LumberJocks

Saws: Restoring, Collecting, Using – My 7 Month Journey

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by summerfi posted 102 days ago 1166 reads 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Saws: Restoring, Collecting, Using – My 7 Month Journey

It has been seven months since my first post on Lumberjocks. The motivation for that first post was to try to locate a medallion for a $3 British-made handsaw I purchased on eBay. Little did I know at the time what lay ahead for me on the journey of saw restoration and collecting.

Photo: My $3 saw that started it all.
.

Now, with summer coming on and my attention, of necessity, turning more towards catching up on all my outside chores and my summertime job of working on forest fires, my work on saws will likely slow down for a few months. This seems like a good time to pause and reflect on what has occurred over the past 7 months.

First, in the middle of those 7 months I underwent a major foot surgery that kept me out of the shop for about two months. So really, we’re talking about 5 months of actual work on saws. During the two months I was immobile, though, I did a lot of studying and planning on the subject of saws.

Photo: My foot after surgery.
.

While I’ve used handsaws virtually all of my 65 year life, I previously gave them little thought. They were simply tools to do a job. I didn’t know a lot about them except how to use them to saw a board. I’ve learned a lot on this journey, including these things:

+ The history of American and British saws and saw makers
+ The types of saws and what they are used for
+ Techniques for restoring saws
+ How to sharpen saws
+ How to make saw plates, saw handles, and brass split-nut saw screws and assemble them into a saw.
.

Photo: Home made saw screws and handle.
.

At the outset of this journey, I decided to play a little game by trying to acquire some quality saws at no cost. My plan was to buy saws either locally or on eBay, restore them, sell the ones I didn’t want, and use the money to pay for the ones I decided to keep. It’s not that I couldn’t afford to buy saws. I just felt taking this no-cost approach would make the adventure more fun – and it has. As of today, I am more than $100 in the black in this little game. All the profits I make are turned back into saws or other old tools.

To date I’ve sold a total of 16 saws that I restored. Here is a complete list:

(2) Disston D-8 handsaws
(2) Disston later model backsaws
Disston D-8 panel saw
Disston No. 7 handsaw
Disston No. 7 panel saw
Great Northern Railway saw (unknown maker)
Jackson backsaw
Keen Kutter handsaw
Norvell’s Fast Mail panel saw
Supplee Hardware handsaw
Charles Woollen handsaw
Robert Sorby handsaw
Atkins handsaw
Simonds handsaw

That’s over two saws per month, and that alone would be a pretty good accomplishment for the past 7 months. But what about the saws I’ve kept? I’ll present them here in two lists: British and American.
.

British Saws

1. Drabble & Sanderson (New plate added)
2. Thomas Flinn (Brass spine is original; all other parts were made by me.)
3. Taylor Brothers (New handle made by me.)
4. Spear & Jackson
5. Wheatman & Smith
6. Robert Sorby
7. Thomas White
8. J. Beardshaw & Son (Unrestored)
9. I. Fearn (Unrestored)
10 Reproduction Smith’s Key Saw (Plate is repurposed from another saw. Handle made by me)
11. J. Taylor & Son rip
12. J. Taylor & Son crosscut
13. Richard Groves & Son (New plate added.)
14. Spear & Jackson (New handle made by me.)
.

American Saws

1. Henry Disston & Sons
2. Richardson Brothers
3. Harvey W. Peace
4. Richardson Brothers
5. Josiah Bakewell
6. Holley, Mason, Marks & Co. Hardware
7. Small saw made from a worn out Disston D-8 plate. Sycamore handle made by me.

That’s a lot of saws for the short time I’ve been doing this! But as they say, it’s a labor of love, and it has given me a lot of enjoyment and a strong sense of accomplishment. It’s a good feeling when I look at the “keeper” saws resting in my saw till or take one out and make an effortless cut through a board. The things I’ve learned about restoring and sharpening saws are equally satisfying.

So what lies ahead on this journey? I’ll still keep my eyes open for saw bargains over the next few months, and restore a few as time allows. My goal, though, is to begin making saws. The restorations I’ve done were excellent practice and a huge help in developing the requisite skill set for saw making. I’d like to make a complete set of matching saws ranging from the smallest dovetail saw to the largest rip handsaw. That, however, will have to wait until the snow begins falling next winter.

I’d like to thank my friends on Lumberjocks for their inspiration, encouragement, and knowledge sharing along the way on my saw journey. Those who frequent the Saws, using collecting, cleaning and buying thread are especially appreciated.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Of all the tools I own, my favorite is a good sharp pocket knife. - My Dad



11 comments so far

View JayT's profile

JayT

2182 posts in 842 days


#1 posted 102 days ago

Great write-up, Bob. Love the saw collection and appreciate your willingness to share the knowledge you’ve picked up. I do have to hate you, however, for encouraging another tool category to collect. :-)

-- "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money." Alexis de Tocqueville, 1835

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1107 posts in 600 days


#2 posted 102 days ago

Wow! That was a really great read there. Thanks for sharing that

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View Tim's profile

Tim

1242 posts in 592 days


#3 posted 102 days ago

Bob those have all turned out great. Even better seeing the detailed restore posts. They are some lucky saws that you found them. Mine should have it so good.

View summerfi's profile (online now)

summerfi

967 posts in 318 days


#4 posted 102 days ago

Thanks guys.

Tim – you were the first to respond to my original post and you encouraged me to participate in the saw thread. Without you, I may never have taken this path. Thanks bud.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Of all the tools I own, my favorite is a good sharp pocket knife. - My Dad

View Brit's profile

Brit

5125 posts in 1474 days


#5 posted 102 days ago

Ah you can’t beat a good saw can you Bob and you have amassed quite a few nice saws there. I always love reading about your posts. You have a talent for writing sir. Long may it continue.

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

1678 posts in 934 days


#6 posted 102 days ago

Bob, it is nice to have you as a resource for hand saws. Thanks for the information and a glimpse into your hand saw journey.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

14864 posts in 1198 days


#7 posted 102 days ago

Bob your writing is right up there with your saw restorations.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Tim's profile

Tim

1242 posts in 592 days


#8 posted 102 days ago

You’re very welcome, Bob.

View BigRedKnothead's profile

BigRedKnothead

4734 posts in 613 days


#9 posted 102 days ago

Great stuff Bob. You’ve been a wonderful addition to this madhouse. I’m proud to have one of your saws in my shop, and I’m looking forward to watching you make your own.

-- Red -- "That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse." W. Whitman

View racerglen's profile

racerglen

2295 posts in 1411 days


#10 posted 102 days ago

Nicely done Bob, well written, and only 7 months, less the foot pause ?
You have some serious skill level there.

-- Glen, Vernon B.C. Canada

View walden's profile

walden

597 posts in 653 days


#11 posted 15 days ago

Great post Bob!

-- "When and if the day comes a lion is on my roof, I am hiring a realtor." ShaneA

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase