How do you make a miter-cutting bench hook for Japanese handsaws?
I'd like to make a miter-cutting bench hook similar to the one you featured in issue 216 (Dec./Jan. 2012/2013). But I use Japanese handsaws that cut on the pull stroke, rather than the push of the Western saw you showed. How can I adapt this project to work with my saws?
—Chad Cowle, Tucson, Arizona
Rather than making one that hooks on a workbench's edge, Chad, build a bench hook with a cleat that clamps in a vise, as shown above. Locate the cleat on the base so you have room to turn the vise handle without banging your knuckles.
Because Japanese handsaws have thinner blades than Western saws, make the fence about 11⁄2 " wide and just as tall to ensure straight cuts without deflection. (Note: A spine along the back of some saws might limit the fence height.) Then, simply cut the guide slots as the original article showed, using mating guide blocks to capture the blade as you cut.