Sunday, 14 September 2008

A backyard loss & a surprising new saw

When we first moved to our house in Kitchener - the backyard was quite overgrown. It was clear to us that it had not been maintained for some time. We cleared out 75% of the overgrown shrubs and crooked small trees just so we could see what we were dealing with. There was a very large, Norway maple in the middle of the yard, which had clearly been neglected. One side had been butchered, resulting in the main crotch of the tree holding quite a bit of moisture. A few bold plants had even taken root! We knew it was only a matter of time before things started falling - and last summer we lost a very large branch. I was at Westonbirt in England at the time.

With the current trend towards harsh weather - Jill and I were nervously biting our nails watching from the windows with each thunderstorm.

It was time for the tree to come down.

On August 22nd - the chainsaws arrived and the tree was reduced to a pile of firewood length logs. And even more curious - it came down as I was arriving on the grounds of Westonbirt this year. I returned home to a very sunny backyard. There is an old adage that involves lemons and lemonaid... and in that spirit - this tree removal was a good thing. I grew up with a large vegetable garden in the yard - and I have always hoped our kids would be able to experience this as well. Now we can. There is a great sunny spot along a fence that will be perfect.

Some of the limbs were not cut into firewood lengths yet, and as a bit of a lark, I went into the shop to retrieve a recent purchase - a large Japanese saw. I wasn't expecting much to be honest - but boy was I wrong (and in hindsight - I should have known better!).

This is a crosscut timber saw which I am pretty sure is called a Temagori. One of the first things I noticed was the graduated teeth were frightfully sharp and the balance of the saw was very different. It was really heavy in the toe - but as soon as I placed it on the log - it all made sense.
I started the kerf with the smaller teeth (towards the handle). In this position - the weight at the toe held the saw down. All I did was pull - and as the speed quickened - the larger teeth kicked into high gear and removed a tremendous amount of wood. Because of the angle of the handle - the teeth are forced down just by the act of pulling. I did not apply and downward pressure at all. The second stroke was just like the first - but even easier because the kerf was already started. Binding appeared to be a non-issue. I also found myself feeling for the straightest pull - and once I was focusing on that - the saw did all the work. It was effortless to use really - no downward pressure required - the weight of the saw did the cutting. It is a marvel of engineering. So I just started cutting stuff - as Jill peered from the window just shaking her head.

Here are the markings on the blade.

One of the great things about the saw is the teeth are so large, that the complex geometry is very clear.

Oh, and we have already scheduled a new maple tree to be planted in early October. It will be in a new location - so that is shades the house and our patio table in the summer.

And the tree did get the last laugh in the end. Not only were there huge sections of very curly maple - there was quite a bit of birds eye as well. 14" drawer fronts anyone?
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are quite right about the saw's name. Anyone interested can take a look here as they are still made and available;

17 September 2008 at 02:02  
Blogger Konrad said...

Thanks for the confirmation on the name and the link. It is a wonderful tool.


17 September 2008 at 18:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From Japan,
It may be meddlesome, about "Temagori".
That makes no sense as Japanese language.
"Temagori" is made of two words.
"Te" means hand or handle.
And not "Magori", correct letter is "Magari", and it means bend or bending.
Therefore, "Temagari" means bending handle.

3 March 2009 at 18:47  

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