New Handle for an Old Saw

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Project by summerfi posted 01-29-2014 02:27 PM 2472 views 6 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I acquired this 19th century British handsaw made by Taylor Brothers, it had a non-original handle that a previous owner had mangled. I made this new handle out of figured walnut. I also made the brass split-nuts and screws (except for the medallion) that attach the handle to the blade.

There’s a story behind this piece of walnut. In 1963, when I was 13 years old, my dad and oldest brother made a trip up to the mountains of Virginia to pick up a load of walnut lumber to make kitchen cabinets for the new house my brother was building. There were a few boards left over. Dad was a hoarder of nice wood, and these boards remained in his shop for the rest of his life. In 2003, a few years after his death, I made a trip back to Virginia to load up all the tools and lumber I could stuff into my 3/4 ton pickup. These walnut boards were among the wood I brought home. There are 5 boards, each about 17” wide, 9’ long and rough sawn to about 1 1/8” thick. This handle is the first project I’ve made from these boards, and after aging for 51 years, it should be well seasoned.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works

25 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


6417 posts in 2018 days

#1 posted 01-29-2014 02:36 PM

Looks perfect.

View bondogaposis's profile


3969 posts in 1771 days

#2 posted 01-29-2014 02:41 PM

Really nice job on that handle.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


2296 posts in 1828 days

#3 posted 01-29-2014 02:45 PM

Nice work, great back story of where the wood came from.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

17875 posts in 1987 days

#4 posted 01-29-2014 02:47 PM

Man that handle looks so nice! Well done.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Nicholas Hall's profile

Nicholas Hall

350 posts in 1526 days

#5 posted 01-29-2014 02:50 PM

Looks fantastic and I bet it feels even better in the hand. Nice upgrade!

-- Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read. -Groucho Marx

View BTimmons's profile


2298 posts in 1905 days

#6 posted 01-29-2014 02:56 PM

Beautiful work, cool story too!

-- Brian Timmons -

View Handtooler's profile


1356 posts in 1552 days

#7 posted 01-29-2014 03:15 PM

That’s an ABSOLUTELY SUPER bit of craftsmanship. You’ve really done yourself proud. Thanks for the background. Is the pattern available for copy? I really like it’s shape. And did you blog the fabrication of the split nuts and screws?

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View Slyy's profile


2400 posts in 1075 days

#8 posted 01-29-2014 03:24 PM

A stunning piece of work Bob!

-- Jake -- "Not only do we live among the stars, the stars live within us." - Neil Degrasse Tyson

View a1Jim's profile


115172 posts in 2997 days

#9 posted 01-29-2014 03:26 PM

You really have a handle on making handles,beautiful wood and a great job.

-- Custom furniture

View theoldfart's profile


7935 posts in 1871 days

#10 posted 01-29-2014 03:28 PM

Fine work Bob, even clocked the screws I see!

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View summerfi's profile


3261 posts in 1107 days

#11 posted 01-29-2014 03:41 PM

Thanks for the nice comments everyone.

Russell – I copied the pattern from another British saw I have. I actually laid that saw on the photocopier. What I would suggest is that you take my handle picture above and turn it into a pattern. If that doesn’t work let me know and I’ll photocopy my pattern and mail it to you. I didn’t make a blog on the screws, but there is an extensive discussion of it here starting at post #5380 on the Saws, using, collecting, cleaning, buying thread.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works

View Handtooler's profile


1356 posts in 1552 days

#12 posted 01-29-2014 05:04 PM

Many thanks, BOB. Again great work.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View luv2learn's profile


2409 posts in 1722 days

#13 posted 01-29-2014 05:36 PM

Bob, what a wonderful story and what a beautifully crafted saw handle. Well done!!

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View john2005's profile


1741 posts in 1598 days

#14 posted 01-29-2014 06:18 PM

That looks pretty sweet Bob! Love the look, love the story!

-- In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 1847 days

#15 posted 01-29-2014 09:43 PM

That handle is a work of art, almost too nice to use.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

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