Sawing big wood by hand

Hi!
I have a very few years on wood working, doing this as hobby, which I really enjoy. I read the groups from time to time, and now that I've some doubts/thinkings, I would like to post it!
A few days ago I bought some cedar from a lumber yard, to finish a project in which I'm working ok. The stock measures 3 inch of thickness, 9 inch width, and about 2 meters long. I've two pieces of this size.. and I need to get some 3x3x2meters "sticks"..
I've the chance to take this piece to a school near home, that has a big wood working workshop, and they let me use the scroll saw, and other machines.. but I love hand tools, and also I would like to be self-sufficient, so I'm thinking in using a good hand saw (which I would need to buy).
I've never dimensioned roguh stock using hand tools yet... how long can it take to make a single straing cut over the 2 meters long? It's something reasonable, or I'm going to end all sweat looking at the sky laying on my yard?
I'm asking about the estimated time you think it would take, to have a parameter for checking if everything goes well, if the saw is well sharpened, the technique is good, etc..
Thanks a lot!!! Mariano
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nautilus wrote:

the saw do the work. If it won't cut easily and cleanly it may not be sharp enough. http://www.brendlers.net/oldtools/handsaws/handsaws.htm I thought Jeff had a link on his page but I can't seem to find it. http://www.amgron.clara.net / Joe
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You might also want to consider getting yourself a Japanese Ryoba saw for this work. It has cross-cut teeth on one side of the blade, rip teeth on the other, and makes a very small kerf.
You can see a picture at:
http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=2&pB896&cat=1,42884
Personally, I prefer the traditional type handles.
The main benefit of these saws is they cut on the pull stroke, keeping the blade under tension during the cut. This minimizes binding, and makes it very easy to maintain a straight cut compared to a typical push type rip saw. They also cut much faster, even in relatively thick wood.
Since I put together my collection of Japanese hand saws, except to wipe the dust off, I rarely touch my old push type rip and crosscut saws.
Len
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Len wrote:

Actually, for the same amount of wood removal, they don't cut any faster at all. But, because they cut on the pull stroke, the blade is much thinner and only removes about half as much wood for a given length of cut.
--
It's turtles, all the way down

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nautilus wrote:

It would take me under "an afternoon", and about a gallon of tea. I'd use either my Disston rip saw (look for the ones with the thumb hole handle) for ripping thin stock, or more likely my Japanese anahiki. http://codesmiths.com/shed/things/boxes/norse/chestnut.htm
I'd really like a _big_ anahiki. Nice saw for ripping whole logs, I use it a lot.
As it's cedar it might not take much time at all. OTOH there's a 6' log of 2' diameter _hornbeam_ in the car at the moment, waiting to be split and crosscut into bowl blanks. I'm not looking forward to that, hornbeam is tough going.
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However you do it remember to cut it large to allow for stock removal when planing it. If you intend to plane a 2m long piece by hand make sure firstly you have a solid bench to clamp it to and you have at least a no7 jointer plane, anything shorter and you will end up veneer before you get it flat. And as Joe says, practise on scrap.
Look at the cutting process as working your fitness up for the planing ;-)
Peter
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On the plus side, you're working with cedar, not maple. :) If we're talking about the same kind of cedar that we use up here (western Canada) to make decks and fences, it's the softest, most easily hand-worked wood I've used. But I know there's other kinds of cedar, so who can tell?
But I still think I wouldn't want to be doing that by hand. You may not end up looking up at the sky in your yard, but you may end up having to have your arm surgically re-attached after it falls off. If it does fall off, make sure you have a cooler full of ice to put it in, and don't get blood on the wood. Spoils the finish, doncha know? Or make sure you bleed consistently over all the wood.
:)
Clint

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nautilus wrote:

You might want to consider a bowsaw. Very thin blade, but it's held in tension like a hacksaw or bucksaw so there is almost no danger of damaging the blade if it gets pinched in the wood like can happen with a japanese saw.
Tage Frid was partial to these.
http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/pages/w00123.asp
Chris
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nautilus wrote:

In cedar, that cut should take you no more than 10 minutes. Provided you use a rip saw, not a crosscut.
John Martin
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nautilus wrote:

If I made a cut like that with a hand saw, it would look like vandalism.
The cheesiest skilsaw I've ever owned could do a long rip better than I could with any hand saw. I love hand saws for small work though.
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Hi there!
Thanks so much for all the answers! Finally, I did it! I have a 24" crosscut saw, and it took me about 1:15 to do the cut... and I'm happy with that. My fingers are shaking a bit while I'm writing, but at least I didn't end up looking at the sky on my yard!!! :-D
Actually.. it was not on my yard.. but instead in my small balcony. I live in the 4th floor, in an aparment in down town Buenos Aires. As I said I love hand tools, but besides that, this is my only choice for now, if I would like to start sawing from rough lumber.. For planning I have a small bench, mounted on my kitchen, for shaving with the no 7!
The cedar is southamerican cedar, from north Argentina. It's a soft wood.. and now you have me thinking about the maple thing... I think I'll probably need to try that someday ;-)
Thanks to everyone! Mariano
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Better watch out. You do that enough times, and your upper body will get lopsided and you'll walk funny leaning to the right.
Congrats on that anyway. You still won't catch me trying that. I've got a non-sweating reputation to maintain.
On the plus side, I'm sure the sky in Buenos Aires would be wonderful to look at, as you lay on your back on your balcony. I'd just rather do it because I drank too many wobbly-pops.
Clint

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Just use your left arm for sawing. That way, with a little added control you can get lots of "Wood money" playing Major League Baseball. :-) *snip*
Puckdropper
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To email me directly, send a message to puckdropper (at) fastmail.fm
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boorite wrote:

You an me both, but I can use a handsaw fairly well. My dad was a carpenter (also a teacher and a chemist) and he could saw a straight line, keep the saw perfectly vertical, and do it quickly. Never saw (no pun intended) him bend a handsaw blade even a little. It takes practice to maintain a stance where you arm is going up and down without any sideways movement.
The OP needs to get a good rip saw (?8 tooth?). Just as information, my dad would have ripped that piece of wood from end to end in about 5 minutes (assuming western red cedar) and the piece ripped off would have been square.
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Wow! 5 minutes?? Darn.. I must be doing something wrong then..
I mean, I thought that I knew how to use a hand saw, and the cutted piece was square and good, with an acceptable clean cut. But it definitely took me more than 5 minutes... Are we talking about the same dimensions? I was working with a piece of 3" x 8" x 7 feets long.. and the cut was over the 7 feets, to get a 3" x 3" x 7 feet.
The hand saw was brand new, Crosscut, 8 points.. It's such a big difference with a rip saw, maybe 5 points?
I end up really sweat, and had to make 4 or 5 pauses to get some air!
Thanks! Mariano
George E. Cawthon ha escrito:

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nautilus wrote:

There is a big difference. Very big. It's not the number of points - although the rip saw is typically coarser - but the shape and filing angle of the teeth. The rip saw is not well suited for cross cutting, but for ripping it is just the ticket.
5 minutes might be a tad fast, but I'll stick by the 10. And I've figured in a few breathers.
Send some of those cedar planks up this way and I'll let you know!
John Martin
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On Tue, 03 Oct 2006 20:09:46 GMT, "George E. Cawthon"

Ha! I remember when I was a kid watching my dad rip 1x12 pine boards with a rip handsaw (10', 16', I don't remember but they weren't little short boards) and finish with a straighter, more square end product than I could possibly do with a power circular saw without a sawboard. A quick swipe with an old wooden coffin plane (which was my grandfather's and I now own) and those rips were as straight and smooth as anything that comes off my tablesaw and jointer (yeah, a combination of him being good at it and me being poor at it). Although his profession during my lifetime was as an elementary school principal, he was a carpenter before WWII and on most job sites power tools were not allowed by unions as the union felt they would eliminate jobs. You had to have your own tools and learned to use them and keep them sharp and in good repair.
Dave Hall
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