Rip Teeth

Rip teeth work like chisels.

Think of wood as a bundle of fibers all glued together, because that is what it is. Now consider how you would go about neatly severing these fibers to make slots first across their length (crosscutting) and then along their length (ripping).

We've already noted how, in crosscutting, the saw acts like a row of knives to slice across the fibers on both sides of the kerf. The leading edge of each tooth slopes back to slice the outer surface before the deeper part of the cut is made, just as you would instinctively angle a pocketknife to make a similar cut.

But this won't work along the length of the fibers. Instead of slicing them, knifelike teeth would ride along, and on either side of, the fibers. To cut this bundle along their length, you need to chop at them with a series of chisels, not slash at them with knives. A ripsaw is simply this, a series of chisels oriented so that they continually chop off the ends of the fibers as you work. Crosscut teeth are like knives; rip teeth are like chisels.

The rip teeth on a pit saw are one hundred 1/16-inch-wide chisels. Mount the saw on a bench with the teeth upright at about elbow height. Joint the teeth by drawing a six-inch file down the length of the saw until the tips of all the teeth are brightened.

Use a rounded file to bring all the gullets to a depth of at least three-quarters of an inch. The gullets on a pit saw undercut the faces of the teeth to give them a slight hook. Excessive hook in the teeth makes the saw too hungry, causing it to chatter and jump; too little hook cuts too slowly. You need less hook and smaller teeth for very hard woods, more hook and larger teeth for soft.

Set the teeth by alternately bending or hammering them to opposite sides of the saw. Strive for the minimum set that will keep the saw moving freely. You can always add more set if you need to, up to the theoretical maximum set of one-third the thickness of the blade.

Finally, sharpen the face of each tooth square across and then file the back slope until the flats from the jointing almost disappear. Perhaps it's just the sawyers getting accustomed to the newly sharpened blade, but a pit saw seems to hit its stride only after a few feet of sawing has mellowed the edges.

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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