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How To Use A Coping Saw

How To Use A Coping Saw

A tool expert explains coping saws, how to change the blade and how to safely use it to cut wood.

I'm going to be showing you a few basic joinery techniques. Now a coping saw is a very useful tool when you want to cut something that's not a straight line and this is a great tool because the blade is thin enough, flexible enough to cut around corners.

Another feature of the coping saw is that you can change the angle of the blade so the saw back won't interfere with the work on the piece.

Perhaps you want to cut along and then down, you can change the angle of the blade and keep going and that works all the way around. So you can cut a circle out of the centre of a piece of timber, without too many problems.

Due to the nature of the thin blade, they are susceptible to breaking.

But it's a fairly easy operation to replace one. Always be mindful of the fact that you are using a cutting toothed saw blade here. So be careful with your fingers.

Very simply, on the blade here you have 2 little pieces which will hook over 1 end of the saw back, just in there, now the other end will come over that side there and we're simply tensioning the saw blade, by turning the handle, which will mean that the blade will cut a lot better of the tension, because it will act like a more solid saw blade than if it's loose like a piece of spaghetti. And just tighten that all the way up and now that blade's perfectly tensioned to be able to cut through all manner of timber.

Now for a quick example of how to use the coping saw.

Always make sure your work piece is securely clamped to your bench. You don't want it slipping out and cutting your fingers off. Usually, this type of saw you actually have to have 2 hands on the handle, just because of the nature of it, there is a bit of flex in the blade, so it can tend to wander a little bit more than a normal saw, so 2 hands, just gives you a little bit more control and to makes it a bit safer as well.

You'll be able to see that once you start the cut going, it cuts just like any other normal saw blade. But what you can do with this is tilt the top of the saw over and keep cutting. The blade will bend and then follow the shape that you want to cut.

And you can see that quite tight radiuses are possible and you can change direction quite easily without damaging the blade until you come out again. And there you can see changed direction several times and you can be very neat and very precise with this tool as well. That's how to use a coping saw.