The literature of the saw considered as a tool is very
meager, although there are a few not altogether impartial
treatises on woodworking machinery, by leading manufacturers
and others. Since Holtzapffel, in 1846, there has been
nothing of importance written on the
But in this work, and at that date, the band saw is
dismissed with a few lines; the mulay was uninvented, or
unknown; inserted tooth circular saws not dreamed of; the
M-tooth shown as a curiosity, and the dimensions and working
capacity of the circular and other saws, correct as they
were for that date, would make the' present reader smile.
Saws are now much thinner, have better teeth, are of better
steel, and run at double the speeds there laid down. Mr.
Joshua Rose, in a lengthy article in the Polytechnic Review,
Dec., 1876, went quite thoroughly into the action of certain
kinds of saw teeth; and his intelligent articles on
straightening plates were the first accurate and complete
published matter on that subject. From these sources the
author has drawn liberally and in some cases literally.
The writer has tried to be thorough and impartial. Naturally
his personal knowledge of some makes of saws (notably in the
lines of cross-cuts, hand-saws and circulars) is greater
Some makers and users were much more liberal and detailed in
giving data than others, and if their saws receive greater
prominence than the others, it is not the writer's fault nor
intention, and can be remedied in case a second edition be
There are many cases in which information was refused after
The collection of material for such a work is at once
amusing and annoying. The most contradictory opinions and
most impossible data are met with. In the matter of horse
power, as engineers differ so largely as to the rating of
boilers and engines, it is not remarkable that steam users
should differ or err in their calculations.
It is not common
to apply dynamometers to sawing machinery; and as this book
is not on sawing machinery, and as the power required
differs so with the condition of the lumber and the form and
sharpness of the saw teeth, etc., we may let that go for a
time, and say to users of machines, "A little too much belt
power is about enough."
Unless specially stated otherwise, the figures and
statements in this work refer to American practice.