Atkins Backsaw

Bit Braces

Simonds Saws


Working with Hands - James E. Price

  Cutting Perfectly Square End on a Board 1 of 3  

I have read of the frustration that members of this group and other groups have cutting 2x4's and 4x4's perfectly square...

... with a hand saw in construction of workbench components. The method I use is well known and used for centuries and it is the way I was taught by Bruce Debo in the 1960's after he observed my struggles in cutting a perfectly square end on a board.

This method is just as true as a big miter box but requires only four simple tools, a very sharp bench knife, an equally sharp chisel, a square, and a backsaw. If you clean off the saw marks, you will need a low-angle plane too.

This method produces a perfectly square cutoff every time and reduces anxiety when sawing. I know this is very basic but lots of members of this group are beginners and may not have heard of this method. It works at all scales and can be use on big timbers sawn with a 2-man crosscut saw.

These are the four tools you will need.

First, make sure your stock is perfectly true on all sides.

With the square in place, use the bench knife to scribe a deep slit for a line. Layout with a pencil is far from precision and sawing errors can be made attempting to saw along a pencil line.

Next, on the waste side of the line, remove shaving the entire length of the line.

After removal of the shaving it should look like this, an incline
slanting toward the scribed line.

1 of 3  

L. & I. J. White

Winsted Tools

D. R. Barton


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