Milling, Part 5

At this point, I’d milled my board to width and depth; the only thing remaining was cutting it to length. My goal was two one-foot (roughly) lengths.

This meant using a crosscut saw, preferably a backsaw, which meant that the task fell to the old Jackson saw I’d been playing with. I wasn’t terribly happy with the initial sharpening job I did on it. The saw kept wandering around in the cut. so yesterday, I decided to try again. I jointed, shaped, and set the teeth, then went about to pointing the teeth.

I screwed up, and the teeth ended up looking ridiculous. The saw didn’t exactly cut so well, either. So I jointed, shaped, and set again, and then I screwed up the pointing again. So I jointed, shaped a little, then went to bed.

Not to be deterred, I woke up this morning (“full” of energy), and decided to try a few different things. First, I used less set on the teeth. Then I set about pointing with a lower fleam angle (something like 10-15 degrees). Finally, I decided to ignore the rake angle guide when pointing, rather relying more on sight and feel.

The saw certainly looked a lot better when I finished. And it cut better–it did not wander around now. So I was ready to put it to use. Here’s the end product after shooting the end grain with my low-angle block plane:

Yay. I’m done with milling. Plus, I got to put the Veritas plane to a torture test of sorts.

I’m still not thrilled with the backsaw. It cuts smoothly and relatively quickly now, and it doesn’t wander, but I can’t help but thinking that it could produce a finer cut. The question, though, is if I’m barking up the wrong tree here. That saw has just 10 teeth per inch, which is fairly coarse for a crosscut saw anyway. This thing may be better off as a ripsaw for tenon cheeks and stuff like that. I don’t think I want to retooth it, because that will wear down even more of the saw, and there isn’t much blade left to begin with.

Whatever. I’m ready to try making a mortise-and-tenon joint now.

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