Saw Till Shop Project #1: Designing and building a saw till

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Blog entry by HerbHall posted 12-29-2008 06:38 PM 4473 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I have collected allot of hand saws from auctions and flea markets and they have been accumulating in various places in the shop. Some have been restored, some are waiting to be restored, some are just useful for parts or stock for scrapers, etc… I decieded I wanted to build a wall mounted saw till, but I didn’t want to spend any money on the project.

The plan was for a simple wall mounted cabinet tall enough for the saws to rest vertically on a dowel with doors and some drawers for files, and suck. I came across a pile of lumber reclaimed from an old barn for free and thought this is perfect. Old lumber for my old saws, and I would make it all with hand tools just to make it that much more special.

Free pile of reclaimed lumber used in this project

The lumber was in pretty bad shape, beat up with oil, dirt, nails, etc… It had been part of the floor, and it seemed like hardwood as I loaded it in my trailer. After pressure washing and drying it bacame apparent that it is just a pine of some sort. It’s pretty tight grained and hard for pine, but it’s very brittle and prone to splitting. I like the character of it and although it’s being a major pain to work with, I’m pressing on and using it anyway.

Removing the hardware took me a long time. There were all sorts of bits of metal and grit embeded in the boards. I selected boards and marked out parts such that the worst looking defects would be removed or located in a less visible area of the finished piece.

I milled up the sides of the case. Hand planned, on four sides, but only cleaning up enough to get a flat surface on the boards. Then I hand cut some joints and dry fitted the case together.

It’s been a slow project, started it late last summer, but havn’t had much time to invest it it. Once it gets cold here in PA it’s hard to work in my unheated shop.

I’ll try to get some pics up and add some progress reports as I get time to work on it.

-- Herb Hall, Athens, PA

2 comments so far

View Woodchuck1957's profile


944 posts in 3964 days

#1 posted 12-29-2008 06:45 PM

Sounds like the wood might be Fir.

View kiwi1969's profile


608 posts in 3642 days

#2 posted 12-30-2008 04:08 AM

Mate free wood is the best wood no matter what it is! Just be aware that a lot of old stuff was treated with some nasty chemicals and wharever was stored in the barn may have leached into the timber (DDT for example) Also any animal crap and dust can be dangerous too. When I worked in Australia I spent most of my time there working with demolition timbers and was a little careless about using dust masks etc, and found after a blood test that all the heavy metal levels in my blood were on the high end of barely acceptable, things like lead, murcury, etc. This was after 10+ years so one project wont hurt, but why chance it right? Using hand tools will be ok but any sanding should be done wearing a mask and outside in good ventilation. Make sure you wash up after handling it also. Just some advice from someone who knows.

-- if the hand is not working it is not a pure hand

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