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Cherry Wood Backsaw Handle

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Project by Jennings_Homestead posted 08-18-2016 02:45 AM 864 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently picked up a cheap saw from one of our local Habitat for Humanity Restore shops for $2. I wanted an inexpensive one to mess around with and become familiar with sharpening techniques. In the process, I became enthralled with the world of quality, antique saws and so I decided that I ought to dress up this cheap-o saw with a handle based on photos of an mid-1800s style Disston backsaw. Using the holes and overall shape of the original handle as a starting point, I added some of the features of the vintage saws that I found to be the most attractive – In particular, the long sweeping tails on either side of the grip and the lambs-tongue below the fasteners.

As part of the “experiment” I tried etching the plate. With the help of my wife and her Cricut cutter, I created some simple stencils and began the etching process. The design isn’t quite as intricate as I originally had hoped for, but the process worked and now I can move onto more detailed stencils.

The handle is made from 5/4 Cherry that has been finished with a low-gloss Danish oil. The plate has been scrubbed clean with 400-grit + mineral spirits.

-- Martin, Twitter @IowaHomestead or Instragram @JenningsHomestead





12 comments so far

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

923 posts in 1780 days


#1 posted 08-18-2016 08:02 AM

Well done! That looks really nice and I assume is a great improvement on the original.
Jim

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

16957 posts in 2657 days


#2 posted 08-18-2016 08:14 AM

Well done, looks great.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View swirt's profile

swirt

2118 posts in 2440 days


#3 posted 08-18-2016 01:29 PM

That’s very nice. A great looking saw. Can you describe which etching process you used?

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View PPK's profile

PPK

212 posts in 277 days


#4 posted 08-18-2016 01:55 PM

Yes, Ditto to swirt – how do you etch?? Great build. That looks like a very comfortable handle. and pretty too.

-- Pete

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23214 posts in 2334 days


#5 posted 08-18-2016 05:56 PM

Martin, that is a sweet looking saw and that handle is real special. The saw turned out quite beautifully. Congratulations and welcome to Lumberjocks.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View MikeUT's profile

MikeUT

123 posts in 827 days


#6 posted 08-18-2016 08:15 PM


As part of the “experiment” I tried etching the plate. With the help of my wife and her Cricut cutter, I created some simple stencils and began the etching process. The design isn t quite as intricate as I originally had hoped for, but the process worked and now I can move onto more detailed stencils.

- bojangles043

Great idea on the stencil!! I have wanted to try etching for a while but I can’t draw and I didn’t think of asking my wife to make me one with her Cricut. Did you use vinyl as the material for etching? What did you use for the etching medium? I’m going to have to try this out.

View Jennings_Homestead's profile

Jennings_Homestead

28 posts in 153 days


#7 posted 08-18-2016 10:13 PM

@MikeUT – Yea, the stencil material we used was a vinyl with self-adhesive backing. I did use painters tape to make sure I fully masked the stencil and didn’t get any of the etching compound on the saw plate. The etching compound was just glass etching material. Its a bit paste-like and it had to sit on the blade for 20~30 minutes. My only dissappointment with the Cricut was how large its minimum font size was and the lacking variety of font per cartridge – I may have to look at other alternatives for stencils in the future.


Great idea on the stencil!! I have wanted to try etching for a while but I can t draw and I didn t think of asking my wife to make me one with her Cricut. Did you use vinyl as the material for etching? What did you use for the etching medium? I m going to have to try this out.
- MikeUT

-- Martin, Twitter @IowaHomestead or Instragram @JenningsHomestead

View Grumpymike's profile

Grumpymike

1919 posts in 1783 days


#8 posted 08-18-2016 11:41 PM

I used to etch glass back in the day, and I used contact paper, like the shelf paper, and put it on a light table over the pattern. Then I traced around the pattern with an 5mm pencil. ... Then I stuck the contact paper to the glass and cut out the pattern with an Xacto fitted with a #10 blade, removing the parts to be etched.

Give you any ideas???

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile

woodbutcherbynight

2465 posts in 1877 days


#9 posted 08-19-2016 02:47 AM

Excellent, makes me want to get out and get mine done finally. Ah the list is never ending….. LOL

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View JPJ's profile

JPJ

814 posts in 2088 days


#10 posted 08-21-2016 01:20 AM

Nice job!

View ki7hy's profile

ki7hy

503 posts in 207 days


#11 posted 08-23-2016 08:55 PM

I think the new cricut things do better than the old cartridge ones. I just bought my wife a new one and she designs everything on the ipad and prints it out. Plus they have a whole online section of all the stuff that comes on the cartridges that your wife is spending a fortune on. The online thing however costs like $100 a year. It’s worth it for a crafter I suppose. I have my wife do different things for the shop too and she gets excited for a “new tool” like I do so it works.

Just a suggestion.

Handle looks fantastic, I have a couple to make myself.

View Jennings_Homestead's profile

Jennings_Homestead

28 posts in 153 days


#12 posted 08-25-2016 12:57 AM

Great idea ki7hy! I’m sure my wife wouldn’t be opposed to a new gadget for her sewing projects and that’s just the ruse I’ll use to sell the idea to her!

-- Martin, Twitter @IowaHomestead or Instragram @JenningsHomestead

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