Stock which is too large to be held on a saddle may be placed in the vise. In this case it will be necessary to revolve the saw in order to follow the line rather than to move the stock, as when a saddle is used. Care must be taken to keep the blade at right angles to the stock at all times to prevent the blade from binding and breaking.
The web saw
The web saw is similar to the coping saw; it is used, in a similar manner, to cut material that is too thick for the coping saw. It has a wood frame with two upright pieces and a third piece between them, forming an H. At one end of the uprights there extends between them a rod which can be regulated for length by means of a turnbuckle. Between the other ends of the H, the blade is located. The tension on the blade is controlled by the turnbuckle.
Turning saw is a term applied to any saw having a blade which is held in a frame, attached to it at both ends of the blade. It is often applied to a web saw.
The compass saw
When using a compass saw, an angle of 90 degrees should be maintained between the tooth edge and the surface of the wood. When cutting inside circles, a hole must first be bored large enough to pass the point of the saw through. The teeth at this narrow end start the cut; then as the kerf is made longer, the teeth at the wider portion of the blade are brought into action.
The sharpness of the curve or arc that is being cut will determine the portion of the blade that can be used. Whenever possible the heavier part of the saw blade should be utilized rather than placing strain on the comparatively weak point, the narrow end.
Finishing of curved surfaces
The finishing or smoothing of the curved surfaces is done with a spoke shave, paring chisel, or paring gouge. Any straight surface is planed to the line with a smooth or block plane.