After reading many threads and blogs about saw restoration I got to wondering what one of these things cost. Then I stumbled on a Disston 4b at the back a storage shed in a box marked with the name of a very old storage customer on it. We own a boat storage business and when people leave they tend to leave a lot of stuff. We pack it up and put it away in case someone remembers they left something. This box had been put away many years ago by my father-in-law and obviously forgotten. ...
Stumpy gives a lesson in hand saws while he builds one of the most useful fixtures of the hand tool shop- the traditional sawbench (at least his own tricked out version of it). He teaches you about backsaws from dovetail to carcass to sash to tenon; crosscut and rip, tooth counts and more. Then puts it all to work cutting dovetails and draw boring tenons on a sawbench with more uses than… well, you’ll have to watch and see… The Old Timey Workshop is a monthly podcast prod...
So here is the before of the S. Biggin & Sons – Sheffield Backsaw I picked up for next to nothing. So far all I can find is its From 1852 to 1856. So it took some handle work. I didn’t try to match the old and new. I didn’t have any apple, and I kind of like the “I’ve been fixed better than new” look anyhow. And after some soaking in evapo-rust, sanding and more sanding, some wire brushing and some polishing it came out like thi...
Aimed at those new to saw sharpening, this instructional video is 2 1/4 hours long and covers the theory, the tools and the practice of sharpening western saws. You get to look over my shoulder as I sharpen four saws – two backsaws and two hand saws. I’ll explain the saw sharpening process and how you apply it to different scenarios. I really hope you find it useful. As to the production quality, I’ve done the best I could. I had to record it outside, so there is a bi...
When I sat down to write this blog, my PC was asleep. I pressed a key and it immediately sprang into life so that I could begin typing. I tend to write my blogs in MS Word before pasting them into LJs and as I type, I receive feedback on my grammar and spelling and change my text accordingly. Hand tools are no different to MS Word really. Lying on a bench or hanging in a tool cabinet, they are nothing more than inanimate objects. Pick them up and use them for their intended purpose and they p...
Top joins the sides with half-blinds, so let’s clamp up and get started. Mark and cut the tails. No dovetail jigs… It’s for strength, doesn’t have to be perfect as a shop joint. Chop the waste. Gauge setting for the ‘inset’ of the pinboard, then balance the tail board to tranfer tail lines: I did place a straightedge alongside the setup to ensure the layoit ot the two pieces stayed ‘square.’ Sawing pins...
After spending quite a bit of time researching the history of my W. Tyzack, Sons & Turner saws, I was looking forward to finding out about this Disston backsaw from across the pond. After all, we have the wonderfully detailed Disstonian Institute web site at our disposal. Yep, finding out about this backsaw was going to be easy, or so I thought. When I started my research, I obviously knew it was a Disston backsaw, but I had no idea what model. This is how the saw looked when it came i...
I decided to dedicate my time this winter to restoring various saws I’ve acquired over the past year. I’ll be restoring half-rip saws, panel saws, tenon saws, carcass saws and dovetail saws from a variety of makers, dating from the 1840s up to the 1960s. Now don’t worry I’m not going to bore you with repetitive photos of me removing rust, shining saw plates, polishing brass and refinishing totes. I covered the process I use for these steps in my blog The Restoration of a 14” Tenon Saw so you ...
THE FINALE Repairing the Lamb’s TongueSo in my last post I’d fixed the large chip below the bottom saw nut. Now it was time to fix the chip on the lambs tongue. I started by paring the chipped surface flat with a chisel, then I ripped a section from an off-cut of beech dowel. Before gluing it onto the handle, I slid a hotel card key into the kerf where the saw plate goes. This served two purposes. Firstly, it ensured that I didn’t get excess squeeze out in the kerf whic...
Did you know that saw handle making was a profession in its own right in the 19th century? Young men underwent an apprenticeship lasting 12 months before they could call themselves a saw handle maker. It seems a long time doesn’t it? One year, just to learn how to make a saw handle. However there was quite a lot of detailing to do on a 19th century saw handle. Some features were purely for decoration, whilst others had a distinct function. The handles in the following photograph from two o...
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