Using a hand saw to cut boards is an economical way to quickly trim boards to length. Sometimes finding a starting point for learning how to do something can be a task in itself. In this article you’ll learn all the steps necessary to cut a board to length.
- How to read a tape measure
- How to use a speed square to mark the cut
- How to use a hand saw to make the cut
How to Read a Tape Measure
Getting the correct length for the cut is extremely important. Part of that is understanding how to read a tape measure.
When marking the length to cut just remember the old saying,
“Measure Twice, Cut Once”
How to Use a Speed Square to Mark the Cut
After you have the correct distance marked with pencil, it is important to have a straight and square line to use as a reference when cutting the board.
The following video will show you how to use a speed square to quickly get that straight reference line.
How to Use a Hand Saw
Now that you have a good reference line to make your cut on it is time to actually cut the lumber.
Remember, when you cut the board to cut on the waste side of the board and not exactly on the line. You do this because
- The line represents the length you want the board to be
- It is easy to lose your reference line and not cut straight if you’re cutting the reference line
The video below shows how to use a common toolbox saw to cut a 2×4 to length.
The biggest problem I had when I started using a hand saw to cut boards was keeping the saw straight up and down.
There are tool guides to help with this, but I found that just being conscious of technique and practice is the best way to overcome this.
Hopefully you feel more confident in being able to properly cut boards to length and generally use a hand saw. When I do projects I love using my great grandfather’s hand saws as much as I can, like when I built some pet steps for my dog. Besides giving me a sense of hand crafting something, it gives me a connection to my families past.
Lastly, it is a lot harder to cut off a digit with a hand saw 🙂