Can you re-saw boards with a Japanese ryoba? Damn straight you can! The Gyokucho 616 Ryoba is a big Japanese saw suitable for large scale joinery, resawing and dimensioning boards. The 300mm long blade has aggressive tooth patterns on both edges - one for crosscutting, the other for ripping. In either direction it will happily whizz through 4" of beech with impunity.
When first starting out with a saw this big, it really pays to take your time and let the saw do the work. When resawing (cutting a thick board into two thinner ones) it's easier to stay on the line if you cut a little way from one side, then turn the board and cut a little way from the other. Keep turning the board and any imbalances in your stance etc will be equalled out over the length of the cut.
The blades of Gyokucho saws are treated using a process called electroless nickel plating, this has three functions. Firstly, it protects the blade against corrosion, secondly it provides a nice shiny mirror surface, and thirdly its low friction properties inhibit resins and sap from building up on the blade - anything that does manage to get stuck to them can easily be washed off with warm soapy water. The teeth are differentially impulse hardened, one by one, bringing the outer surfaces to RC68 or more whilst still leaving the 'root' of the tooth soft and therefore much less prone to fracture - not unlike tiny Japanese sword blades. They are equally happy working in softwoods or temperate hard woods.
- Blade length: 300mm
- Overall length: 700mmm
- Blade thickness: 0.7mm
- Blade depth: 95mm to 105mm
- Crosscut pitch: 3mm / 9tpi
- Progressive rip pitch: 3.5mm to 6mm/ 7 to 4.5tpi
- Set: 0.25mm per side
- Maximum depth of cut: unlimited
- Traditional rattan wrapped paulownia wood handle
- Replacement blade: Part No S616
The TPE handle version can be found here - Gyokucho 664 TPE Seiun Saku Ryoba 300mm
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(I have the version with the TPE Handle). I have one other Ryoba from Gyokucho but at .45mm thick it is a bit delicate and tends to drift on long rip cuts (although the angle at which you hold the saw does make a difference to this drift, shallow pitch is key...). Back to this big beast however. This morning I decided to have a play, in no more than 15minutes I cut a close to perfect (by my standards) 4" long tenon in some 2"x6" european redwood. All four rip-cuts straight and true with a reasonably fine surface finish; turning the stock on the wider face makes life easier. Cross-cuts - Easy! Looking forward to using to re-saw some reclaimed oak (which I have never done before). I'll keep you posted...
Another excellent saw from gyokucho! The crosscut side of this is great for breaking down big stock and the rip side is excellent for re-sawing medium to small sized boards. I've been resawing 3" Sapele and European Ash today and this saw whizzed through both. While heavier, and with a slightly thicker plate than most other Gyokucho saws, it still keeps a much thinner kerf than western equivalents and requires very little effort Like other Japanese saws the trick is to keep the saw at a lower angle to the work piece. For resawing I set the wood at a 45 degree angle away from me, and keep the saw horizontal pulling towards me. I find keeping the saw at least 45 degrees or lower to the work means I get a decent amount of wood removed while still keeping an accurate line. Paired with my 651 blue hard ryoba for most of my smaller stock and larger joinery, and 372 for fine joinery and dovetails, I really struggle to think of another hand saw that I could want! And of course, workshop heaven's fantastic service as always!
This is my first proper Japanese saw, so take what follows based on that but I have other pull saws and know how to use one. This is a big saw, probably 2' 4"long, The quality of the steel and teeth look great and the ratten handle is very comfortable, giving access to several holding styles. The crosscut leaves surprisingly little tearout for the size of teeth, thin kerf and cutting straight is very easy if you just let yourself relax and not force anything. Ripping, I think this saw is super and a pleasure to use... i've not had a progressive-toothed rip saw before and it makes a noticeable difference to the ease and speed in this grain direction over other saws that have even teeth. This is definitely a fast saw for relatively large timber or boards. I think this is the kind of saw to take care of and have for years.