Editor’s note: The following blog entry was penned by John Hoffman, my business partner here at Lost Art Press. He wrote this after assisting me during my sawing class up in Sterling Heights, Mich.
— Christopher Schwarz
I am in the process of sawing out large notches for the Trestle Table from Woodworking Magazine. I have been experimenting making first-class saw cuts. I have used the chisel with the bevel toward the waste and away from the waste as suggested by Chris. The key for me is to not tap the chisel to hard. I am using Southern Yellow Pine, (an exotic wood to Canadians) so it is not hard, however, I have been able to cross the baseline with either bevel approach if I hit the chisel too hard. The other experiment I have been doing is to see how much of a notch I need to make with the chisel for the saw to ride in.
In this pic you can see a deeper notch and a shallow notch. I have tried to keep the shallow notch deep enough to cover the saw set. Noctice the somewhat crocked lines made from my dull marking knife.
The next pic is the result. Again the lines seemed to work out well and it seems that the smaller notch worked fine. Notice the notch in each corner to guide the saw. It was a bit tricky because the work is only 1-1/4″ inches thick which put the sawing close to the bench top.
Yes I did run the toe of the saw into the top of the bench, but only once. Really! I then continued to practice sawing to the line to waste out the rest of the material. This is the result.
If you look closely some of the saw cuts are definitely better than others. I tend to wander off line at the far end of the cut. I have been focusing on watching the reflection of the work on the saw plate to help me stay true. Another trick from Chris, who told me the best thing to do is keep on sawing.
— John Hoffman