Now you're ready to take saw in hand. Stop everything. Relax your hand, your arm, your shoulders and especially your mind. The way to get the best results is to relax, yet concentrate on what you're doing. Place the saw on one of the lines.
The placement of the saw and the first two gentle strokes will determine the success of the rest of the cut. Look closely at the teeth of the saw. Because the teeth have 'set' (that is, alternate teeth are bent to the right and left), you'll only see half of the teeth. Place one tooth right up against the waste side of the pencil line, TTiat is, so the kerf will be on the waste side (the "X" side) of the line, see Fig. 5.
The saw should be angled (about 45°) so your first cuts will be on both the face and end of the board. Now, relax your hand and make the first two strokes.
The kerf should be skimming along the pencil line. Since the teeth of a dovetail saw have very narrow' set, these beginning twro strokes will hold the saw in position for the rest of the cut. If you're not on the line to begin with, any attempts to force the cut or make adjustments in mid-stream will cause the saw to bind and will lead to all sorts of problems.
After a few strokes the saw should be about %'s of the way down the face and %'s across the end, see Fig. 6. Now you can level out the saw so it starts cutting through to the back of the board. Continue sawing until the saw just barely touches the base lines. (All the time your hand should be very relaxed, just barely holding the saw. Relaxed, yet concentrating.)
If you're going to goof on these cuts, it's best to goof on the waste side of the line. That is, the saw should leave a little extra wrood between the kerf and the pencil line. (If there is a problem, let it go for now. It can be corrected later.)
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