Results 1 to 21 of 21

Thread: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Wausaukee, WI USA
    Posts
    335

    Default Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    Would you kindly share with me your favorite brand, style and source for the japanese style hand saws? I have been looking at the ones available on Lee Valley's website but have heard there are other good quality sources out there as well.


    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    I absolutely adore the Shinwa 301/S01.00 Bakuma saw from Woodcraft. It's got a fairly large tooth set, not what you want to use for dovetailing, but for boat building it's awesome. I have used it for two years in the Bodega Bay Fish Fest Wooden Boat Challenge, in which we build a boat using hand tools (and battery powered drill drivers) in 3 hours, in building a Summer Breeze, and for plywood smaller than half-an-inch I'll often reach for it before I go for the power tools.

    Grab one of those and a couple of spare blades, and then figure out later what other saws you might want.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    10,770

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    I have been using Japanese saws for boat building and furniature making for over forty years. My first saws were handmade and, at that time, were all that was available. Even so, they were not nearly as expensive as a hand made saw would be today. The current factory made saws that have disposible blades are a boon to the user who does not wish to be particularily careful with the blades. Hitting a fastening can ruin a saw instantly. The easy replacement of the disposible blades eliminates the need of locating a Japanese saw service for sharpening. The only objection that I, personaly, have to disposible blades is that they change the balance to the tool making it feel less precise than do the non disposible saws. The most popular saw is the Ryoba which is a combination saw. It has rip teeth on one side and cross cut on the other. Note that they come in different lengths so choose one that will be comfortable for you to use. Then there is the Dozuki that is the Japanese version of the dovetail saw. However, it is much much finer and more efficeint than ours are. In addition one saw that I find to be very usefull is the Japanese flooring saw known as the Azebiki. This saw has a hammer head shaped blade that is only a few inches long. A cut can be started in the middle of a plank with this tool. The Azebiki saws come in a variety of sizes from a tiny one inch variety up to a six inch blade.
    Jay

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Crosswicks Creek-Bordentown, NJ
    Posts
    987

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    The first Japanese backsaw I've used was the Sharksaw. http://www.coastaltool.com/hand_tool...w/pullsaws.htm Very nice cut and nice price, too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Wausaukee, WI USA
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    Jay,

    Can you please tell me what make saws you prefer as well as a good source for them?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    43,010

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    I had a set of beautiful Japanese pullsaws that were stolen. In order to stretch the insurance dollars, I settled for these - which I just happened to win in a store drawing:

    http://www.buybrandtools.com/acatalo...ble_Edged.html

    http://www.buybrandtools.com/acatalo...dium_Fine.html




    I've replaced the blades on each a couple of times in maybe 10 years. I've been surprised at how happy I've been with them.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Wow-Ming
    Posts
    16,479

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    I was given the Japanese combination saw from the the Wooden Boat Store and have been very happy with it.



    It's very quick and precise. Besides boat work, I've used for all sorts of household carpentry and also for timber fencing. I've used it for five years and am on my third blade.

    Saw is $42 and the replacement blade is $27.

    http://www.woodenboatstore.com/categ..._hacking_knife

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Benfleet Essex UK
    Posts
    353

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    I have a couple of Vaughan Bear saws and they are excellent, my old Distons languish at the back of a toolbox.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Abbotsford, B.C.
    Posts
    4,716

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    If your not used to using Japanese saws I'd suggest that you buy a cheap one until you get the hang of them.
    Wih a western saw you cut on the push and don't apply pressure on the retrieve. As with a Japnese saw the oppisite is true. So your sawing merrily away then suddenly, because old habits die hard, you push too hard and kink the saw. When I started with them I'd talk aloud, "cut," when I pulled and "slack," when I pushed. Still find myself doing so.
    Same when I had to drive a righthand drive for a day, once in awhile I'd wonder over to the other side.
    You will notice that some saws can be bought with the spare blade only. Subtract that price from the complete saw and you'll see what your paying for a bamboo handle. Handles are easy to make and they don't have to be bamboo, couple of slats of wood will work quite well.
    LeeValley US site: http://www.leevalley.com/US/Wood/pag...?cat=1&p=42884
    I'd go for the Steelbacked Korean made, and cheaper Royoba saw.
    Troube with Japanese saws is that you can put 3 or 4 of the same style together and can't tell the difference. LV has two Royobas and they look the same yet one is twice the price of the other. And I saw a Royoba at a tool collectors meeting about 30 years ago in Seattle which was $65,000. (That is not a typo.) Looked just like all the rest.
    Last edited by goodbasil; 02-26-2013 at 02:46 AM.
    basil

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    10,770

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    Quote Originally Posted by eflanders View Post
    Jay,

    Can you please tell me what make saws you prefer as well as a good source for them?
    I deal with Hida Tools in Berkley CA. and The Japan Woodworker in Alameda CA All of their saws are of good quality.
    http://www.hidatool.com/
    http://www.japanwoodworker.com/page....ntent_id=10045
    Jay

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Tuckahoe
    Posts
    7,644

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    I can only dream of having Jay's expertise, but I have been using Gyokucho/Razorsaw ryobas. I have one for softwood, and a finer more closely set one for hardwoods. They are induction hardened, but, as Jay has indicated above can last a very long time if care is taken in their use. I like the rattan handles.

    Neat logo :-]
    Steve Martinsen

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2000
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    15,145

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    The Tajima saws are very good. I have the 265r and the 4 piece set with the canvas case. The cheaper ones sold at Lowes and Home Depot are ok, but the Tajimas and Gyokuchos are a big step up in quality for not much more money.

    http://www.tajimatool.com/products/s...w.php?page=all

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    10,770

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    Gyokucho saws are very good. Just remember that there is a learning curve with these saws. So don't get pissed if you don't feel comfortable with them at first. Begin cutting by lightly resting the heel on the cut line and drawing the blade back. Very little or no downward pressure is necessary when using a good Japanese saw.
    The Japanese saw is very subtile. The hand made variety starts as an ingot that is forge folded into a tripple laminated blade. Once the main form has been hammered out it is then scraped so that the heel is fatter than the tip. This is so subtile that it often goes unoticed. Often the teeth are also finer at the heel. The cross section of the blade is also scraped to an hour glass shape. All of this makes the saws virtually float during a cut. The cross cut teeth are double beveled, first on their long side and then at the tip. Rip teeth are single beveled and resemble sharks teeth. Hard wood saws have what are referred to as mouse teeth. If you have a saw that has tiny nicks along the center of the blade or in a certain area, these are peen marks placed there by the sawmaker to create internal tension so that the blade stays straight and resists kinking. Whether you choose a disposable bladed saw or a fixed hand made saw,
    you will be able to prevent rust from forming on the blade if, you invest a few bucks in an oiling wick and a bottle of Camelia Oil. The oil is first wiped with the wicking tool over the blade and then wiped off with an old tee shirt. If you really want to go nuts, the blade can then be dusted with a volcanic dust called Uchico powder. This is the same oil and hygroscopic dust used to keep Samurai blades rust free. I use it on all my Japanese blades and saws. This may sound a bit over the top but, some of my saws are second hand and nearly a hundred years old. They still are rust free and cut like a lazer.
    One more thing, old Fussbudget Greer keeps his saws in canvas cases that hold five or six saws.
    Jay

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    se pa (Bristol PA)
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    My Japanese saw was made in Japan! Anyway.. years ago I bought one at woodcraft wasn't cheap. has served me well for many years but it's hit a few nails and or canoe tack. I recently bought one a Harbor fright! around $10 Identical to David G's saw. It's sharp! the 2 sizes of teeth come in handy too!
    Denise, Bristol PA, Oday30, Anchor Yacht Club, On tidal Delaware River. my current project; http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...0-Ducker-Resto

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Wausaukee, WI USA
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    Thanks for the advice everyone it is appreciated. I have been using the "big box variety" for years already and like many things, I figured there is good and then there is better. The problem I was having is finding sources for the higher quality ones of various sizes. Unfortunately around here not too many folks request them and/or are very familiar with them at all.

    Last night someone told me about an internet supplier called www.traditionalwoodworker.com They offer a fairly extensive offering. I am also going to check out the other sources you have been kind enough to share. Thanks again everyone!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    downward bound
    Posts
    2,535

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    Hida Tool is good people. For another online vendor http://www.toolsfromjapan.com/store/ Gyokucho is a solid saw brand (and I believe the largest/most popular in Japan)

    The Japan Woodworker was acquired by WoodCraft in November and has closed their retail store as well as "changed" their catalog offerings.
    Last edited by Hugh Conway; 02-26-2013 at 01:41 PM.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Mukilteo, WA
    Posts
    1,442

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    I bought my pull saw from harbor freight. I intended to finish a few quick tasks with it and then buy a good one. Five years later it is still my go-to saw all day every day in the shop. Not sure if the good ones could be much better- I haven't a single complaint. That saw has built several boats, start to finish. On the 3% of cuts where I want a smoother finish or thinner kerf for joinery I use some very high quality Veritas dovetail and ripping saws. But the other 97% is done by the ol' cheap harbor freight saw.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Wausaukee, WI USA
    Posts
    335

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    Thanks to the additional sources you kind folks listed, I was able to locate exactly what I was looking for (and then some)! I ordered from the Japan Woodworker but I can tell already that I am going to get some other things from Hida and from the Traditional Woodworker. Thanks again folks!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Port Townsend WA
    Posts
    10,770

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    Here are a few of my saws sitting on their canvas storage roll. The first saw from the left is a single edged cross cut saw for soft wood. The next saw is for hard wood and has bowed sides to create less friction. The last saw on the right is a single edged rip saw. In the background is a roll of Japanese chisles and a few Japanese paring chisles.
    Jay

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    Just received the rasp shown on the right.

    Worked a treat for touching up my 2 Duck Punt bird's mouth masts. It could be my favorite rasp now. Worked great on epoxy squeeze out.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    Oriental, NC USA
    Posts
    4,107

    Default Re: Favorite japanese type hand saws for boat building

    I have several Japanese pull saws and choose them over the western type for most jobs. One that I find indispensable for some boat work is the short curved azebiki. It is able to make blind cuts into the side of a panel for replacing rot, etc. It has even been able to cut through fiberglass sheathed plywood. That is not recommended for most of these saws as they are intended for softwoods and the teeth of the thin kerf ones will not stand the stress of some of our hard woods unless used very carefully.
    http://www.traditionalwoodworker.com...info/703-9025/
    Tom L

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •