Well, after getting all the pieces rough cut and mortices and tenons complete, it is time to start smoothing and finishing the pieces. Little did I know prior to taking on this project that this stage would be far and above, the hardest part. Wow!! I spent an awful lot of time shaping, scraping, sanding, and fiddling with this saw. Getting this thing symmetrical took a lot of work. But patience and perseverance paid off. Here is how it went down.
As mentioned in the previous entry, I had to make a new stretcher because the first one was just a bit too short. Here is the other one, cut to the correct length. There is a positive to take away from doing a second stretcher; experience. Having already made one, I knew how to do this one better and faster.
Lots and lots of shaping. I am going to give a plug for Auriou rasps. I bought before this project knowing I would be using it heavily. I did use it heavily and it is a beautiful tool. The one I have is a 10” 9 pitch. I am very impressed with it and am now looking at tools I no longer use to sell and fund purchasing a couple more of their rasps! Anyway, more shaping.
One “tool” that was great for smoothing and forming the many shoulders was a blade from a Stanley 151 spokeshave. Glad I gave this a shot as it worked excellently.
After I completed smoothing and sanding one upright, I took notice of how much wood was removed and thought it would be a good idea to put the saw together and tension the blade to make sure the one finished upright could stand the stress. Of course it just fine. But I noticed a problem. Can you see what it is in this picture?
The dang toggle is just a tad short. I decided to do a through tenon on it and did not account for the extra coming out of the whorl. 1/8” too short. Well, like the stretcher, experience helped me knock out a new toggle. Also, since I had the saw together, I figured I would give it a test run. This baby will cut some nice tight stuff.
After I got all the pieces smoothed and fared, it was time to make the handles. I drilled the holes in the blanks to accept the brass fitting that would go inside it and then used a scrub plane to knock of the corners prior to turning.
I didn’t get any pics of turning the handles. I am very new at turning and somehow managed to get some pieces of wood to look like and perform like handles. I got lucky I guess. The brass pieces were epoxied into the handles as was the whorl to the toggle. I then applied a coat of boiled linseed oil and assembled it once it was dry. For the cat who talks smack about BLO, save it, not interested.
All in all, this was a very challenging project. The forming and shaping and getting this saw symmetrical was a ton of work. It isn’t perfect, for sure, but to get it to where it is was hard work. That coupled with turning handles definitely got me out of my comfort zone. I guess that makes this saw that much more special to me. I suspect it will perform as it should and will come back here to give a review after I live with it for a while.
Thanks for reading!