|Project by DHS||posted 11-27-2012 12:09 AM||3911 views||25 times favorited||18 comments|
I had been searching for a vintage tenon saw for months but could not find one I liked. So, I decided to just build one. After all, how hard could it be? It turned out to be both easier and more difficult than I imagined. The spring steel saw plate was a piece of cake. I ordered one from Wenzloff and Sons (http://www.wenzloffandsons.com). It was relatively inexpensive and they even cut the teeth for me (11 ppi). The handle was trickier but I took my time and after one false start I managed to fashion one out of some figured cherry from the cut-off bin. I copied a handle from an old Disston back saw, but gave it a slightly more aggressive hang. I cut the handle to shape using a bandsaw, scroll saw, and drill press. I carefully shaped it using rasps, files, chisels, and lots of sanding. Cutting the slot for the blade was probably the most challenging part. I used a thin-bladed carcass saw that cut a kerf the same width as the tenon-saw blade.
By far, the most difficult operation was folding the brass spine. It was much harder than I had expected. I went through a few pieces of brass before I got it right. In the end, I used 2” wide 0.093” thick formable brass (Alloy 260, McMaster-Carr). I visited a friend of mine in his machine shop to bend it (see collage of photos). I made the initial fold using a sheet metal bending brake. I carefully squashed the spine some more using an arbor press. I then hammered it like crazy against an anvil to flatten it. It took a lot of sanding to remove the mallet marks. And it took a lot of bending and tweaking to get it straight. I tapped it onto the back of the saw plate with a mallet.
After setting and sharpening the teeth, I’ve got one serious tenon saw. If you are interested in making a saw like this, there are a few web resources that I found quite useful.
-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA