July 10, 2009

Razor Saws

About 5 years ago I saw my first mini sized Japanese razor pull saw and fell head over heels in love. OK I admit I fall in love all too easily when it comes to tools, just like finding a cute puppy I encourage them to follow me home. Fortunately these little guys don't take up a lot of room and they are not too expensive, around $12.00 or so.

Pull saw means that the teeth of the saw cuts as you pull the saw towards you. That is better control than cutting with a saw that cuts as you push it away from you. These little saws cut very quickly as they are razor sharp which is good for an impatient person like myself.

The saw at the top of the photo is not a Japanese pull saw it is a jewelers saw and if you work with wood or metal one of these is a must have.

Working from left to right the first Japanese pull saw is a keyhole saw. This is terrific for kit bashing a dollhouse. You can use it to cut out a new door or window opening. The length of the blade on this saw is 100mm, just over 4 inches.

The second Japanese pull saw is a flush cutting saw. Oh my this is a wonderful little saw. It has no set to the teeth which means you can saw right up against an adjacent piece of wood without sawing into that piece. I use this saw for squaring up the inside corners of door or window cutouts I have made with a router. Or for cutting off the ends of dowels or toothpicks sticking out of holes. You can also follow along a guide strip such as a straight edge without damaging the guide. The blade of this saw is also 100mm long.

The third Japanese saw is a veneer saw. It will start a cut right in the middle of a panel. Another great saw for modifying already built dollhouses.

I purchase these little saws at my favorite hardware (iron mongers) store in the whole world, Hardwicks Hardware in Seattle. If there was an iron mongers store in Diagon Alley then Hardwicks would be there because it is a magical warren of dark, jumbled, aisles full of tools, nuts, bolts, paints and objects of antiquity and mystery. The sign over the doorway to my favorite room reads Yellow Brick Road. Hardwicks caters to a very diverse crowd of boat builders, architecture students, jewelry makers, machinist, engineering students and neighborhood home owners. As you might guess with all the students in that list it is located very close to the main campus of the University of Washington.

You might find something similar in a local hardware store, woodworker's store or in a gardening store that carry tools for Bonsai.