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How to Use a Tenon Saw

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Learn to cut wood with a tenon saw by watching this video tutorial.

The information presented here is for the benefit of those wishing to develop proficiency in woodworking.

If you wish to learn more about saws, don't miss our videos on how to use coping saws and crosscut saws.

Using a tenon saw for the first time? Help is at hand! This step-by-step video will show you how to use a tenon saw safely and effectively for more accuracy in your woodwork projects.

Music - Gilles B

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In this video you will learn how to use a tenon saw.

The Tenon saw is a variety of Backsaw that has a stiffening rib on the edge opposite the cutting edge.

It allows for greater control and precision in the cut.

As the name suggests, the most common purpose of this tool is cutting tenons.

Tenon saws usually have short, fixed blades with a stiff spine running along its back.

The blade usually has between 10 and 14 teeth per inch, higher than most saws.

While this slows down the cut, it provides more control over depth and direction, resulting in a neater finish.

Tenon saws usually have a large, closed pistol grip handle to protect the user’s hand while sawing.

Use a try square to mark the lines for the tenon.

Mark the shoulder line and transfer it to all sides of the piece.

Now, use the width of the mortise chisel to mark the mortise width.

Use a marking or mortise gauge to draw the cheeks of the Tenon along the points marking the width.

Extend the lines to all three sides and highlight with a pencil.

Hold the saw with your dominant hand, index finger pointing towards the blade for support.

Fix the workpiece in the vice.

Place the blade of the saw on the line.

Draw the blade backwards to make a slit in the timber.

You can place your thumb beside the blade to guide the saw as you start the groove.

Now, remove your thumb and start sawing using regular strokes.

Maintain the angle of the cut and keep the saw within the line.

Be sure to use all the teeth by cutting in long even strokes.

Make sure you mark the start and end points on the wood before every cut.

Keep checking as you go to avoid cutting beyond the end line.

You have now learnt how to use a tenon saw.


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