Cutting With a Ripcut and Crosscut Saw

You will need:

  • 1 x piece of wood approximately ¾” (19mm) by 5” (127mm) by 18” (457mm) long
  • Ripcut Saw
  • Crosscut Saw
  • Pencil
  • Square


  • Draw a line about 1” (25mm) from the edge along the length of your wood.


  • Starting with the ripcut panel saw, use your thumb to guide the saw to the start of the cut.


  • With each stroke, begin to lower the hand so you alter the angle of the cut to create a guideline for the rest of the sawcut to follow.


  • If there is space, hold the end of the board with your other hand to stabilise the board and allow you to counteract the forward thrust of the saw cuts by pulling the board towards you.
  • Note: Paul advises that whichever way you load the wood in the vice, you should feel the wood is secure. He often puts the wood in different directions according to the length and the width of the wood because one way may give better access over another.has put the wood in the vise this way for visibility to show the action more clearly. The more wood that is in contact with the vise, the more securely it will hold.


Tip: When you begin the cut, do so using a forward stroke with the saw just slightly above the wood and as your push it forward, bring it down to come into contact with the wood.


If you find the saw keeps jarring, use less pressure, not more and ensure you always begin the opening cut on a forward stroke.


Use your thumb as a guide to start off the cut. Once you are 4 or 5 strokes in, you can remove your thumb as the saw is unlikely to deviate from this path.

If the saw is jumping out of the cut line when you start, you need to reestablish the cutting path by bringing your thumb back to the side of the saw plate as a guide, be sure to use gentle strokes. Sharp saws need only minimal pressure.


To cut using a crosscut saw, repeat the above steps but mark your wood across the grain. To avoid tear out, use a knife to create a knife wall round the piece of wood, this severs the fibres which results in a cleaner cut.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


Need an account? Register Now