My intention with this project is to document the process of building a small project completely from hand tools. Since my wood supplier sells wood in fairly dry, straight, and smooth, I will not go into how to straighten out boards with hand planes.
Here is how I cut pieces from a board:
After the layout lines are made, I made them easier to see by tracing over them with white pencil. To start sawing, place your thumbnail next to the blade to guide it, and pull the teeth across the wood at a fairly low angle. After the kerf is well established, hold the saw at a steeper angle. Make sure that your dominant arm is in line with the cut, if your arm is not pushing directly forward, if it is not directly lined up with your shoulder, the cut will not be perpendicular. Be sure to not the hand grip as well, I find it to be the most comfortable and efficient.For beginning hand-sawyers, I would recommend cutting about an 1/8" from the line to leave room for mistakes. This excess material can then be scrub planed off later. To correct for wandering, lay the saw down at a lower angle to the wood than normal. This makes the saw go into the already long established cut, and puts it on the right track. Also, if the saw habitually seems to lean to one side of the cut, lightly pass an oil stone across the side that the saw leans to. A properly sharpened and tuned saw will cut quickly, and should produce coarse shavings(on the right in the photo), not fine dust. In my opinion, burning some calories and building my muscles is way better than listening to the racket of my saber saw. A handsaw will make a very enjoyable sound when sharp, and still allow me to listen to my radio.