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Thread: Handsaws for curves in ply - Japanese, euro...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    Default Handsaws for curves in ply - Japanese, euro...

    I'm going to cut a lot curves in sheets of ply in my Navigator build. I'm familiar and happy with cutting ply with my skilsaw or jigsaw and can make accurate straight lines with a cheap hard-toothed saw like this:
    9c4722e6-e208-414b-8118-a3fb1cd3c3b7.jpg

    To use evenings for building I need to avoid power tools where I can as my garage is attached to the house. Will a thin Japanese saw like these cut outside curves, as in the bulkheads of a Navigator?
    662640848.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Walney, near Cumbria UK
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    Default Re: Handsaws for curves in ply - Japanese, euro...

    Probably not depending on the radius of the curve.
    Try a keyhole or pad saw.
    https://www.amazon.com/Joshua-Roth-1.../dp/B000ILHQJY
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    690

    Default Re: Handsaws for curves in ply - Japanese, euro...

    I think the jigsaw is a better way to go. I have never tried to cut plywood curves with hand saw, so I won't say it can't be done. If you haven't got a really good jigsaw, it is worth the expense. Cheap saws with short cords are really hard on $100 sheets of plywood.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Handsaws for curves in ply - Japanese, euro...

    If it's quarter inch thick or less,and the curve is shallow, you may be able to get a decent cut. But, I know myself, personally, probably couldn't cut the curve AND keep the saw blade at 90-degrees to the surface. I'd be over- or under-cutting. That would mean more plane work after the cut.

    Not to mention that a sheet of plywood is a big sound board. The handsaw may be quieter than a jig saw or circular saw, but it won't be quiet. Plus, you'll be making noise for a longer period of time.

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    Default Re: Handsaws for curves in ply - Japanese, euro...

    The jigsaw should be pretty quiet if you run it at less than half speed with a moderately fine toothed blade.

  6. #6
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    Apr 1999
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    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Handsaws for curves in ply - Japanese, euro...

    I have no problem cutting concave or convex curves in ply. Not had need to cut curves that arced on a 2' radius in thicker than 3/8", mostly 1/4". In up to 1" I've done longer gentle curves - like less that 1' of curvature over 10' length. The nice thing about a pull saw is that you can just follow the line with the saw at a very low angle. My favorite saw is the double edged with one side many teeth per inch for cross cut and the other fewer for ripping. I keep the angle low so that the unengaged teeth never dip into the kerf. It's like 15 degrees or so. Especially with the tighter turns I find that my eye for the blade being vertical to the wood is not very good so I keep a few square blocks sitting near the cut as reference.

    The pull saw takes a little longer than a saber saw but produces a perfectly fair curve, something my hand cannot do with an electric saw.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
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    Hamilton New Zealand
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    Default Re: Handsaws for curves in ply - Japanese, euro...

    Quote Originally Posted by OliverBendix View Post
    I'm going to cut a lot curves in sheets of ply in my Navigator build. I'm familiar and happy with cutting ply with my skilsaw or jigsaw and can make accurate straight lines with a cheap hard-toothed saw like this:
    9c4722e6-e208-414b-8118-a3fb1cd3c3b7.jpg

    To use evenings for building I need to avoid power tools where I can as my garage is attached to the house. Will a thin Japanese saw like these cut outside curves, as in the bulkheads of a Navigator?
    662640848.jpg
    Yes, the curves in a Navigators sides are relatively slight, that is if its the Navigator that I designed. And yes, a Japanese saw will cut them just fine. You might need to use a jigsaw on the stem but the rest of the curves will be fine.

    John Welsford
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    New jersey
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    2,464

    Default Re: Handsaws for curves in ply - Japanese, euro...

    Japan woodworker has a saw they say is for curves.$68.00 or so.

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