Popular Woodworking 2003-10 № 136, страница 73

Popular Woodworking 2003-10 № 136, страница 73

Western Saws

They had a long, knife-like blade, a straight grip and cut on the pull stroke, like a Japanese saw. Why the pull stroke?

Early Egyptian saws were made with a thin sheet of copper (as thin as 0.03") and had no rigid spine like the modern backsaw.

"(If they had been used) on the push stroke, the saw would have buckled and bent," according to Geoffrey Killen, author of numerous books and articles on Egyptian woodworking and the head of faculty at the Design and Technology Department of the Stratton Upper School and

Community College in England.

What is unusual about these saws is that all the teeth were set (meaning they were bent) to one side of the blade. This makes the saw difficult to steer, and the Egyptians had to come up with ingenious ways of wedging the saw kerf open during each cut, according to Killen.

The advent of bronze tools brought some refinements, as did the iron saws developed by the Romans. But the basic form was still a pull saw with a thin blade.

It was the invention of the frame saw (plus teeth set to both

"I continue to use Western-style saws mostly because they work for me, and I don't see enough advantage in pull saws to completely change the way I work and the appliances I use."

— Don McConnell, contributing editor to Popular Woodworking, professional woodworker and longtime student of traditional woodworking

The Western handsaw, shown here being used by Don McConnell with an overhand rip grip, cuts on the push stroke.

popwood.com

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