As many years as I've been at this, it never occured to me on which way the teeth should be pointing (toward the handle or away and what the difference is. Is one way better than the other? Does direction or the amount of teeth make a difference depending upon what species od crown or base im coping?
I feel like such an amature asking, but then again, no one knows everything about this trade, even though there are plenty of know it alls. :-)
The normal way for teeth to be set in one man handsaws in Europe and the US is so the saw cuts om the push stroke. The Japanese saws cut on the pull stroke, and can have a much thinner blade as a result. They also pull their handplanes, by the way.
Your coping saw can be set up either way, your preference.
The old Champion tooth two man logging saws have a tooth pattern that cuts both ways for better efficiency.
And there is the old story about the Shaker woman that watched a water powered sash saw that sawed on the down stroke only (mimicing a pit saw), realized it as 50% wasted effort, and came up the idea of putting saw teeth on a wheel and rotating it. The English have their version of the story, omitting the Shaker woman.
I came up through the ranks, at 63 years old I've seen about all you can see in this business. I was taught by a German journeyman, have attended countless guild meetings, visited probably a couple hundred different shops through my career, attended a gazillion seminars, trade shows, conventions, local shows, etc. Worked in this field since I was 12 years old and have owned my own business for almost forty years.
That being said - I just have to agree with joiner. Hand coping saws were designed for a pull stroke. Period. Sure you can flip it around - but ask any seasoned wood shop veteran which direction gives you the most power and control and I'm sure they'll all agree - teeth towards the handle - pull stroke wins every time.
Don't fool with history. There's a reason they've done it this way for over a 100 years.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it. If you don't agree - I'm not going to be tempted into a dispute here. Just saying it like it is. :-) And yes - I'm all for individualism, if it works for you - go for it. But the rule still stands for the masses.
Dang young whippersnappers... And I say this all with a smile!
I've got roughly the same training and experience as ML and-
The teeth point to the handle, the saw cuts on the pull stroke; cutting on the push stroke is like pushing string.
The way to see the line is to keep the saw under the stock so you can see the line- always pulling down. I learned to cope like this over 40 years ago and have all my life.
When you cut on the pull, the blades don't kink or twist, stay on the line much better and last much longer too. I typically wear them out before they break.
If I can figure out how to use my newly purchased video camera, I will post a demo of it- it's been hotly debated on several forums.
If you think about it for a minute you will conclude the teeth should point toward the handle. The other way around causes the thin frame to flex making for a limp blade. Pull cutting utilizes the blade in tension, doesn't act like a hot noodle that way.
A question for the guys who use their coping saws on the pull stroke:
How do you support the crown while you're cutting?
I usually use my coping saw on the push stroke because it allows me to stand while cutting. It seems that you would have to kneel to cut on the pull stroke.At my age, I try to avoid kneeling.
Am I missing something?
I gave my two cents expecting worse reaction. Yes, when using the saw on the pull, I did the crown from below, and it ain't fun.
I am a cabinet and trim sub with my own business for ten years now. I've done a lot of crown. I literally removed my coping saw from the truck seven years ago after not touching it for two. It is a lovely tool and a fine art to use, but won't make money.
I have coped all my trim ( literally miles of all types) by making an inside miter cut as one would for coping with a saw, but I use a cordless angle grinder with back-to-back 36 grit sanding disks. This rig quickly, accurately sands out the cope material right up to the edge, no touch-up required.
I rough cope heavy stuff with my jig saw using a tight radius blade sitting square on the cut face of the miter cut, then finish as above.
It works with every wood, and every finish.
In response to Rick-
I do have a higher bench (42") for my chop saw and coping work. I also use a coping stock to hold the molding. I hear you on bending over, that's my particular problem too.
Still working on a video, just really busy right now.
Thanks for the response. I hope that you will have the time to comlete your video.I'd like to see it!
I have another question: What is a "coping stock"? I haven't heard that term before.Does anyone have a picture or description of one?
It's just 2 pieces of stock screwed together at 90 deg. with a cleat tacked to the inside bottom. It holds sprung molding at the same angle as it will be when hung, makes it easier to get a square cut when coping.
I guess I have to say that it of course seems like it would work but as long as I have ever been around any type of harp style saw its a pull cut always. I honestly dont see how you could NOT have it cut on the pull stroke as every time you bear down on the blade your taking away your tension if you flip the blade? The harp of the coping saw is not very stout. I have had a blade catch on the push side of a pull stroke and have the blade pop right out.
Was kinda shocked to read all the push stroke and "however you want" replies. Thats a new one to me.
I cope crown daily with a pull stroke and have never had the first issue.
Just saw the video request. You can just google or youtube coping crown and there are oodles of videos out there coping just as Ive seen it done (and I do it). Face up, pull stroke, I dont see the rub.
I've been doing trimwork for over 35 years, run tens of thousands of feet of crown and base...pine and poplar with and oak on occasion..The proper most efficient coping is achieved is by cutting on the push stroke with wood removed from the back side of the subject/base or crown and following the line or profile with the visible blade...the trick is learning the proper angle for the back-cut for the cope to work....to much and you waste time and energy to little and you end up increasing your angle of cope to get your cope to fit perfect. Crowns that are on a 45 spring are tougher especially if their hardwood because a greater relief angle is needed. So learn to cut on the down stroke....it is the proper way that I can say with complete confidence....and watch the blade and follow the profile line.....always. It's far more efficient and you will not brake near as many blades if you don't get overly aggressive and heat them or bind them in a tight turn. Good luck ....and remember some crowns are way to labor intensive or cannot be coped....a good glue miter is an art in itself and will stand up with a coped miter any day if done right.
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