My new toy

After bringing my mother home from the hospital yesterday (I called her this morning and she is doing well today, and did not have any episodes during the night), I’d gone to the hardware store in her town to pick up the paint we needed to finish the replacement door for the sun room.

I also got myself a new toy.

Since I am cutting so many slices from the lilac wood, and plan to do more with maple and cherry that I’ve set aside. I even have a couple more branches of lilac waiting outside, so I decided it was worth the splurge. With the kittens in the basement, I’m not as comfortable using loud power tools. I have hand saws that are done the job, but when I saw this saw – and its affordable price – I went for it.

This is a fine toothed, fine bladed pull saw. I hoped that it would cut more smoothly than the saws I was already using, so of course I had to test it out.

On the left are the round slices I’d cut using a regular carpenter saw, which is what I had that worked the best at the time. To the right are slices I cut using the new saw, in the miter box at 45 degrees. None of these have been sanded.

It’s hard to see, but the cut edges with the new saw are smoother than the other ones. They also didn’t leave that jagged edge that sometimes happens at the very end of a cut. The larger saw also left occasional black marks that need to be sanded away. So, right off the top, the new saw will save me on sand paper. I also splurged on sheets of sand paper in grits starting at 50, up to 220. The slices I cut with the old saw needed that 50 grit, but the new slices don’t need to be started with such coarse sandpaper.

There were a couple of other benefits I noticed. The sawing itself is quieter, which means less noise to disturb the babies nearby. It cuts faster, and with less vibration, so things are not being shaken off the shelf on the work table quite as much. 😀

The blade is so much thinner, there is less loss of wood as sawdust, and it’s easier to cut thinner pieces. However, this also means the blade bends more easily. Since it’s shorter than the other saw, I had to take greater care while sawing in the miter box, as the blade would sometimes bend and hit the inside of the miter box rather than go through the slot. After a while, because the piece of wood I was working on was wonky in shape, I started to use the miter box just to start a cut, then take it out and hold it in my hand to finish the cut. After a while, I didn’t even do that, and just eyeballed the angle and started it without a guide. I don’t know that I would have been able to do that with the other saw. Previously, I’d used the vice to hold the wood, but this branch had too many bends in it for the vice to be able to grip it.

As before, I use the last 3 1/2 inches of the branch to make lengthwise cuts in the miter box, and found an unexpected problem. Cutting the wood lengthwise resulted in sawdust clogging the teeth very quickly. I kept having to pull the blade out, remove the sawdust in the teeth, then make a few more passes before I had to do it again. So while cross cutting went faster than when using the other saw, cutting lengthwise took longer.

Of the branch I brought downstairs, I’ve now cut the two thickest sections into pieces. There are more smaller branches I’d taken off to work on later. I’m still thinking of what to make with the pieces I’ve already cut, but the smaller pieces will be of a size and weight suitable for earrings, so I know I will be making at least a few of those.

My new toy will make it much faster and smoother to cut the pieces to size. I hadn’t planned on getting a new saw, just for this project, but now that I have, I’m already glad I did. Definitely worth it.

The Re-Farmer

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