How to hold a hand saw?

While on a job in Africa (Ghana) some years back I noticed people (workers from India) holding a hand saw backwards and sawing away from them. Example, to cut across a 4 foot wide sheet of plywood (plywood on the ground standing on edge) they would start at the bottom (slightly raising the plywood on their toes) and cut up towards the top. If making the same cut on saw horses, again they would start at the near edge and cut away from themselves.
Now, not only did this look awkward, but, the saw handles weren't designed to be held upside down. Must have hurt!
When I asked the workers why they were sawing backwards, they replied that it is standard and the way the British taught them. I got the same reply from other workers (east Indian) and foremen.
Question: Do the British really cut 'away' instead of 'towards'???? Do they have saws with reversed handles? BTW, this was an American construction job with workers from all around the world.
All replies appreciated.
Ivan Vegvary
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Just don't let the Brits teach them what side of the road to drive on.
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I recall reading a description of Thais ripping timbers that way while sitting straddling the timbers. The hooked their thumbs through the tote and cut away from their groin. Kept the family jewels intact I suppose.
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FF


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I learned it both ways in the southwest USA and have always used both grips.
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Not usually, but it is known as 'overhand sawing'.
I think I've seen an illustration of this in one of Charles Hayward's books.
In some situations it can be useful to be able to do this.
Jeff
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Jeff Gorman, West Yorkshire, UK
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Ivan Vegvary explained :

http://www.thebestthings.com/saws.htm
Second from the bottom, the Watson.
Mekon
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Would make sense if (a) they meant hacksaws, or (b) they used Japanese saws.
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"Ivan Vegvary" wrote

Saw my grandfather rip boards like that by standing to the side of the board and saw when cutting, with both hands on the handle. I tried to emulate him a few times but by the time I was tall enough for it to work, along came power tools.
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wrote:

You might enjoy seeing this - 5th picture down on the page...
http://www.sydnassloot.com/bbuckner/saws.htm
seph
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Those saws, and the Disston D-8 ripsaw may be gripped with the fingers of one hand around the tote and the tumb of the other through the tote with the fingers of that other hand wrapped over the top of the tote.
That still has the sawyer cutting toward his body, not away from it. It is a two handed grip, but not the 'backwards' grip described by OP.
I've used the two-handed grip but still cut towards my body (down) rather than away from it (up).
--
FF

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Was this country south of the equator?
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Better to be stuck up in a tree than tied to one.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore Maryland - lwasserm(a)sdf. lonestar.org
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Larry W wrote:

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