A Note on the Term ‘Handsaw’: Technically all saws can be classed under the term ‘handsaws’ as this is a general term for all saws used by hand (not machines), however, the term ‘handsaws’ can also refer to a specific saw which is described as a large panel saw. In this guide we will…

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The Western saws we use don’t cut on the pull-stroke, so you are cutting on the push-stroke and only using the pull-stroke to retrieve the saw ready for the next stroke. Back Saws and Backless Saws (Dovetail, Tenon, Gent’s and Panel Saw) Put your non-dominant foot forward and your dominant foot back, this will enable…

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This applies to all saws except the coping saw which does not need sharpening as it comes with replacement blades, to see how to insert the blades, click here. Some saws will need setting before sharpening and some will need sharpening before setting. This all depends on the quality of the teeth to begin with.…

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When buying a dovetail saw you need to ensure that it has good, resharpenable steel and has a strong back. Like tenon saws, these can be brass or steel-backed, the main difference is that the steel-backed saws are lighter. You also want to make sure it has 15 PPI or more (slightly smaller teeth)…

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Paul Sellers recommends a 12” tenon saw with 14-16 PPI. You can get brass-backed or steel-backed ones, the steel-backed saws are slightly lighter in weight so it is down to personal preference, however Paul says most experienced craftsman ultimately use a brass-backed. 🇬🇧/🇺🇸You can buy these new online for approximately £30-40, we found this…

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The router plane is used to refine cuts which are either made by chisels, saws or machines. In use, the blade cuts in a similar way to a chisel but the blade is fixed within a wooden or metal body and has an adjustment mechanism making this a true plane.

Uses
A router is used to…

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…as the plates are too thick and the handles are clunky, look out for the Disston USA version as Paul says these were some of the best saws ever made. You can also buy both ripcut and crosscut saws new which are ready to use.
Look for a 20-22” (508- 559 mm) panel saw with…

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…many different variations including:

Lengths
Widths
Taper
Fineness (the closer the teeth are on the file, the finer it is)
Double-cut/ single cut/ second cut

Paul finds that 3 main sizes cover most saws:

Slim taper
Extra slim taper
Double extra slim taper (sometimes shown as XX slim)

When choosing a saw file, it depends on the type of saw, the number of teeth…

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…by Paul to describe a cut through the surface fibres of the wood, and then using a chisel to create a stepdown so that other tools (chisels, saws, etc) can be used to precisely align them to the knifewall. Whereas it is common to use a pencil for initial layout, the knifewall allows for…

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