This section is from the book "Modern Buildings, Their Planning, Construction And Equipment Vol2", by G. A. T. Middleton. Also available from Amazon: Modern Buildings.
The number of tools required by the joiner to enable him to deal with all the various kinds of work which come under his hand is by no means small, and when to the list of those which he can purchase is added the further list of those which he makes, including his workshop appliances, the total presents a somewhat formidable appearance.
The Saw in its several varieties may be considered as first on the list.
The Rip Saw is the largest kind, having coarse, widely spaced teeth, used for ripping or cutting timber along the grain. It is not much used by joiners now, most of the ripping being done by machine saws. The coarsest saw therefore usually possessed by the joiner is the Half Rip Saw, which is used for a similar purpose but has finer teeth; those in the rip saw being spaced 3 to the inch, and in the half rip, 4.
The Hand Saw (Fig. 53) is used for cutting across the grain. The teeth are rather smaller than those of the half rip, and are spaced about 6 or 7 to the inch. The finest kind of this pattern is called the Panel Saw. It is lighter than the hand saw, and has teeth spaced 9 or 10 to the inch. It is used for cutting the ends of panels, and where clean cutting is required.
The Tenon Saw is of a different pattern, having a narrow straight blade, stiffened by means of an iron or brass "back," and is used for cutting all shoulders and close-fitting joists. It cuts very "clean," as the teeth are spaced about 11 or 12 to the inch.
The Dovetail Saw (Fig. 54) is the finest used by the joiner. It is similar to the tenon saw in shape, but has an open instead of a closed handle, and is smaller, having not less than 15 teeth to the inch. It is used, as the name implies, for cutting dovetails and extra fine joints.
The Compass Saw has a very narrow blade, varying in length from 12 to 18 inches, and is used for cutting round curves.
The Pad Saw (Fig. 55), also a narrow-bladed saw, is principally used for cutting keyholes. It has quite a different handle to other saws, and the blade is movable, so that it may be fixed to any desired length, being held in position by two set screws.
The Bow Saw (Fig. 56) is used for cutting very quick sweeps. It consists of a frame in which a thin ribbon saw, held by two handles, is stretched. It requires careful using to avoid snapping the blade.
Saws are sharpened with a file, that known as the "three square" file being used. The saw is held firmly in a pair of sharpening clamps, and the teeth filed up at the proper angle. Every alternate tooth can only be done from one side; then the saw is reversed and the other teeth completed. Saws must be "set," - that is, have their consecutive teeth slightly bent in opposite directions, so that, in cutting, they may clear sufficient space to permit the blade to work freely. Considerable practice is necessary in order to sharpen and set a saw correctly, so that it may cut true and not "run" or twist in the cut.
Next in importance come Planes. These are used for producing a smooth and even surface upon wood. A Jack Plane is shown in Fig. 57, and consists of a beechwood stock, fitted with a handle and having a wide "throat," cut in the top and terminating in a narrow slot or "mouth" in the "sole." This throat is fitted with a double iron, consisting of a cutting iron and back iron, or cap iron, clamped together by means of a set screw. The iron is held in position with a wedge, and the amount of iron projecting above the sole can be regulated by this wedge; this varies in different planes. Jack plane irons are set rather coarse, as they are used for taking off the rough surface left from the saw. In the case of very rough or dirty surfaces, single iron Jack or "Scurfing" planes are sometimes used.
The Trying Plane (Fig. 58) is similar to the jack, but larger and longer. It is used in forming a perfectly straight and even surface. An extra long trying plane, called a Jointer, is used by some joiners for shooting long joints.
The Smoothing Plane is used for finishing and producing a smooth surface after the wood has been prepared by the jack and trying planes. Various patterns of smoothing planes are made, the ordinary all-wood pattern being the most common. These are sometimes fitted with an iron mouthpiece, which greatly preserves them, as otherwise, having such a small wearing surface, the mouth is soon enlarged when in constant use, and unless a narrow mouth be maintained, good work cannot be done. A metal smoothing plane is preferred by many; it is much heavier than the wooden stock, and consequently does not require the same amount of pressure to secure a good "bite" on the wood. The American pattern of smoothing plane consists of practically only a metal sole with handle and iron. It is a handy tool and easily worked, but, being light, it has a tendency to "chatter," and thus sometimes spoil a good surface.
The Panel Plane is similar in appearance to the jack, but made for finer work, and has a hard-wood slip fitted in and screwed to the off side angle of sole, which, when removed, exposes the iron, so that rebates and the splayed portions of raised panels may be worked close in to the angle.
The Rebate Plane is a small narrow plane having the iron the full width of the stock, and is used for cleaning up or forming rebates.
The Badger Plane is an improved form of rebate plane for wide rebates, having a skew mouth extending to the off side.