I have a difficult time starting cuts with my backsaw—the teeth dig in and gnash the wood. What am I doing wrong? What’s the best way to get a cut started?
Dwayne Davis, Amarillo, TX
Starting a cut with a western-style saw SAW can be challenging, especially if the saw, which cuts on the push stroke, is new or freshly sharpened. The teeth cut aggressively and want to dig into the wood. The trick is to build momentum before applying pressure at the start of the cut. Start by just letting the teeth graze the surface, so they don’t dig in quickly. Don’t drag the saw backward at the beginning of the cut. It creates ruts that the teeth lock into, making it harder to start correctly.
If you’re still having trouble with a traditional western saw, you have a couple of options. The…