very short backsaw?

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Forum topic by 12strings posted 09-29-2012 01:01 PM 956 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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434 posts in 1850 days

09-29-2012 01:01 PM

What is the intended use of a short fat back-saw that is only about 8 inches long, but has a cutting depth of 3.5 inches before you hit the stiff back?

It seems an odd shape with no benifits?

I recently got one from a yard sale for $1 to practice my sharpening…but am not really sure what the saw is for.

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

8 replies so far

View StumpyNubs's profile


6856 posts in 2266 days

#1 posted 09-29-2012 01:07 PM

A photo would help.

Maybe you are referring to a stair saw? They were used to cut dadoes for staircases, but a lot of woodworkers used them for grooves and dadoes in general too.

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View Smallcrafter's profile


36 posts in 1564 days

#2 posted 09-29-2012 01:07 PM

Have a pic? This sounds like a dovetail saw. Is it Japanese?

-- 'The lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne.' - Chaucer

View rance's profile


4245 posts in 2626 days

#3 posted 09-29-2012 02:15 PM

Great idea for practicing sharpening. A special purpose tool most likely. Stumpy, now that is one cool tool. Worth just hanging up in the shop to admire.

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

View bhack's profile


349 posts in 3186 days

#4 posted 09-29-2012 02:45 PM

I can’t resist. Cut Wood?

-- Bill - If I knew GRANDKIDS were so much fun I would have had them first.

View 12strings's profile


434 posts in 1850 days

#5 posted 09-29-2012 06:12 PM

It’s not that uncommon…I’ve seen them before…I just see no advantages to this saw shape over one that is a bit longer.

Pic here: (example only…mine is not a diston)

-- I'm strictly hand-tool only...unless the power tool is faster and easier!

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4456 posts in 3426 days

#6 posted 09-29-2012 07:50 PM

Can I have it if you’re unhappy?


View Gary Roberts's profile

Gary Roberts

140 posts in 2487 days

#7 posted 10-01-2012 05:25 AM

It’s used for cutting dovetails as well as small tenons. Mostly, these were named and used for dovetails. If anyone doesn’t want theirs, just send them to me.

-- Gary Roberts,

View dhazelton's profile


2325 posts in 1762 days

#8 posted 10-01-2012 12:30 PM


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