02-07-2005, 01:51 PM
What would be a good handsaw to start with? I have read a lot about the Japanese style and use one for dovetails and really like the clean fast cuts I get with it. Should I buy a Japanese style rip and crosscut saws or get the Western style saws?
Also other than planes and a set of 1/4" to 1" chisels, what other hand tools chould I get? Is it worth it to get a wooden mallet or will my dead blow mallet work just as well.
Of course I would like to buy one of everything, but can't afford that. :D
02-07-2005, 02:37 PM
First off I will say that I am a fan of vintage western style saws, basically late 19th early 20th Century Disstons. Other than the high dollar saws from LN etc., most modern Western Saws are the throw away type, and they don't work as well as they could when they are brand new. The handles are clunky and uncomfortable and they have too much set. They were made for a world of power tools with an occassional hand saw need. Where-as the Vintage Saws need sharpening somewhat more often, the steel of which they are made is soft enough for the user with some very basic tools to sharpen. Modern saws are made of much harder, more brittle steel which does not sharpen well with a file, and they are cheap enough that you can buy a new one for just a bit more than sending one out to be sharpened.
Dollar for dollar Eastern style saws perform much better though the cheaper ones are throw-aways also. They are also susceptible to having teeth break in use, especially when sawing hardwoods. But a $20 Japanese saw will give you much better results than will a $20 Western saw.