Hand Tool Journey #42: Stanley SW #358 Miter Box Restoration #8...Getting a handle on things..

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Blog entry by Airframer posted 07-21-2014 01:39 AM 2394 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 41: Stanley SW #358 Miter Box Restoration #7... Cleaned Up The Saw Plate.. Is This Worth Saving? Part 42 of Hand Tool Journey series Part 43: Stanley SW #358 Miter Box Restoration #9... Saw Handle So Far.. »

Moving forward with the saw restoration..

The original tote on this saw is usable but ugly and pretty beat up so a new one is in order. TGIAG to the rescue!

I have some slightly thicker than 4/4 African Mahogany on hand and it should make for a fine looking handle so why the heck not.

The next few pics will be a “well duh” series for some of you but I have seen some questions asked around the forums about dimensioning wood with handplanes and I figured this was as good an example as any other. So if you already have a handle on this.. you can skip ahead a bit if you’d like.

The piece I have measures just slightly thicker than 1” and I need it to be closer to 7/8” for the handle.

First step is to plane a flat registration face. Don’t worry about final thickness here we just want a flat face to measure from.

First plane a slight bevel on the front and back of the wood to prevent blowout and get your jack out and scrub across the grain till you are getting full width shavings from it (now “full width shavings is a bit of a misnomer. The shavings won’t stay together cross grain but you can hear it cutting the full width.)

This ensures the board is flat from side to side. Now we go at it from the diagonals to get it flat from corner to corner.

Again once you get a full shaving on each stroke across the board your good.

Now.. straight down the grain to get it finally flat.

Then I like to hit it with a smoother to get it nice and shiney.. over kill maybe but why not right?

Now measuring from this face mark your desired final thickness all the way around the board.

Then this time when you plane a bevel on the front and back side take it all the way down to your line. This will give you a visual indication of when you have it thicknessed correctly without chasing your tail measuring every few strokes.

Now go about it just as you did flattening the other face keeping an eye on your bevel. You want it to disappear as close to the end of the process as possible so you don’t over shoot your mark.

And then you should have a correctly dimensioned board and a happy pile of shavings when you are done!

Next was to cut out the handle..

Notice how I left the area where the blade enters square(ish)... I have found it is easier to cut the slot when the faces are flat than when they are rounded.

Then we mark half way and cut the kerfs

Then I finished the cut with a saw who’s kerf closest matched the thickness of the blade.


Finish cutting it out and then we will start on the mortise for the back..

I had some help for this part today..

Annnnnd it fits!

Now to figure out how to mark the holes in an existing sawplate onto a new handle and we can start shaping this bad boy!

More to come and again thanks for reading!

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

5 comments so far

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 2043 days

#1 posted 07-21-2014 01:47 AM

Some help in the shop is always nice.

What do you use for cutting out the handle (after drilling)? A coping saw? Scroll saw?

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View Airframer's profile


3043 posts in 2128 days

#2 posted 07-21-2014 01:53 AM

I used a scroll saw for the inside cuts on the handle and my bandsaw for the outer cuts. I could have gone full on galoot and used a coping saw but nah.. killing electrons can be fun sometimes too lol.

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

View TerryDowning's profile


1102 posts in 2292 days

#3 posted 07-21-2014 03:22 PM

Nice Job Eric, that’s gonna be a beauty of a handle.

I now have re-handled two saws in mahogany, and I like them very much now that they have new handles and are sharper..

-- - Terry

View AnthonyReed's profile


10040 posts in 2615 days

#4 posted 07-21-2014 07:34 PM

Nice work AF, marking the existing holes is perplexing. Looking forward to seeing your solution.

Thanks for sharing man.

-- ~Tony

View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 2136 days

#5 posted 07-24-2014 01:04 AM

TOF posted a link for how to locate the holes on another thread, does anybody have it handy?

Eric, I love how you went full out galoot on dimensioning the stock with hand planes and then used a bandsaw and scroll saw. Whatever works and is fun at the time. I’m also impressed you sawed the slot for the plate with no guide block, just straight down your lines.

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