Two man whip saw?


Maybe a little OT for here, but worth a try.
How can I tell a rip from a crosscut whip saw?
I've come across a two-person whip saw, about five feet long with a regular tooth pattern, unlike every other whipsaw I've ever seen (which all have had the characteristic large gap for chip clearance every two or three teeth, and which I suppose all are crosscut.)
Rip saws must be scarce as hen's teeth here in Connecticut.
TIA, Fred Klingener
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On Sun, 13 Nov 2005 21:26:43 GMT, "Fred Klingener"

Tooth shape. Even if they're too rusted (or re-cut) and you can't tell if they were actually sharpened for ripping, the overall tooth shape is different. Crosscuttting was largely in standing or green timber, ripping was often rather drier. As a result, rip teeth rarely have the huge deep spacings between them that are common in crosscut teeth (there are many patterns for this, they all have names, locations and often date periods to them)
Crosscut teeth (on two-handed saws) are also symmetrical, or at least arranged in symmetrical pairings.
Connected to this, I've never seen a "two man" ripsaw. Although two people worked them, they were always (IMHE) "powered" by one person and steered by another (the "tillerman" - Cat Stevens sang about sawyers, not boatswains). I've never seen a two-man ripsaw that was symmetrical, in the way that two-man crosscut saws are (asymmetrical crosscut saws are called "one and a half man" saws around here).

Historically they were disappearing in favour of water-powered ripsaws at the time America was being colonised. You can bring logs to a ripsaw, you have to bring felling gear to a standing tree.
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***buzzer***
Main Entry: tillerman Part of Speech: noun Definition: a person who operates the tiller of a boat or other vehicle, such as the rear of a fire engine.
...and if Stevens was singing of sawyers, why the seagull reference, eh?
(WTF do *I* know... Andy may be right)
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Andy Dingley wrote:

much larger at the top end than the bottom and has 2 square holes to attach a handle. The lower end has a hole for a peg to hold the box on. http://pages.videotron.com/perrons/Paul/Woodwork/Tools/Pitsaw/pitsaw.html is similar to mine, but mine is about 7.5' long. I have some pictures of an upper handle that uses both holes in the saw, but they're hard copy at home and I can't find the link to the page I got them from. Joe
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wrote:

Thanks for the response.
The crosscut whip saws are two-directional. Were the rip (somebody pointed out that the better term would be 'pit') saws one-directional? Would the teeth have a directional form? Directional grind? Should I expect to see different handles top and bottom? Are both top and bottom handles detachable?
...

It seems that the first thing people built was the sawmill so they wouldn't have to pitsaw the timber.
Cheers, Fred Klingener
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On Mon, 14 Nov 2005 18:46:39 GMT, "Fred Klingener"

Not all ripping was done in a pit. Boards generally were, but a log might be squared off into a beam using a horizontal rip saw. It's less crucial sawing so you don't need the ergonomics of the pit and it saves some log handling.
Pit saws might be like the frameless and heavily tapered example of which pictures were posted. The more accurate ones though were frame saws - a narrow steel blade and a rectangular wooden frame around it. over the years some of these lost their frames and ended up getting re-sharpened for light felling or firewood sawing. However they never had the extra-deep and complex tooth shapes that crosscuts developed.

If the saw is old enough to be interesting, it's never the original woodwork.

American colonists also built log cabins, which were almost unknown in Europe. We just didn't have the trees to spare. Only in the most rustic forest areas with the coldest winters did we use piled-log construction.
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