I purchased this interesting backsaw on eBay for a song. I was the only bidder, probably due to the saw’s poor condition and the fact the seller didn’t mention the brass back. I think other potential bidders passed because they didn’t realize what...
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2236 posts in 656 days
Location: Missoula, Montana
My avatar picture is my great great grandfather, Benjamin F. Summerfield, Jr. As far as I can document, he was the first carpenter in my ancestry. I do not know for certain the occupation of his father, Benjamin F. Summerfield, Sr., or his grandfather, Richard Summerfield. Richard was the first Summerfield in my family to immigrate from England, in the 1760's, and his wife, Sarah Wilson, was born in 1749 in Sheffield, England, that great city of steel making and tool manufacturing. I would imagine, therefore, that earlier members of my family also had strong ties to working wood with hand tools. It is in my genes.
My grandfather, Seth M. Summerfield, Sr., was a carpenter by trade and an excellent craftsman by hobby. He especially enjoyed furniture making and gunsmithing, and he even made a few violins. For many years, his job was working on the restoration/recreation of buildings at Colonial Williamsburg. My father, Seth M. Summerfield, Jr., was also a carpenter, but midway through life he became an outstanding luthier, making violins, guitars, mandolins, and banjos. He was the most gifted craftsman I have ever known. Fortunately for me, I grew up in his shop. Prior to leaving home for college, I was there nearly every day, learning from Dad, and working on some project or another. As a teen, I built guns, archery bows, musical instruments, and many other items that any accomplished adult would be proud to claim.
When I became an adult, time commitments of job and family kept me from continuing woodworking on a grand scale. The projects I undertook were mostly out of necessity - either building our homes or building furniture to stock our homes. My job required moving every few years, so establishing a meaningful shop was difficult during those years as well.
Now I am retired. I have a new large shop. And for the first time in a very long time, I have the time to do what I want. I am enjoying getting my shop set up the way I want it, and putting all my tools, which have been neglected over the years, back in top working order. I have inherited some of my Dad's and Granddad's tools, and I treasure most the tools they made themselves. I am also cultivating an interest in vintage tools, and have been acquiring and restoring a few to complete my shop as well as just to enjoy and pass on to others. I'm looking forward to getting back into quality woodworking in a more serious fashion. I don't know exactly what projects lie ahead, but I'm sure they will be fun and educational while also hopefully being useful and beautiful.
Note: If you are a visitor to this site (i.e. not a signed-in member of Lumberjocks) you may see advertisements linked to some of my text. These were not put there by me. They were added by the site owners to generate additional revenue. In my opinion, it is unethical for them to modify what I have written, but there is little I can do about it short of not using the site.
-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works http://www.rmsaws.com/p/about-us.html
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Latest Projects | view all 13 »
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This blog will document the making of two sets of 11 saws each. It will be updated as additional saws are completed, so visit often to see what’s been added. Currently, saw #2, the table saw, has been completed. If you’ve read this blog befo...
Authors: This blog was co-written by Lumberjocks summerfi (Bob Summerfield, saw restorer) and putty (Alan Brough, saw owner).. BackgroundNot long ago, putty posted pictures of an old Disston backsaw on the saw thread (post #8575), asking for ad...
I picked up an old Disston No. 9 rip saw with a 30” blade at an auction last summer. The faint etch and size and position of the screw holes date the saw to 1871 – 1876. However, it had a crude user-made handle that needed to be replaced. B...
I’ve enjoyed rust hunting at yard sales and flea markets this summer. It’s an activity both my wife and I can participate in. I look for old tools, and she looks for things that interest her. The danger in that, though, is that she som...