Notches in hands saws and plane irons

  • Advertise with us

« back to Power Tools, Hardware and Accessories forum

Forum topic by Brett posted 05-06-2011 08:10 PM 907 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Brett's profile


660 posts in 2101 days

05-06-2011 08:10 PM

I bought two vintage saws recently that each had three little notches cut or filed into the top edge of the saw, just in front of the handle. I’ve also seen a vintage plane iron with three similar notches filed into it (on the side, near the top). Anybody know why this was done? Was it for identification reasons?

-- More tools, fewer machines.

6 replies so far

View Bertha's profile


12989 posts in 2111 days

#1 posted 05-06-2011 08:11 PM

I’ve always assumed it was just a craftsman’s mark to separate his tools from the others. Maybe it’s cryptic Mayan code. If you decipher, please share:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Grandpa's profile


3256 posts in 2093 days

#2 posted 05-07-2011 04:13 AM

These were factory. I have seen them too. Not sure what they represent but I am pretty sure they are not for indenity purposes unless it was for the craftsman that worked them during manufacture.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10850 posts in 2533 days

#3 posted 05-14-2011 05:22 PM

View rance's profile


4243 posts in 2578 days

#4 posted 05-14-2011 06:13 PM

Actually, its there on purpose. You know when you buy a button down shirt, it often has spare buttons sewn in at the bottom so when you loose a button, you can simply clip one off the bottom and replace the missing button? Same with the saw. if you break a tooth off, then simply nip off that ‘spare tooth’ on the top and use it to replace the broken off tooth. Of all you hand-tool fanatics out there, you kill me with your lack of real world knowledge. :) Thank you, thank you very much.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 3545 days

#5 posted 05-14-2011 06:45 PM

Depending on where and how they are placed on a saw, these are sometimes called “woodpecker teeth.” They are used to scratch a starting cut line.

-- 温故知新

View Grandpa's profile


3256 posts in 2093 days

#6 posted 05-14-2011 07:38 PM

Thank you Dennis. I haven’t lost any sleep over this but I like to learn interesting tidbits.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

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