This section is from the book "The Boy Mechanic Vol. 2 1000 Things for Boys to Do", by Popular Mechanics Co.. Also available from Amazon: The Boy Mechanic, Vol2: 1000 Things for Boys to Do.
A fine piece of woodwork is often spoiled by the amateur craftsman when starting a cut with a saw. As the first stroke of the saw on the edge of the board is made, the teeth often break a splinter from the edge or the saw jumps to one side of the line, thereby making a rough and uneven cut. This can be avoided in a very simple way.
Ill: Starting a Saw on a Knife Cut will Prevent Roughing or Splintering the Edge
After marking the line, take a sharp knife and make a cut across the edge, as shown, and draw the knife down well over the corners of the board for about 1/8in. Place the saw on the cut and start it slowly. The saw blade will follow the cut of the knife blade.