We used Felling saws and Bucking saws, and before that; Felling axes and Bucking saws.
It has been said that the North American frontiers were won by the axe and the saw. It defined us as we pushed further West. The size of the virgin's forest trees was something never really encountered before, it created a totally different and unique style of felling axes and saws, as compared with the similar tools overseas.
The saws, either felling or Bucking, were made in one (1) or two (2) man version. Depending primarily on the size of the logs to be cut.
Both Felling (to cut down a tree) and Bucking (to cut the log in manageable pieces) are essentially a "crosscut" (to cut across the grain) operation.
Felling on top, Bucking on bottom.
The concave back of the felling saw is to introduce
quickly wedges as the saw progress
The sizes of the trees encountered and the growing demand for timbers, created a push to make these tools to cut more efficiently.
If you ever saw a Lumberjacks style competition, you probably witnessed how fast one of these two man crosscut saw can be, when maintained in peak conditions.
Two woman crosscut saw, because it's 2016 :-)
The types of operations carried out by lumberjacks was also done for the most part on freshly cut logs. The moisture contents would be quite high, but the sap would be low when cut in winter (as it was the customs, one of the reason for it)
In order to cut efficiently, the fibers cut by teeth must be cleared right away for the teeth to engage new wood, not torn fibers.
There was all kind of variations of teeth patterns (most patented) in order to best accomplished that;
PLAIN TOOTH PATTERN
Cutter teeth only. Best for cutting dry, very hard or brittle small diameter wood.
Also known as Peg tooth pattern.
CHAMPION TOOTH PATTERN
Large cutter teeth and unset raker. Best for heavy sawing in extra hard, dry or frozen wood. Also known as a Tuttle tooth pattern.
M TOOTH PATTERN
Competition saw. Very aggressive cutting as teeth cut and rake.
Depends on arm strength, fatiguing. Best for cutting dry, medium to hard wood.
THE LANCE TOOTH PATTERN
Best for cutting soft green timber. Fir, Spruce and redwood.
GREAT AMERICAN TOOTH PATTERN
Competition saw. Very aggressive cutting as teeth cut and rake. Depends on arm strength, fatiguing. Best for cutting dry, medium to hard wood.
PERFORATED LANCE TOOTH PATTERN
Bridge strengthen cutter teeth. Best for all but hard and frozen woods.
These fancy tooth patterns all have similar requirements; For best performance their heights among each other tooth, is critical.
It beg the question, if so? How does one ensure that relationship is not lost during subsequent sharpening?
With the uses of simple jointer and rake jig. Often combined together into a small patented cast iron jig. You just have to add a mill file, two if you want to be more efficient and leave one set in the jig.
How did Rudy got in there? :-)
With one of these and a file, you can joint all the teeth tops to be in the same plane, even in an arc, then file off all the raker's teeth at the correct height
The screw retaining the file in the jig for jointing operation, can apply enough force to gently bend a file. The saw's tooth line is curved, but it is a big radius, does not take much bend to joint that curvature with the short jointer jig.
These three jigs will all joint the teeth of a saw flat, but the top two (one antique and one modern Lee Valley jig) are designed for handsaws, full size and panels.
The one in the bottom is designed for the big cross cut saws.
Another the Simonds Crescent saw tool here
Once the teeth are topped or jointed (all at same height), the jig also contain a raker tooth height gauge on the other side. Both the Champion and Lance tooth pattern have the raker set slightly below the cutting teeth. Put the raker tooth inside the slot and file flat with guide.
Once all the teeth have been jointed and shaped, raker height adjusted, the set is checked and adjusted as required.
A plunger type saw set, as used on regular handsaws, would be inadequate for the size of these big teeth. A small anvil and a hammer is used.
Then the spider is used to gauge the amount of set.
See Simonds Crescent Saw Tool for explanation of spider
Various models of Spider gauge
That saw is now ready to go back to cut some wood...
For a complete description of the process see The cross cut saw manual by the dept of Forest.
The other thing that a well equipped sawyer would take with him, was some sort of oiling device, usually an oil flask with a grooved cork stopper, to lubricate the saw plate in use.
Bob, the lumberjack