Today I began a little reverse engineering project for a friend. He saved a sofa from the junk heap, but it was missing one cushion support frame. I told him it shouldn’t be too hard to make a matching one. So here’s what the original one looks like:

01 original

The width of those outer boards is pretty close to 2″, so I figured it would just take a couple rips of a 2×4 to get these parts. I ran a line down the 2×4 with my marking gauge (although it’s never satisfying trying to cut with the grain), out comes the ryoba, and let the show begin!

01 resaw 1

As you can see, I have zero clamping options with my current setup. How do you go about resawing with a handsaw anyway? I started on one end and changed to the other end when it got too difficult. My saw stayed with the line on the top, but on the bottom it was a different matter. Here’s a shot of the bottom of the board after I finished my resawing. Notice how I had to stop in mid-cut and just finish coming from the original direction. Oops.

01 resaw 3

Needless to say, it don’t look so hot.

01 resaw 2

Because I need to cut some 1/2″ mortises in this 3/4″ wood, this gack left me with too little room to work with, so I’m going to have to scrap this attempt.

If any of you have any tips on resawing with a handsaw, I’m all ears! But in retrospect, here’s what I think I’ll do differently:

  1. Clamp a board on either side of the board I’m cutting, aligned with my line. The boards will act as a guide for my saw. As long as I keep my blade flush against the clamped boards, my line should be straight.
  2. Position the board straight up and down and just cut down from top to bottom, rather than along the face of the board. Seems like I’d have a more consistent cut that way. If I have two boards clamped on the outside, the whole apparatus would probably be heavy and stable enough that I could just pin it against the bench with my other arm while sawing.