Many people underestimate the value of reshaping handles to suit your personal hand and also create saws that reflect the owners quest for aesthetic value. Ultimately we ten to undervalue those qualities esteemed with high regard by 17-18th century makers of tools. Turning the trend takes only two hours. here is Part I of a Two-part work.
I began this saw before I decided to write out the steps so some work I began, but only a little as you can see. This saw is an Atkinson & Walker. It is in excellent condition but I have not worked on the steel at all as yet.
I begin by deciding which shape or shapes I like and combine features I think will suit the saw. I work within the constraints of the existing saw shape and take into consideration the orientation of the grain: Any cutting should not weaken the saw handle and many graceful lines can be achieved without actually removing too much wood. It’s all to easy to run to the bandsaw and cut the shape without considering the strength issues.
You don’t have to own saws to determine the shape you want, you can go to eBay or a book or other online resources.
Sanding off the old finish makes it easier to draw the shape you want onto the handle.
Instead of the bandsaw I prefer a coping saw to cut the shape.
I further refine the shape with files and or sandpaper. Sandpaper wrapped around the fines works well and if you don;t have files you can use dowels with sandpaper and they work equally as well.
I use chisels and files to further define the shapes I want. It’s a good exercise in working with the grain too.
The handle starts taking more defined shape.
A spokeshave helps with outside convex areas like the horn area.
Sanding evens out tool marks and roughens the surface to take a dye and finish. I end with 240-grit paper.
I use a fine saw to cut the initial channels where necessary and then make incised cuts with the chisel.
A three-cornered file perfects such cuts.
I will show the chip cut carving shown here next blog Part II
-- Paul Sellers, UK http://paulsellers.com/paul-sellers-blog