New backsaw handle

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Project by JasonD posted 10-15-2010 05:45 AM 1898 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My crosscut backsaw is an inexpensive Stanley miter saw. It cuts well enough, but I wasn’t crazy about the plastic handle. I took some measurements, sketched a new design up, got a piece of 4/4 red oak out of my scrap bin, and got to work.

The first pic is the finished handle, sitting overnight to let the BLO I finished it with dry. The second piece is a test fit of the blade slot after it was rough cut, but before I chamfered the edges and smoothed it over. The shaping / smoothing was done with a paring chisel, a gouge, and two rasps (1 rough cut, 1 fine cut).

4 comments so far

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3355 days

#1 posted 10-15-2010 07:27 AM

hey that is a good looking handleform :-)
just wondering if you have rounded the the chamfered it enoff
but that can be done later

so congrat´s with your new toy :-)


View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3299 days

#2 posted 10-15-2010 01:21 PM

Cool shape to the handle. One caution. Based on my research of how handles have been made historically, as well as having made a few saw handles, the grain of the wood should generally run in the direction of the saw stroke for maximum strength. The way you have the grain running currently puts the grain in it’s weakest orientation at the location it will receive the most force/stress, therefore increasing the chance that the handle will break in use. In short, you need the grain to be running perpendicular to the way that you have it currently. Here is a link to a similar handle that I posted a while back if you would like to see what I am referring to:


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View JasonD's profile


180 posts in 3102 days

#3 posted 10-15-2010 06:05 PM

@Dennis, Thanks. As for the chamfering / rounding, I tested it in my hand throughout the process and stopped once it felt “right”. No doubt, I could have rounded the handle more, but I used it a bit since last night and it feels comfortable in my hand.

@Doc, thanks for the info. I have to admit that I wondered if the grain direction mattered, but didn’t research it beforehand. No worries though. This was just a fun scrapwood project and my main motivation for woodworking is the opportunity to learn new things. I DEFINITELY learned a bunch on this little project. My dovetail saw is a small Gents saw and I think I’m going to replace the straight handle with one similar to this one next. I’ll make sure to have the grain run with the stroke of the saw on that one. Thanks again!

View swirt's profile


3566 posts in 3212 days

#4 posted 10-15-2010 09:03 PM

Nice redo on that modern Stanley saw. My son has the same saw. I’m a bigger fan of the cam-clamping miter box that it comes with than I am with the saw itself. The way they punched the teeth out on the press, they are all twisted slightly rather than cut. A little bit of time sharpening it improves its performance a lot.
Doc is right about the grain direction.

-- Galootish log blog,

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