The handsaw is a woodworking tool that normally involves the use of the hand and proper hand-eye coordination to make cuts across the grain of fibers in wood (Hasluck, 2011). Different types of hand saws exist for different purposes, and different types of timber are it softwood or hardwood. Examples of hand saws include the perforated saw, One man Two Handled saw, saw with a Skew Back or Hollow Back Hand saw, saw with a Ruled Edge and Handsaw with a Nibbed Back (Hasluck, 2011). The main components of the handsaw are the handle and the blade consisting of teeth (Hasluck, 2011).
Figure 1: Parts of a Hand Saw Adapted from Scenic Design and Lighting Techniques: A Basic Guide for Theatre
The handle of the handsaw in most cases has a D-shaped grip that is connected to the blade (Napoli and Gloman, 2013). The user normally uses the handle to grip and control the motion of the saw back and forth in a wood material to ensure a proper cut is developed.
The screws are used to fasten the handle to the blade.
The biggest part of the handsaw is the blade. The blade is thin towards the end that has the teeth and broad at its butt (Napoli and Gloman, 2013). The blade is made of steel and is significant in that it connects the teeth to the handle.
This is the part of the handsaw that is responsible for the cutting action on the wooden material (Napoli and Gloman, 2013). The teeth can be sharpened to increase the cutting efficiency of the hand saw. The major types of saw teeth include the crosscut teeth and the ripsaw teeth. Ripsaw teeth are commonly found in rip saws. In the ripsaw the type of teeth, the tooth points are about four per inch (Hasluck, 2011). The front of the tooth is at an angle of 900 (Hasluck, 2011). Sharpening the teeth using a file is done at an angle of about 870. Consequently, this ensures that the teeth become a little dull which makes the cutting to be done freely and easily (Hasluck, 2011). It is important to note that the sharpness of the teeth does not guarantee the efficiency of the cutting operation (Hasluck, 2011).
Crosscut teeth are suited for crosscutting operations. According to Hasluck (2011), the number of teeth per inch is about five or six. The front part of the tooth slopes at an angle of 1050. Sharpening operations on the teeth using a file are done at an angle of 550 to 600. Soft timber requires the angle of the teeth to be more acute. In the case of hardwood, the number of teeth is about six to eight and sloping at an angle of about 1100 to 1150. The filing is done at an angle of about 700 to 750 owing to the fact that the cutting edge needs to be less acute as the hardwood fibers are more compact than the fibers in softwoods (Hasluck, 2011).
Handsaws can be obtained in a variety of sizes and types. It is important to select the correct handsaw to ensure the desired results are attained for each operation. As such, it becomes important to ensure that the types of teeth especially ripsaw teeth and crosscut teeth are understood when it comes to using them on different types of wood to ensure that laborious work is reduced.
Hasluck, P. N. (2011). The handyman's book: Tools, materials, and techniques for traditional woodworkers. Berkeley, CA: Skyhorse Pub.
Napoli, R., & Gloman, C. (2013). Scenic Design and Lighting Techniques: A Basic Guide for Theatre. Burlington: CRC Press.