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Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

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Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby Andy Kev. » 16 Jan 2022, 12:03

Ages ago I bought one of those Japanese saws which is crosscut on one side and rip on the other. Having used it a few times, I now prefer western for cross cutting but I quite like it for rip work - when I can keep it straight, that is.

What are the backless Kataba saws like for deeping/resawing, particularly with hardwoods? Has anyone had any experience of them?
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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby Woodbloke » 16 Jan 2022, 13:14

Andy Kev. wrote:Ages ago I bought one of those Japanese saws which is crosscut on one side and rip on the other. Having used it a few times, I now prefer western for cross cutting but I quite like it for rip work - when I can keep it straight, that is.

What are the backless Kataba saws like for deeping/resawing, particularly with hardwoods? Has anyone had any experience of them?

I use a backless Kataba from WH for general sawing duties in the 'shop. In my experience, it's not suitable for re-sawing as the teeth aren't coarse enough. The ryoba saw is a better bet as it will have a deeper blade and coarser teeth on the ripping side - Rob
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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby Andy Kev. » 17 Jan 2022, 11:31

Thanks for the tip.

It begs the question of what would the Japanese use a rip-cut Kataba for.
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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby Raymedullary » 17 Jan 2022, 12:03

Mine was £8 from Laldi, bought on a whim. Its better than I expected. I find it Useful for awkward cuts.
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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby Lurker » 17 Jan 2022, 12:49

I gave up as my muscle memory can’t overcome the cut on pull.
Agree that the Lidl one comes in handy now and again.
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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby Sheffield Tony » 17 Jan 2022, 13:33

I saw a demo of rip sawing using a Thomas Flinn pitsaw, and a Japanese "maebiki nokogiri". The Japanese saw seemed to make most progress, the pit saw being handicapped by the scaffold tower being used in lieu of a sawpit wobbling around a lot, and the bottom dog's handle falling off regularly.

I personally find pull saws very tiring to use, perhaps it is what you are used to. They seem to work better with poor workholding though - as evidenced by pruning saws.

I imagine a maebiki nokogiri is hard to find.
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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby Pete Maddex » 17 Jan 2022, 14:21

Sheffield Tony wrote:I saw a demo of rip sawing using a Thomas Flinn pitsaw, and a Japanese "maebiki nokogiri". The Japanese saw seemed to make most progress, the pit saw being handicapped by the scaffold tower being used in lieu of a sawpit wobbling around a lot, and the bottom dog's handle falling off regularly.

I personally find pull saws very tiring to use, perhaps it is what you are used to. They seem to work better with poor workholding though - as evidenced by pruning saws.

I imagine a maebiki nokogiri is hard to find.


It should be easer uning a pull saw, you are useing your latissimus dorsi and biceps which are bigger than your deltoids and triceps.
Pruning is a static hold with your arm locked out, holding aganst a push is difficult your wrist tends to flex.

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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby Woodbloke » 17 Jan 2022, 16:17

Sheffield Tony wrote:
I imagine a maebiki nokogiri is hard to find.

Not in Japan :lol: I asked someone in Japan why they didn't use them as there were a load just loafing around going rusty?

'We use chain saw now'' was the answer :lol: - Rob
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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby AndyT » 17 Jan 2022, 18:56

Sorry, I don't have any experience, but I'll take any opportunity to post this woodcut by Hokusai showing some authentic Japanese ripsawing action :)

Image

Impressive in so many ways.
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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby Sheffield Tony » 17 Jan 2022, 19:02

I love Japanese wood block prints. These guys were clearly very confident in their A-frame construction ! Not where I would sit to sharpen.
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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby AndyT » 17 Jan 2022, 19:07

Indeed! And how long is it before the guy on top puts his bare foot just where the saw of the chap underneath emerges from the parallel cut?
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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby Sheffield Tony » 17 Jan 2022, 19:20

You've seen how they hew beams ..?

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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby AndyT » 17 Jan 2022, 19:25

Sorry, I've cut this beam a foot short! :lol:
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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby Woodbloke » 19 Jan 2022, 13:10

Sheffield Tony wrote:I love Japanese wood block prints.

We do as well and we have a very moderate collection of several antique prints. Last time we were in Kyoto we wandered into a gallery and saw what I assume was a Hokusai first edition print from the original blocks at a mere 6,500,000JPY or around £42,000 - Rob
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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby AJB Temple » 19 Jan 2022, 20:23

Just to add. Like Rob I do have some J saws of various types acquired in Japan. Also tried for interest the Japanese style saws that Aldi and Lidl sometimes sell. There is no comparison really.

There is a knack to J pull saws and for some awkward cuts they will do things a western saw will not do. I really like them, but I must admit I do use western back saws of various types, and for very narrow or fine dovetails I much prefer a fine tooth western back saw as I find it gets into the initial cut better and is easier, in my amateur hands, to keep dead vertical to the knife line. Horses for courses, but good quality J saws are very nice and retain sharpness incredibly well.

I don't really use rip saws much because......table saw, band saw, track saw, big circular saw ;)
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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby Andy Kev. » 19 Jan 2022, 21:34

AJB Temple wrote:Just to add. Like Rob I do have some J saws of various types acquired in Japan. Also tried for interest the Japanese style saws that Aldi and Lidl sometimes sell. There is no comparison really.

There is a knack to J pull saws and for some awkward cuts they will do things a western saw will not do. I really like them, but I must admit I do use western back saws of various types, and for very narrow or fine dovetails I much prefer a fine tooth western back saw as I find it gets into the initial cut better and is easier, in my amateur hands, to keep dead vertical to the knife line. Horses for courses, but good quality J saws are very nice and retain sharpness incredibly well.

I don't really use rip saws much because......table saw, band saw, track saw, big circular saw ;)

I tend to think that a band saw trumps everything when ripping. However, I don’t have one at the moment. To come back to my original point, what do you see as the principal use of rip-cut katabas?
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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby AJB Temple » 20 Jan 2022, 00:47

OK, I don't use my rip cut kataba much, but it has been used for the following:

Shoulder cuts on oak tenons in timber framing (ie reduce width of tenon in long grain). I could use a hardpoint saw, but with oak beams on trestles, I find a pull saw more convenient. When I knackered my foot (broke it) I was able to do this work sat in a chair and keep going with that saw.

Cleaning up through mortices in oak framing that have been hogged out with a forstner. I rarely do this as a mostly chisel, but sometimes I find the saw helpful in thick wood (say 9").

Used quite a lot to do rafter cuts that the chop saw won't handle (capacity issue).

Dealing with cuts in ply wood when I can't be bothered to get the track saw out, and almost always for taking the corner nib out when two track saw cuts meet. Does a very clean job of this.

And....It's worth remembering that in Japan, the typical timbers used are Japanese Cedar, Japanese red pine and Cypress. These are all a good deal easier to rip by hand than, say english or french oak. Softer, straight grained etc. Presumably the tools developed to suit the commonly used timbers. You wont really see hardwoods used in construction in Japan in the way that historic buildings have been done in England.
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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby Woodbloke » 20 Jan 2022, 09:35

I have (but have never used) a 'Huntley Oak Saw' developed by Mike Huntley, the ex ed. of F&C where the blade tooth geometry has been specifically designed by a well known Japanese saw maker to cut through Oak - Rob
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Re: Japanese saws for deeping/resawing.

Postby Andy Kev. » 20 Jan 2022, 12:10

Thanks Adrian.

It looks like I would have little use for one if they aren’t suitable for hardwoods and I’m quite happy to cut tenons etc. with a western back saw.
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