I took the day off to get dental work and found that my dental issues were not as bad as I feared. So there was nothing for it, I went to the Dallas Lie Neilsen Tool Event.
It was a very important day for me. As a woodworker, I have suffered from the inability to make anything like a reliable cut with a Western Style Saw. Not the worst handicap, since I have no issue when using a Razorsaw(Gyokucho) 650 Royoba. Sometimes however it would be nice to push a blade and not have sawdust covering the line.
At this event I met Frank Strazza, from the Heritage School of Woodworking.
Frank managed to teach this old dog a new trick.
I was missing four things. The first clue is the sound of the saw. I can’t really show that.
The second is the grip, solidly held with absolutely no pressure or tension.
The third was the stance.
The fourth thing I was missing was how to hold my other thumb when starting the cut. When drawing a Japanese saw, I am pulling, and I guide with the side of my hand. For starting a push cut I needed to see the other side of the saw clearly. By using the tip of my thumb as a guide I was able to manage a decent guide when I needed it. I practiced without my thumb to get the method clearly, but I can assure you when I cut a line that matters, I will be using Frank’s method from here on out.
Frank is a brilliant teacher with the ability to watch for a while and figure out better approaches for a task. I would love to take several of his classes.
Lie Neilsen’s crew was wonderful as always, and I had the pleasure of meeting Lynn Dowd!
Lynn Dowd is the person to contact if you are looking for fine vintage tools in Texas.
Dallas is quite a bit out of my way, but getting to go to this event really helped justify the time and expense.