Today I received my 16″ Bad Axe Tenon Saw. Its a big saw and when I unwrapped it, I was really glad I didn’t order the larger saw because it has a fair amount of weight to it.
Just so you know, I’m 5′ 6″ and I don’t have small hands. The saw felt good in my hands but its heavier than any saw I own. I’m also a very reluctant and very new sawyer. My table saw still does, and probably always will, scare the begesus out of me. And I will probably never own a big collection of hand saws.
I was ruff sawing some alder for my Handtool School saw till when the saw arrived. So I plopped a piece of alder on my bench hook that had a far less that perpendicular cut on the end (thanks to my bad sawing technique). The saw squared up the end in a flash and made a beautiful smooth surface. Hmmm .. having some extra weight seems to have helped. I could get used to this.
OK, now for the real test. I haven’t done my half lap lessons because I’ve been waiting for my tenon saw to arrive. Warning: I’ve never made a cut like this with a hand saw.
I marked my lines and chiseled out my first class saw line in a piece of white oak scrap. The saw cruised right through the white oak and made a pretty nice half lap. You can see my poor saw technique to the right, but the half lap I ended up with could easily be cleaned up with my shoulder plane and would make a nice joint. The lower face of the sawn surface where I held the saw straight was smooooth and would need no clean up.
So two questions now popped to mind. Wonder if I could really be a decent sawyer after all (with the right saw, of course). And .. I wonder if one of Mark’s saws could help me with dovetail problems. Hmmm…
My assessment .. the saw feels good in my hand but the weight of it will take some getting used to. HOWEVER, I do think the weight really helped the cut especially through the harder wood. With some practice, I bet I won’t need clean up and can go straight from the saw to the glue. The handle is wonderful and I’ve been wondering if I could get that nice of finish on my next furniture project.