Making Backsaws

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Forum topic by bdbozyk posted 03-14-2017 07:34 PM 596 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View bdbozyk's profile


2 posts in 586 days

03-14-2017 07:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: saw backsaw saw making

My new woodworking obsession is making tools. I started with a mallet, squares, etc and now it’s escalated to backsaws that I don’t need, but I want to make. I’ve ordered a kit from Isaac at Blackburn tools and am planning on starting that this summer, but I was wondering if folks have tried to make components in their shops?

Specifically, I was wondering if anyone has successfully either slotted or bent a back, and how it went? I’m looking more for using typical woodworking shop tools, or at least attainable tools. (I could go buy several thousand dollars in metal working equipment to make a $200 saw, but I’m not there yet.)

Also, I know some folks have pieced together old Foley toothing machines, but has anyone successfully punched teeth via other methods that aren’t a hacksaw and file before sharpening. I saw Mr. Florip use a fly press on YouTube, which might be a method I try at some point. I would need a press, and to figure out the best way to make a triangle punch and die. Would hardened and tempered O1 tool steel work?

Thanks for any responses or links to discussions as I am curious as to what people are doing.

3 replies so far

View jmartel's profile


8155 posts in 2297 days

#1 posted 03-14-2017 07:44 PM

With a jig and the correct slot cutter in a drill press, you can slot a back. That’s all that Issac at Blackburn does. That being said, I haven’t done it myself. I just purchased the whole kit from him for the Tenon saw I built. If I was making more than one or two saws with the same blade thickness, I might. But so far I only have the one saw.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View PollyB's profile


11 posts in 1176 days

#2 posted 03-14-2017 10:06 PM

Slotted backs are one thing. Folded backs are quite another, far more to it than meets the eye. You should check out the information about backs at to get a taste (and then buy from Dominic there).

And of course if your new focus is authentic 18th/19th /Century tools, it’s folded backs you want. Slotted backs are sooo 20th Century.

-- PollyB, On my boat

View JADobson's profile


1207 posts in 2258 days

#3 posted 03-14-2017 10:25 PM

I’ve seen, but can’t remember where, someone who drilled and tapped holes in two pieces of brass and the plate and then used screws and epoxy to hold it in place. The screws were then filed flush. Not traditional but it seemed to work well enough and is suited to those of us without specialized tools.

No thoughts on cutting teeth. I’ve only ever done it with a file and that was not much fun.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

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