A confession: Hi my name is John and I’m a crappy sawyer.
I’ve gotten along well enough with most of the woodworking skills. I’m confident working with chisels and hand planes. But though my saws are well-sharpened I have not yet learned to cut straight and square. I have a saw-bench that is the right height, but on the cuts with the large saws the cut will usually dive to my left on the under-side of the board.
Tonight I might have figured it out. I cut off the ends of my bench top with my 26″ cross-cut saw. I cut one end one night, and the other end the next night. I need to pace myself. Half-way through the second cut I realized that, right at the end of the saw-stroke I’m pushing the saw to the right so that my hand and the tote don’t block my view of the line. I’m trying to view the line as long as possible. During the rest of that cut I focused on just pushing the saw through the kerf and holding it in-line with the kerf best I could. It felt much different. Now I have to try to remember this the next time I’m sawing, and see how it goes.
Also – pictured is my Spear and Jackson saw. It’s sweet. Nothing against the Disstons and their relatives. But there are a lot of other good ones out there too.