How to use a hand saw
How to saw straight
To begin building a sawing technique, start by cutting a piece of timber
straight down at right angles to the surface.
Using a square, mark a pencil line square across the top and square down each side.
Begin your cut on one side of the line, starting with short strokes forward and backwards at the far end of the line until the teeth of the saw start biting.
Saw straight down the line
As you cut, place your head directly over the saw blade so that the blade appears as a thin line throughout its length. You should not be able to see either face of the blade throughout each stroke. Maintain this position while cutting, turning your head sideways every now and then to check that the cut is following the line.
Saw confidently with long, even strokes. If you have a standard hand saw, it’ll cut on the forward stroke only. Put your strongest movement into the forward stroke.
If you have a fast-cut saw life is easier. The teeth are sharpened on the front and rear and will cut both forwards and backwards. Saw in long, even strokes distributing weight evenly throughout.
Once you have mastered sawing at right angles you will be better able to cut an angle. Use a square to mark a pencil line on the top face. On the front side and the back side of the board, mark in the angle you wish to cut. Hold your saw firmly at that angle as you follow the top line across the board. Stop occasionally as you go and check the far side of the board to see that you are maintaining the correct angle.
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