Crosscut saws are used to cut down trees and to saw the trunks to length. The two-man crosscut saw has wooden handles that fit into a steel socket at each end. One-man crosscut saws spread rapidly across thinly populated North America in the 1800s because they were widely used in processing timber, often for railroad ties, during the construction of the rail network. One man could fell trees of the proper diameter for the ties, and the cut them to the correct length. The one-man saws look more or less like a traditional hand saw, but enlarged, with unusually big and deep-cut teeth.
Crosscut saws are unusually large tools intended for rough use, and so are not as carefully made, especially in the details, in comparison to better-quality traditional fine carpentry saws. So it is normal to find, for instance, machine marks and burrs on the blade and teeth of a new saw. The burrs will fall off quickly when the saw is used, but we recommend that the teeth be touched up before use with a large saw file. This type of file is in any case very important to have when using these saws, as they must, because of the rough use they are put to and the relatively soft steel they are made from, be sharpened relatively often. A 200 mm-long saw file works very well on the One-man saws. For the Two-Man saws you use a flat file, as a threesquare saw file can damage the opposite tooth. Additionally you need this flat file for the deeper recesses near the raker teeth of the One-Man saw. For those who would like to dive right into the heavy work, we recommend the saws by Wilhelm Putsch, which have already been sharpened and tuned by hand and are ready to go.
Tip: The saw blade should be at least twice as long as the thickness of the tree one would like to cut in half. The teeth on these saws are designed for efficient crosscutting, and are not recommended for rip sawing. The teeth are set outwards from the blade to prevent it from binding in the wood, and so the kerf is larger than the thickness of the blade.
SAFETY and Legal Information: Felling trees and cutting large, heavy, logs is dangerous. Reading directions or safety instructions in a book or watching them on a DVD, for instance, can not replace personal and expert instruction. One should not go near this kind of work without a thorough grounding in the techniques to be used, and awareness of the potentially deadly mistakes one can make. It is also often necessary to obtain a permit from the local authorities before cutting down trees.
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