Tag Archives: ripping


12 Oct

This  Japanese carpentry saw, or Ryoba, is a superb tool for cutting accurate tenons.

One side of the saw is a ripping blade designed to cut along the grain. The other side has a cross cut profile designed to cut through the wood fibres.
Unlike western saws this tool cuts on the ‘pull’ rather than the ‘push’ (like a conventional tenon saw).
The other superb feature of Japanese saws is they are so incredibly thin that they leave virtually no kerf. A kerf is the slot left by a saw blade tearing out fibres – chain saws leave a big (3-6mm) kerf.
Minimal kerf makes marking up the mortice (the slot which the tenon fits in) incredibly easy.

Here is the finished tenon. I had to make 12 of these in one go for a complicated cabinet, so the little saw made all 12 x 8 = 96 cuts a breeze!

Japanese cabinet makers are very concerned with the balance of their hand tools and the precision of their work. I may not be Japanese, but I honour this sensibility when I make in wood.

Knife B 2