Doing my constitutional this morning, I hit my daily websites to see what they had to say, sell and offer. A posting by Christopher Schwarz on the Woodworking Magazine Blog caught my attention as he was writing about working a handsaw. Having a read, I think I came across an answer for my newly found ability to "cut to the line".
In his article entitled, "My Strategy for Going Deep", the line that really made me sit up and take notice stated, "A low sawing angle is less aggressive, but it is more accurate." Thinking back to my set-up for hand sawing, I realized I had changed it recently, and that change caused a lower angle than what I have used in the past.
Up until recently, I have been clamping the stock to a portable worktable in such a way that allowed me to stand off to the left of it and follow the saw backwards as I made my way along the line. Because of an overabundance of junk in the office lately, finding room for changing my mind, let alone hand sawing a piece of wood has been difficult. As a result, I had to change my set-up and I started to clamp the stock to the right side of the table and stand behind the table to cut along the line. The difference in positioning results in a much lower angle of attack for the saw, I would bet a lower angle of at least 20°. As Chris states, a lower angle means more accuracy, and with the results I have been having lately, I would have to agree.
While the portable worktable that I have been forced to use this past year is one of the better manufactured ones, there is no better terminology to describe it than to simply say that the thing "truly sucks". I am, however, slowly weeding my worldly possessions out of my office, having finally crated my rolling mechanics cabinet this afternoon and booked a shipper to pick it up on Monday. I gave the whole kit and caboodle to my son almost a year ago, but getting about 800 pounds of tools and set of cabinets shipped across the country has not been the easiest, or cheapest thing I have ever done. Finally it is done and the last of it will be out of here come Monday. I also have a set of 4 mag wheels for the car stored here, a purchase I made on eBay over the winter. I have been storing them in my office while I wait for the weather to break and the snow tires to come off. Winter, thank God, is almost over, so they should be out of here in a few weeks. When that happens, the area that has been designated for my small but well built workbench will finally be free after all this time, and I can finally get to work building it. I can't wait. A real workbench again with a pair of saw horses to match. Heaven.