The free diy home improvement guide with answers to your questions on a wide range of do it yourself projects.

Saws - power and hand 1

Using a hand saw

Keep a hand saw on course by guiding the side of the blade with your thumb and pointing your finger along the line of the blade,

but keep them away from the cutting edge itself.

Start a cut by pulling backwards slowly and use several light strokes to start the cut.

Reduce splintering on the underside of a board or plank by lowering the saw angle to 25-35 degrees. If there is still a problem, use a saw with a smaller tooth size.

Wedge open a saw kerf (the cut section) on a long piece of material to stop the blade binding.

Wax the sides of a saw blade when cutting wet or very resinous woods.

Let the saw do the work and don't use too much force.Use as much of the saw's length as possible and increase the pressure slightly at the 'handle end' of the cut.

Use the angular handle of a hardpoint saw to mark out mitres or right angles for rough cutting board.

Always cut to the waste side of the line, rather than actually on it.

Using a tenon saw

Keep the saw at a shallower angle than with a hand saw (around 20 degrees) and use a bench hook or mitre box to guide your work if possible.

Cutting a tenon

Angle the wood at 45 degrees, facing away from you and keep the saw blade parallel with the bench top as you make the first cut to the shoulder line.

Flip the work around to angle towards you and make the second cut.

Finish the cut by holding the work upright and sawing down to the shoulder line. Complete the tenon on a bench hook.

Looking after saws

Keep saws hanging on the workshop wall or in a storage rack, away from other metal tools which may damage the set and sharpness of the teeth.

Hardpoint saws are designed to cut wood, manmade board, insulating material, plastic and even light building blocks. They cannot be re-sharpened.

Cut tubing straight

Wrap masking tape around wood dowelling or metal pipework to give you a staight guide for cutting.

Saws - power and hand 2

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