Published January 30, 2016 by Trond Oalann
Translated by Jane Laurence.
220 Sawing by foot
Text from the Sløyd (Craft) Book, captions and photos are by the author, unless otherwise noted
When we’re utilizing the frame saw as the photo on page LXXXII shows, we call this foot sawing, and we call this style of frame saw a foot saw. We use this method when we have cumbersome (heavy) sawing to do; for example when sawing (ripping) planks or thick boards lengthwise. Paying particular attention to your posture is very important in foot sawing, to avoid stressing your body.
- Brace your piece between clamps so the cutting line is positioned just outside of the bench. Use your right hand to grip the saw handle and your left hand to grip the other end of the saw arm. Hold the saw straight up and down (perpendicular to the piece).
- When the teeth of the saw are pointing downward, the saw cuts only on the down stroke; it should glide on the upstroke. When we have the foot saw under control and can operate it with precision and power, the sawing will require less effort and will go faster than when using a common (rip) hand saw.
- Additionally, when one is cutting long curving lines, it is more efficient to use the foot saw outfitted with a narrow, thin blade. In this case (long or thick pieces), using the longer foot frame saw is superior to using the typical rundsag, or scroll frame saw.
Sjur Nesheim has learned foot sawing as part of the particular traditional trade style he was involved in. If the piece began to pinch the saw blade, he would place his sloyd (work) knife in the kerf, he also used wax on the saw blade to reduce friction. The photos are from a documentary project with Sjur as the source of information on making doors. The project was a collaboration with HIST, NHI and HKF.