Log Sawing by hand in Hong Kong

IDJ remembers seeing log sawing by hand particularly in shipyards building wooden junks and sampans but also on construction sites. Many had two or four men pushing and pulling from above and below. They could tear through a log surprisingly accurately and quickly. The frame’s sidebars were used to guide the saw blade in a straight line and achieve the right thickness down the length of the log.

This method has since been overtaken by powered saws driven by petrol engines or electric motors and circular saws mounted in large steel bed-plates.
Log sawing IDJ -Kowloon-log sawing by hand a

Log Sawing by hand – Kowloon

Log sawing-002-operatives above and below log IDJ

Log Sawing – operatives both above and below

Log sawing operatives above and below undated from IDJ

Log Sawing – operatives both above and below

Log sawing Aberdeen-Boat builder sawing log

Log Sawing – Aberdeen boat builder

Log Sawing -Street side wood working shop-1941-Harrison Forman image IDJ c

Log Sawing – Street side wood working shop 1941, Harrison Forman image

Stephen Davies: Here is the Cheng Ho luxury junk being built with one of the timbers that made up the keel being worked on, at the Ah King shipyard. A fine example of pre-WW2 HK wooden shipbuilding.

Cheng Ho keel being built b

This article was first posted on 28th January 2015.


  1. Frame Saws wikipedia

Related Indhhk articles:

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  2. Wing Tai Cheung (榮泰祥木廠) – Timber Merchant and Saw Mill
  3. Wong Tong Kee (黃棠記) – the Timber Merchant and the Mansion
  4. Q+A48 Wai Chap Timber Yard 1944
  5. The British Borneo Timber Company – Taikoo Dockyard locomotive connection

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