Rip Cuts and Table Saws

From “Mountains and molehills; or, Recollections of a burnt journal” 1855, page 355.

Looking through old books online I’m constantly reminded of how easy we have it in the 21st Century.  I still remember seeing my grandfather and great-grandfather ripping the occasional board by hand.  Neither had a table saw and it was often too much trouble for a single cut to replace the blade in the circular saw.  I feel like I have rip-sawed miles of lumber in my life and many projects I have undertaken wouldn’t have occurred without the table saw.  As I have cut down on the large power tools I own I have a difficult time dismissing even the small table saw.

Roubo framesaw ripping thin planks from a log.
Roubo framesaw ripping thin planks from a log.

So, I’ve been putting off resawing a wide mahogany plank intended for an instrument back and, because of the width, it will need to be done by hand.  I have put it off for over a week now as I realize there is some dread about diving in.  It’s a skill that needs practice like any other and isn’t going to kill me.  Time to take a deep breath, clamp it down, and start cutting.

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