Monday, September 23, 2019

Unusual Etches on Disston Backsaws

Ever see a saw etch that was turned 90 degrees from normal? I've recently restored a Disston No. 7 backsaw that has one. In trying to discover why, the saw owner and I have discovered a few more examples of these oddly etched backsaws. We've written up our observations in a short article you can read here.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Saw

I bought me a saw at the second hand store
It cost me two bucks; wouldn’t pay no more

The handle is weathered and the horns are busted
The blade ain’t straight and it’s pretty well rusted

There’s a disk on the handle with a little brass seagull
Oops! My bad, it looks more like an eagle

The teeth are dull; some are big and some small
From their looks they were set with a splitting maul

There’s a thing near the end that a feller called a nib
He could be right, or he coulda told a fib

Don’t worry if you’re thinking that my saw sounds inferior
The storekeeper told me that it’s warranted superior

                                                       - Bob Summerfield

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Vernon & Co. Handsaw

Most American sawmakers sold their saws under a variety of brand names. Wheeler, Madden & Clemson was no exception. Their 1871 catalog lists saws branded You Bet, Vernon & Co., Speir & Co., and L. Wheeler in addition to their main Wheeler, Madden & Clemson line. I acquired a Vernon & Co. No. 10 saw plate several months back that had no handle. The picture of this saw in the catalog shows it to have a steel side plate on the handle.

I'm not a huge fan of steel side plates, and since this is not a valuable collector saw, I decided to make a new handle more to my liking. I used some of the figured Norway maple that was cut on my sawmill, and I enhanced the grain with amber dye. The results are pretty stunning.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

The French Mitre Saw -- Scie à Recaler

A friend recently sent me an antique French mitre saw, or scie à recaler, for restoration. His saw had been around the block a few times and rightly had the true appearance of an antique. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to make one. I ended up making three, and two of them are now listed for sale on my Saws for Sale page.

When it comes to woodworking, the French have traditionally done things a bit different than their British or American counterparts. The use of frame saws instead of handsaws is one example. When it comes to cutting miters, instead of a miter saw and miter box they adopted the scie à recaler and the boite à recaler, literally the saw to recalibrate and box to recalibrate. In that sense, recalibrate relates to sawing the desired angle. We call the boite à recaler a miter jack. This type of saw can also be used to make 90 degree cuts in a device known as a flat jack. In the drawing below, the flat jack is above and the miter jack is below. Both are called boites à recaler.

The pictures below are of the three scies à recaler I made. Two are 20" in length and one is 18". I'm not aware of anyone else in the world currently making this type of saw, so a new one is probably a pretty rare thing. Antique ones are not very plentiful either.



Thursday, January 31, 2019

New Handle for an Old Saw

This Henry Disston saw plate with an inchworm name stamp and the initials H.D. (for Henry Disston) stamped on the heel needed a new handle. I figure the saw dates to the early 1850s and was probably made by old Henry himself. I made the new handle out of figured Norway maple that I cut on my sawmill three years ago. I think Henry would approve of how it turned out.