Dec 28 2014

Helping You Saw Better

Helping You Saw Better

Like anything, there are many approches to any woodworking situation. Sometimes there are solutions in search of a problem, and we can fill our benches and storage with gizmo’s like that, or we can seek out tools that bring a lot of utility for the space they take.

Guided Sawing

I have heard from many woodworkers over the years, and many tell me that they like the tools that allow them to go to work as directly as possible on the task they want to accomplish, without a lot of fooling around. Most all of the tools we offer are focused on helping woodworkers get as much accuracy and productivity as possible from the tools they already have, and can help you perform several tasks really well.

They also shared that they would rather make fine things rather than jigs, and with what little time many have to actually do anything and get it accomplished these days, that makes sense. Why not have tools that do more and take less space – or at least no more than the task requires? This is why we often reconsider tool designs, and offer them so that they can bring more capability to the user. Fewer tools that can do more and offer all the control and accuracy needed for the finished project are the ones we like to reach for.

We make bench hooks that are a bit different than what has been the traditional form, and here’s why. Only a few shops can find the best of what was ever made in the way of a miter box, and many who do find one say it takes more space than they wish after they have it. They also find that the miter box saw is sometimes larger, heavier and coarser cutting than the saw they wish they were using. I understand.

East West Bench Hook.jpg

Our East West Bench Hook  allows you to use the saw you have, the saw you are most familiar and comfortable with, either Japanese or Western, and it allows you to stand in a perfect ergonomic position to do the sawing. They are available the left or right hand and can be set to five fixtured angles and any angle with a clamp. This is empowering for the sawyer and eliminates a lot of errors induced otherwise by the old school bench hook as it wears out.

EWBH Fixtured Angles
Shown Fixtured at 22.5 degrees.

The fence swings the workpiece into the angle needed and you cut while standing in line with the cut, 90 degrees to the edge of the bench. It’s that simple, that easy, and the tool is happy to accommodate either saw type by placing the work either in front or behind the fence as based on the push cut or pull cut orientation for the saw. The cuts are all done over a replaceable insert meaning it can last for years with proper care, and when you finish, it’s low profile takes up little room in storage.

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Shown clamping any arbitrary angle required.

Need more accuracy than free hand on a bench hook provides? Our Handsaw Mag Guides have recently been redesigned to fit onto thinner stock. They work like an adjustable bevel and can be set with bevel setters, protractors or what have you, you can even mark the work and cut a line with a marking knife, use a card scraper to reference your mark and clamp our Handsaw Mag Guide right to your marked line. No guessing!

Our upgraded design now terminates the pivot post within the lower body of the guide, instead of a nut below the guide, allowing the guide to be used with thinner stock. This makes the tool much more versatile than before. It will work with both Western Push and Japanese Saws, and the magnetic force is just enough to hold the blade to the guide without additional resistance. All the accurate surfaces are trued on certified Granite and checked with Starrett 20 squares. They can be used for dovetails, tenon joinery, lap joinery, butts, off cuts, and they are available in both large and small sizes to accommodate varied board widths or saw lengths depending on your application.

handsaw mag guide upgrades
Note the change in pivot clearances above and below.

Why do we need a Handsaw Mag Guide? Here are several good reasons. First, it improves your sawing, by holding the saw in the way it needs to go. This is not only good for getting the cut perfect when you need that, but it sort of forces the body to work on the proper mechanics needed to do this, so that you will actually saw better without a guide.

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Disassembled, showing the new pivot rod configuration.

Second, Wood on the whole is more expensive than the tools we work it with. Sometimes grain matching and flitches are all about the look, sometimes the lack of wood does not allow for any errors, sometimes you can’t risk a cut that can possibly go wrong. The Handsaw Mag Guide helps insure the location and quality of the cut, while helping train your arm and body for better ergo-mechanics for sawing. One hand washes the other. You may not always need it, but it is there for you when you do.

Third, as mentioned above, in any wood, sometimes there are cuts that are ruinous to the process if they go wrong. Sometimes our finest saw is the last hope for the perfect cut, and it will not be easy to slice again. Sometimes we cut our reference surfaces away as we work, so it’s critical. One mistake can wipe out a lot of work depending on the task, so a tool like this can add piece of mind and added insurance when the cut is critical.

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Handsaw Mag Guide and East West Bench Hook, in ensemble.

Fourth, Why not use a saw guide when it makes sense to do so? You get all the angles not just one or two, and ambidextrous usage. They aid the cut from front to back, top to bottom and side to side, eliminating error in each axis and saving more wood for the project! This is the miter box, without the self destructing box that fails to remain accurate as it wears out.

Mark the line, note the waste side, and cut to the line with confidence every time. Better, more-constructive sawing from the saws you already own and love. Accuracy that is a close second to the shooting board and will save you time with less work for the plane as well! Please look at our Sawing tools and accessories in the Woodworks Store!

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© Copyright 2014 by Rob Hanson for evenfallstudios.com All Rights Reserved.

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