Saturday, October 22, 2011

Cutting Recommendation

If you happen to need to cut some wood, let me suggest the Vaughan Bear Saw. I have one like the second on that page, a medium/fine (I guess, might be medium coarse?). Very comfortable to use. Very quick to cut. Very accurate.

While working on repairing the frame on our love seat (the front wood brace broke in two, dropping the center of the seat to the floor), I wanted to cut a piece of reinforcing wood to attach to the glued-back-together main frame piece (I'm probably going to find some metal to reinforce the split area as well). The reinforcing piece is a 1"x3" piece of pine. Now, I could have lugged out the radial saw, perfect for the job, but it's so heavy to use for just the one cut... Bear Saw! It took me only a moment to rip through the reinforcement board, with a near-perfect cut (I hadn't bothered to make it exceptionally square, since it would be "free" and not abutted against anything). Similarly, the wooden dowel I used to help position the broken frame board was easily cut with the Bear Saw. (Watch out, by the way: that bear saw is sharp!) FYI, what I did with the dowel was this: cut it slightly longer than the correct spacing between the front and rear frame boards, insert it at an angle between the front and back, and my wife pushed the dowel toward "straight" between them as I pulled and positioned the split frame board. In this way, we managed to work the frame board back to its correct horizontal location (distance from the front board, aligning it with the other side of the split) in spite of the tension on the board from the springs and cords attached to the seating surface.

And that's not even the original purpose for which I'd bought the saw. I have a chunk (log) of an old cedar tree, and I wanted to take some slices of the cedar for a craft project. My radial saw was not sufficient due to the diameter of the cedar (about a foot), and any other power saws I had similarly would not suffice. The Bear Saw performed very well at making these slices. Granted, they are not perfectly uniform in thickness - I did not try very hard to make it that way, though, as it is inconsequential to the project (plus, I think the variance adds some character, definitely a home-made look to it). Now, it was hard work, cutting multiple slices off a foot-diameter log of cedar with a hand saw, but it did, in fact, work. And the saw was still sharp enough to easily perform the cuts for the couch-repair project.

Oh, and the Bear Saw has replaceable blades as well in the event that it does get dull or broken (I'm not handy enough to sharpen my own saw blades), although they didn't have any replacement blades at the Lowes where I bought the saw. That's OK, though; it will likely be a long time before I use it enough to dull the blade to the point of replacement.

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