When I did my research, I found a number of good saw vise designs on the web. Some were simple, whilst others were more complex. The fundamental requirement of a saw vise is that it clamps a saw securely while you sharpen it, everything else is just icing. So it can be as simple as sandwiching the saw plate between two pieces of wood in a vise on your bench. Last December, I had the privilege of attending a saw sharpening class with Paul Sellers at Penrhyn Castle in North Wales. At the beginn...
SAW MEDALLION REFERENCE GUIDE Saw medallions, or label screws as they are sometimes called, are invaluable for identifying old saws. Additionally, many of them are small works of art in themselves. I don’t know of a comprehensive reference source for saw medallions that covers all makers, so I decided to start one here. My intent is to add to this list over time to make it as complete as possible. If you run across a medallion that is not listed here, post a picture of it in the comments, ...
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 ...
In this blog series, I’d like to invite you to join me on a journey of discovery as we look at the history and restoration of an old English back saw. This is where the story starts… I really wanted one of these (Adria Large Tenon Saw 14”x 4”) …but didn’t have enough of this: So over a number of weeks, I trawled through eBay.co.uk, until I finally found and bought this… The saw plate is 14” long and the saw is 18 ½” overall. It has an iron back and is...
This saw plate is remarkably well preserved for its age, but it could benefit from a clean. I gathered the stuff I thought I might need, but all I used was the 3-IN-ONE degreaser foam, the Hammerite Rust Removal Gel, the green scouring pad, kitchen roll, and wet and dry paper (more than you see in the picture below). I start by spraying the plate with the degreaser. I have found that the rust remover works better on the first application if the surface has been degreased first. ...
Just a quick post for you guys out there with a lathe. Since posting my saw sharpening video in Saw Talk #28, I’ve had a few enquiries about the saw file handles I use. I get them from an online retailer here in the UK and as far as I know they aren’t available anywhere else. That means that if you don’t live in the UK, shipping can be a bit prohibitive. So here are the dimensions (in millimetres I’m afraid) for anyone who is handy with a lathe. They are are a ̵...
I’ve already blogged my AZ chevalet so this will be a simple “keep you up to date” one about “Chevy II”. When I moved to my current address and built my shop I was fortunate enough to run into a fellow who was moving and had to sell his hoard of local hardwoods. Long story short, I bought two heaped pickup truck fulls of a variety of local hardwoods, all two or more years air dried, for $200 and he helped me move it. I’m not usually a big Oak fan but as ...
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...
Next up on my epic backsaw journey is a much younger saw (60s, 70s? – not sure exactly). It’s a W. Tyzack, Sons & Turner filed 10 TPI crosscut and sports an extra heavy brass back. I bought this saw because it was cheap and there was nothing wrong with the saw plate. Gone is the subtle stamp that appeared on the brass back of a 19th century Tyzack saw. Instead, this spine has a rather garish impression. The crisp elephant logo now looks like a partially thawed out woolly mam...
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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