To get boards down to the right thickness, I’ve been planing them down to size, but I’m turning a lot of good lumber into sawdust. I would like to be able to resaw some red oak lumber to, thicknesses, e.g., 3/4″ down to 1/4″ from 8″ to 10″ wide boards. My home shop does not have the space for a large band saw … not that I have the money to buy one anyway. And my small 10″ Craftsman band saw is insufficient for resawing. I’m considering an Irwin handsaw because it seems like its thin blade would make it easier to slice through wood. Is my assumption about thinness correct? How long will this type of blade stay sharp compared to traditional D-handled handsaws? Have I entirely missed another option?
Michael Dresdner: If you have the time and energy, you can resaw lumber with a European frame saw, a Japanese Kataba saw, or an American style rip tooth panel saw. All will work well. The frame saw and Kataba have slightly thinner blades, but I would be more concerned about which suits your working style. Finding a tool that works for you will afford better results than worrying about the kerf size of the saw blade. How long any saw stays sharp depends on the type of steel in the blade and what you cut with it, as some woods dull cutting edges faster than others. No matter what, count on having to sharpen it eventually. Learn how, and get the right files to do the job. Sharpening, like cutting wood with hand tools, can be a very satisfying endeavor.
Rob Johnstone: Resawing by hand is possible, it just takes a bit of elbow grease and a sharp saw. I don’t know what you are describing by an Irwin hand saw … which is thin. I would use a good quality handsaw that is good and sharp, but first I would get things started on my table saw. Raise the table saw blade to the highest point and then cut into both edges of the wood that you will be resawing. The two kerfs that you create will then help to guide your hand saw as you complete the resaw cut. You’ll still need to use your planer to clean up the faces of the two boards, but you’ll waste a lot less work.