Saw Till #1: Designing the Till

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Blog entry by brianl posted 06-29-2011 09:52 PM 7764 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Saw Till series Part 2: Starting the build »

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

2 comments so far

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 2679 days

#1 posted 06-30-2011 04:49 AM

I am excited to see this develop. I am currently figuring out how my till is going to work out (it will be a section of my tool chest). I have one 28” bow saw that really is messing up my design.

Nice looking Disston, how does it sound when you cut?

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View Shannan's profile


28 posts in 2693 days

#2 posted 06-30-2011 03:26 PM

I particularly love the step of laying it all down it all down with tape to figure out if the dimensions will work. That’s awesome.

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