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...
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 ...
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...
I’ve been wanting to add a few saws to the “toolbox.” And, rather than spend a bunch of dough, I thought that I’d try to refurbish some used backsaws. Though I will more than likely purchase a couple older Disston or other manufacturer tenon saws, in the 12” range, I though I’d try my hand at learning to sharpen on a couple 10” backsaws with turned handles that I already have. The only functional western style backsaw I own (aside from a flush cu...
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...
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...
So. As of last night, I’m the proud owner of a #60 1/2 type block plane. I say type because instead of it saying Stanley, it says Norvell Shapleigh & Co. that dates it to around 1912 or so. But the pride of the weekend is my back saw. You remember this ugly and beat up thing, right? Well, it wasn’t pretty. I honestly have no idea what possessed me to even by that ugly thing. It’s really pretty scary, isn’t it. Well, I spent some quality time last wee...
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...
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