Thumbing a saw to test for spring steel

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Blog entry by need2boat posted 04-16-2012 08:35 PM 7930 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As any of you know if you know me, I can’t get near a saw without thumping on it with my thumb and hearing the tone. A wile back I said I’d make a quick vid of me doing it and I bought a saw this past weekend that was one of the cleanest I’ve heard. I normally bend my hand to raise and lower the pitch but this is so clean I just wanted to play one note and hear how long it would go.

Listen for yourself.


-- Second Chance Saw Works Blog: Positive Rake

6 comments so far

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 3940 days

#1 posted 04-16-2012 09:02 PM

That saw really has some excellent spring steel. Thanks for posting.

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View GrandpaLen's profile


1651 posts in 2475 days

#2 posted 04-16-2012 09:51 PM

That’s some pretty music to this old man’s ear.

Nice saw too. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View nobuckle's profile


1120 posts in 2964 days

#3 posted 04-17-2012 11:33 AM

I’m not very familiar with handsaw steel. Does doing this reveal the quality of the steel?

-- Doug - Make an effort to live by the slogan "We try harder"

View need2boat's profile


544 posts in 2895 days

#4 posted 04-17-2012 01:45 PM

There are a few theories behind the ring. Its due to the tension in spring steel and all saws or metal will do it to some degree. One popular reason is if the saw plate were bent the sound wouldn’t be heard all the way through. It would travel to the bend and stop. It also give you an idea of how much tension and spring is left in the plate by the strength of the sound. All this being said I do it because I can, and I see it as the soul of the saw. If I’m gong to take time sharping and refinishing a saw it’s got to have character and soul at the outset.


-- Second Chance Saw Works Blog: Positive Rake

View mandatory66's profile


202 posts in 2333 days

#5 posted 07-29-2012 07:17 PM

I was under the impression that this test indicated the tension in the saw plate. I have a Atkins 65 that is my best note player but not nearly as good as this one. I have some very old D8’s that are dead flat (no note/ring ) but saw just fine. So I am still wondering how important is to have a good note player. But I do admit a saw with a nice ring will attract me like a magnet.

View rance's profile


4266 posts in 3363 days

#6 posted 12-10-2012 01:03 AM

Well it don’t mean a thing
If it aint got that RING.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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