Simple guide for cutting sheets

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Cutting sheets for scales is easy when you have a bandsaw or tablesaw, but if you like me don't have these tools but do have an ironsaw the following method may help.

We start with a hardwood 3 1/16 x 3 1/16 post, in this case red ironwood.

Red ironwood posts.JPG

First you will want to cut off a block about 6 - 6 5/16" in length. You can already use the guide for this but if you start with a plank or thinner post you won't need to.

Next cut two small preferably hardwood blocks measuring 3 6/8" in length. These will act as a guide for your saw. Make sure they both have a perfectly straight edge. Draw a cutting line on the top, back and front of the block depending on the desired thickness of the sheet. I would recommand a thickness of about 5/16", that way you can cut out the shape of the scales and then cut it in half for a pair of near identical scales. You could also cut two sheets of 1/8" but there would be considerable risk of tearing during sawing. It would also be more work.  Place the small guides with the straight edge along the lines you drew and clamp them to the block with a glue clamp.

Now you can just cut away by sawing with a slight angle toward the guide which will make it go straight.

Guide 2.JPG

This is how the sheet turned out. I wet the sheet a little to get an idea of how it would look like finished.

Red ironwood sheet.JPG