Why should you saw across the grain
|A bench hook is used for cutting a workpiece – the piece of wood currently being worked on – that can be quite long, but relatively narrow in width and height.|
|Workpieces commonly cut whilst they are held in a bench hook include small plank shapes, battens, rails and lengths of dowel, with the grain direction running along the longest dimension.|
|Most bench hooks are relatively small – typically around 250mm (about 10 inches) long by 150mm (about 6 inches) wide – and are positioned flat on the workbench when in use.
These factors mean that a bench hook is impractical for providing support when sawing along the grain of most pieces of wood.
|Manual cutting along the grain – known as ‘rip-sawing’ or just ‘ripping’ – is done with a rip saw made especially for this purpose.
The workpiece can be placed on a bench made especially for rip-sawing work, like this one, which has a gap running the full length of the bench.
The gap allows the saw to pass freely along the length of the workpiece without damaging the bench.
|A bench hook can be used for cross-cutting quite long workpieces.
Some people even use two bench hooks to accommodate longer pieces.