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    Avatar Of KestrelKestrel
    Post count: 3

    Hi all,

    I’m new here and fairly new to woodworking. I have a very modest collection of tools, but I’m slowly building my collection as I can afford them.

    I’m currently using a Takumi ryoba and dozuki saw for all my rips and crosscuts. I’m having a heck of time making my cuts square. They tend to wander, which causes me to spend a ton of time correcting the cut after I make it. Currently my cuts range from passable to really terrible.

    I make small musical instruments, generally small stock–no more the 2″ thick and a few inches wide. I might be cutting a piece that is 2″ wide, 2″ deep, and 5″ long out of a larger piece.

    My basic process is this:

    1. mark my lines using a square

    2. Kerf using the dozuki blade (I probably should get a marking knife or wheel gauge?)

    3. Put the workpiece in a vise (my bench is the Black and Decker Workmate)

    4. cut using the ryoba


    I think I’ve watched every video I can find on using ryoba, and still can’t quite get it. I suspect my square is not very good and is throwing off the accuracy of my lines, therefore making my kerfs inaccurate, which is causing the saw to wander, despite my best efforts.

    I guess I’m just asking for advice on sawing technique using ryoba saws. Has anyone else had issues with the saw wandering? And if so, how did you fix it? Might I have an easier time with a Western push saw since I’m a beginner? Is it possible that my workbench is to unstable?

    Thanks for any help!




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    • Avatar Of Mike In TnMike in TN
      Post count: 301


      One other thing that I thought of: you mentioned that you kerf first using the dozuki. The dozuki has a thinner kerf than the ryoba and that might be causing the issue. Try using one saw or the other, avoid swapping, and do use crosscut teeth for crosscutting and rip teeth for ripping. I know than Japanese technique does not include establishment of a knife wall but I believe that if you try that it would help.

      Have fun

      • Avatar Of KestrelKestrel
        Post count: 3

        Hi Mike,

        Thanks so much for all your suggestions! I have tried several of them, and I think it’s helped quite a bit. I’ve started using my thumb to help guide the saw, as well as using a chisel towards the waste side of the line.  My crosscuts have greatly improved, but I’m still struggling with rips…I think with more practice I will get it.

        I’ll have to watch not swapping saws…that makes a ton of sense. Perhaps this really was causing my issue.

        My plan to stabilize the workmate is to cut a piece of plywood to put in the space near the bottom–it seems to be designed to have this added. This with a cinder block or bricks on it.

        I believe I also would like to replace the top on it with a thicker wood. And perhaps add the Sjobergs Smart Vise to improve my clamping situation. I think these three additions would prevent things from wobbling too much while I am working.

    • Avatar Of KestrelKestrel
      Post count: 3

      Alright, I made a ton of progress. I’ll try to post some photos later.

      Mike I followed your advice and used a block as a guide for crosscuts. This really helped a lot. I’m alternating now between using the block and not using the block.

      I also found a video about using Japanese woodworking tools, and there is about an hour about saws. I’m using the suggestions from the video too…always start on the far end of the board, and using your thumb as a guide. The real game changer for me though was to not watch the part of the saw that is contacting the wood. Watch the part of the saw that is closer to the handle, and make sure it is following the line. You’ll get a straight cut this way. I tried it and it really surprised me how easy it was.

      Also just that holding the saw at an angle gives you more power, but straightening the saw gives you more accuracy.

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