Hand Saw Foundations

$ 400.00

Foundations of Traditional Woodworking Series

Dates: Contact me to schedule this two day class

Tuition: $400

Materials Fee: $35

Class Overview:
This class focuses on the selection, use, and maintenance of hand saws through a combination of discussions, demonstrations and hands-on practice. Click here to learn about the other classes in this series.


Using a hand saw is a basic, but very important skill to master when learning to use hand tools to work wood. If you cannot follow a line with your hand saws, you will struggle to accurately dimension stock, and your joinery will not fit “off the saw”, requiring hours of extra time fine tuning the fit of each joint. Worse, your joinery may end up too loose, necessitating a repair, or ruining the joint entirely. So, it is vital that you can choose the correct saw for the task at hand and be able to use that saw confidently. That’s why Hand Saw Foundations is the first class in the Foundations of Traditional Woodworking series.

In this class I’ll show you what to look for, and what to avoid when you’re in the market for a good, western style hand saw. I’ll go over the different types of hand saws and discuss each of their uses in the traditional hand tool workshop, focusing on those saws you’ll need the most as a new hand tool woodworker. I’ll cover the basics of maintaining your hand saws, including how to sharpen them, and set them up to perform at their best. Finally, I’ll show you how to properly use your hand saws to make straight, precise, efficient cuts, as we build a valuable workshop appliance, and a handsome piece of furniture..

Feel free to bring any hand saws that you may have. Even if the saws are not ready for work, these tools always provide useful discussion points during the class and may make for a good candidate for the sharpening demonstration.

There are no prerequisites for this class. Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced woodworker looking to incorporate more hand tools into your work, your competence using hand saws will benefit from the topics and exercises covered in the class.

Topics Covered

  • Demystifying Saw Tooth Geometry
  • Western Saws vs. Japanese Saws
  • What Saws Do You Really Need?
  • The Mechanics of Hand Sawing
  • The Three Classes of Saw Cuts
  • Hand Saw Appliances
  • Sharpening and Maintaining Saws
  • Troubleshooting Poor Cutting Saws
  • Building a Hancock Shaker Bench

Course Features

  • Lessons 0
  • Quizzes 0
  • Duration 2 Days
  • Skill level All levels
  • Language English
  • Students 0
  • Assessments Yes
Curriculum is empty

I'm a passionate woodworking enthusiast of over 30 years, with an interest in the methods of pre-industrial joiners and cabinetmakers. I'm a furniture maker, teacher, and author, and I share my thoughts and experiences with the goal of educating and inspiring others who are pursuing the craft of traditional woodworking. In addition to writing about and teaching traditional woodworking, I also build commission pieces for customers, and speak at woodworking shows and seminars.


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$ 400.00