As my hand-tool usage has grown, I have gradually expanded my collection of saws. I started with three (rip, crosscut, and back) and over time I’ve added other restored specialty saws until I have no place to put them all. At that point I realized I had to build a saw till.
My workshop is in a shared basement of a multi-apartment building. While normally the other residents of my building are quite nice and respectfully don’t mess with my stuff (I don’t mess with theirs), I wanted a till that would deter easily-tempted eyes from my tools. Ideally I’d also be able to lock it.
To accomplish this, I began surveying the saw tills that others have done. There are several designs out there that use rubber balls (like Timberframe Tool's example) to hold the saws in place. I have never cared for this design as it just seemed hokey to me. I don’t want to rely on plastic children’s toys to support and protect my antique saws.
I really like Dan's version but unfortunately, it’s not enclosed. I loved Phil's design but that’s waaaay too big for my tiny little shop. Finally, Old Wolf's was closer to what I was looking for. Again, it wasn’t enclosed, but at least the basic shape worked.
So, I came up with my own design. I made the design mirror the toolbox I made previously. I wanted it to sit on top of the toolchest, but I was worried about the depth of till necessary to keep the saws vertical. I ran some quick numbers and I thought I could get everything within 12” of depth, but I needed to test. So I got some blue tape, laid down various designs on my dining room floor and tested them out. After doing so, I figured that I could build the till with a 10” depth and a 30” height.
I chose to mount the saws teeth-out for identification purposes. A couple of my saws have almost identical handles and it’s just easier to me to look at teeth rather than try to memorize handles.
While most other designs call for a drawer of some kind, I decided against it mainly due to height restrictions. The till was slready going to be pretty high and I didn’t want to have the strain to pull down a saw. Besides, since my design has doors, I can mount sharpening-related items there.
Now that I had my design in hand it was time to get started!
-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts