I have been reading blogs and articles recently, by people who make their own hand saws and decided to make one of my own for no good reason. I made a good heavy duty twelve inch 11 tpi rip filed back saw. I made the back out of a heavy piece of lawn border,bluing it with a propane torch and motor oil. I made the blade out of an old wrecked hand saw that had a kink that I did not feel was worth trying to pound out. I watch for these at flea markets because wrecked saws are an inexpensive source for saw hardware and scrapers. My new saw blade is 30 thousandths, a little thick for small dovetails, but good for an aggressive rip filing. Coming up with my own design, which does resemble a common saw tote, I made the handle out of a piece of poplar figuring that I would copy it with a harder hardwood on my next saw.
I love this saw! I have been using it every day and I am pleased with what I have made but I have determined that I will never make another handsaw from scratch. While purchasing a saw or saw kit can be expensive, websites like Blackburntools.com sell pre cut saw blanks with a varariety of sizes, teeth per inch, and pitches availiable for a very reasonable price. Now that I have done it, cutting the saw teeth in with a file was enough of a chore that I would rather not do it again if I can help it. I appreciate that other lumberjocks make their own saws and do a very nice job of it. I respect their talent and patience. It took me many hours to learn the skill of cutting saw teeth and another hour or two to shape the teeth and complete the job once I had it figured out. Fortunately I have a stash of antique saw files and the file I started with is still sharp, but I would hate to wreck an irreplaceable file by making saw blades that are inferior to those which I can purchase inexpensively. I enjoyed making the handle and the back but I will let a saw maker cut my saw teeth for me in 0.20 thousandths saw blanks for the rest of the saws I want to make.
I cut out the handle with the coping saw because I was working lat at night and I did not want to bug the wife.
I used my little polish made two speed breast drill to start the cut in the center of the handle. I do not know much about this particular tool. I do not know id it was cheap or expensive or even who made it, but I do know that the language on the box is polish, because the wife’s family is polish and she recognized the language. The tool does work well.
The nice thing about coping saw blades is that one can remove the bow and leave the blade stuck in the workpiece while they resume cutting from the other direction.
I did not make a pitch guide because I can control my file well enough to control the pitch, but I did need to use a guide block to help with teeth spacing, so that I would cut the teeth where they belonged. once i had all of the teeth cut, I jointed the saw with a twelve inch single cut mill file, set the saw up in the vice properly, and filed the teeth with a six inch double extra slim taper file, until the flats just disappeared, skewing the file in the direction of whichever tooth needed the most material removed.
I ordered a bag of saw handle screws from Amazon. I do not have a close up of the teeth, but they came out alright. The new saw does look rather like an antique, however
-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin