So earlier this week I was working away in the wood shop and dimensioning some big planks of 2″ walnut for the second project in my book. I had just finished cross cutting the 13″ wide behemoth when my son yelled down with some pertinent information about a vomit flavored jelly bean he was testing!?! Anyhow, I set up the plank and accidentally grabbed my Disston crosscut saw and started ripping the wood. “Ripping with a cross cut saw you say?” Impossible. Yes, that’s the general consensus but this particular crosscut saw was sharpened by Mark Harrell at Bad Axe Tool Works and for some crazy, almost magical reason, it’s extremely capable when ripping wood as well. Go figure.
I always told students that you can cross cut wood with a rip saw but ripping wood with a cross cut saw is a definite no-no. Well, I’d better revise that statement. You can cross cut wood with a rip saw ( leaves a jagged edge but works just fine ) but ripping wood with a cross cut saw seems to only work well with a saw sharpened by one of our modern day masters. I tried to rip wood before using other cross cut saws and they failed miserably. Slow going- no where fast. This time I went through this 2″ walnut that was about 36″ long in no time at all. Mind boggling information eh?
So, the moral of the story?
I’m not really sure. Maybe this- if you only want to buy one saw? Get a rip saw to tackle both operations -OR- get a cross cut saw from Bad Axe! ( I hear that he’s working on panel saws this year!!) hmm…..not that I need one. ; )