This was the first saw I bought off ebay. I can’t remember how much I paid, but it wasn’t much. The seller only posted one dark grainy photo, so I didn’t really know what I was getting and at that time I didn’t know what to look for anyway. When it arrived and I removed the wrapping, I literally had goosebumps. I couldn’t get over how beautiful the hand-made tote was. More than once I’ve drifted off into dreamland imagining the work this saw has performed d...
This is where we left off last time—- a basic carcass completed but no tools inside it yet. On a side note, do you prefer to spell it carcass or carcase? I’ve seen it both ways. So now comes the fun part: figuring out how I’m going to fit all these tools into the upper section of tool chest. At this point, I’m not really concerned with my larger hand saws, my specialty planes, mallets etc., but most of the smaller hand tools. It seems like a lot of tools, but if...
Warning: the following is written in my blog’s wierd, arcane style… read at your own risk. Once again the literary blog of Chris Schwartz has stimulated my own (somewhat cranked) chain of consciousness toward the philosophical side of woodworking. “The Schwartz” recently offered a very positive review of Roy Underhill’s newest book (the link is here), which wasn’t fair because I can’t go out and buy it yet, and pre-ordering it only makes me feel like I’m 8 years old and it’s t...
Making the Workbench with Paul Sellers If the video below is not working please use this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ru2ZiNsWek This replicates my personal workbench, one I have used and preferred over all others for, well, actually, half a century. Let’s talk briefly about benches and specifically working workbenches and not images of what a bench should be. Anyone can build any bench type they like, regardless of whether it works well or not, is big and clunky and la...
I managed to grab a few hours when it wasn’t raining and decided to sharpen Big Joe, the first of my crosscut backsaws. I got ¾ of the way through filing in new teeth and my file gave out. I’ve ordered some more files which should be here early next week, so I’ll return to Big Joe in a future post. I didn’t want to waste the day however, so I decided to sharpen a handsaw instead – a first for me. Some months ago, I restored a couple of 26” Disston D8s. This one is 8PPI (points per in...
On Saturday, I had my last session of Introduction to Japanese Woodworking at Laney College in Oakland, CA. It’s taught by Jay Van Arsdale, an active woodworker working professionally in the Japanese style in the bay area since the 1970’s and the author of a well known book on Shoji. His class is hands down the best woodworking instruction I’ve ever had. If you’re at all interested in hand tool woodworking and are curious about Japanese tools and live somewhere in t...
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...
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...
Due to a change of circumstances in my life, I recently moved from Nashville, Tennessee to Boston, Massachusetts. In the process I lost my garage workshop and gained a very small room in a dingy basement. Due the the space and noise constraints I have decided to try my luck with hand tools instead of the power tools I have relied on in the past. Since my bench was left in Tennessee, I decided that the first thing I needed to build a new workbench. One that was sturdy, solid, hand made, ...
Have you ever thought about why some saw makers add negative rake to the teeth of their rip saws? I have, but when I was drawing a 12 TPI template in Sketchup to re-tooth my Disston No.5 carcass saw, I realized that adding a touch of rake actually increases the volume of space between the teeth. If you look at a section through a saw file, you’ll see that you have an equilateral triangle (ignoring the rounded corners that define the gullets) and we know that the three angles of a triangle ...
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