Cross cut a board “the nice way”

With the right simple technique you can make nice, accurate cuts with a hand saw. Your tools need to be good (sharp saw, a square that is actually square, sharp knife, sharp chisel).

This accuracy is not actually required for this step of the workbench (rough cut to length) but I’m practicing 🙂

Mark length with knife.
Mark the length you want to cut with a sharp knife (WAY more precise than a pencil)
Strike a line with knife.
Place the knife in the mark you made, and slide a square next to the blade. Strike a square line using multiple knife strokes a little deeper with each pass. This cut is actually the one that you will see.
Transfer line to all 4 sides.
Use the knife and square to transfer the line to all 4 sides of the board. Use 1 reference face as much as possible to minimize error.
Create notch for the saw.
Use a sharp chisel to make a small V shaped notch on the waste side of the wood. This notch will guide the saw. Leave the good side alone the knife cut will be the edge. Paul Sellers calls this a “knife wall”.
Cut the wood with your saw.
Place the blade of your sharp saw in the notch and cut away. Go slow at the end so you don’t splinter the back side.
This method gives you a nice clean cut.