Monday, September 25, 2006

Sore

An impressionable person can only take seeing so many gorgeous beech saw handles before they crack and have to make one themselves. Wenzloff & Sons are the guilty parties. Well Wenzlof Snr anyway... All the things I was going to do this weekend, and I spend it doing this. Oh, and filing a couple of saws for someone. Silly really; this blade was from an unlovely looking saw that The Tall Scotsman insisted I had to take (along with another) if I wanted the saw I actually desired to buy. So I did. The other saw had a more useful tooth count and a thinner plate, but was pitted all to hell and thus of little use. But this one, to my chagrin, cleaned up beautifully. And just to add insult to injury the bend in the toe straightened out like a dream. Why does that never happen for a saw you want to rescue? So anyway, there I had an unremarkable (but tapered, to be fair) blade with an ugly handle and 6 ppi. Looking at me, reproachfully. For weeks. Then pictures of Mike's saws modeled after the John Kenyon ones in the Seaton tool chest are all over the 'net, making me drool. The last straw was a thread of various people's saw handle-making on UK Workshop. For the love of Norm, am I made of stone?!

So I went a bit mad and kind of Kenyonesqued it, in a way. I gave the blade a nib and rounded the toe sort of like the old saws.



Then made, with infinite effort out of all proportion to the value of the saw to me, a beech tote of London-ish pattern. And removed half the skin on my fingers and thumbs from the rasp in the process; at least that's what it felt like. Sharp blighter, that Auriou.



The handle came out all together too modern-looking in the end, and doesn't have those large plain cheeks I like so much, but it's not bad and at least my lamb's tongues are getting a bit better...

So now the question is do I sharpen it and make it a half rip? Or recut the teeth to a tooth count I'm more likely to use? Or is a 6 ppi crosscut actually useful? As ever, any thoughts, whims or fancies welcome in the comments box. On topic ones for preference, but I'm not fussy...

5 comments:

  1. That handle is really beautiful, Alf. Hope I can make a handle that looks that good one day.

    Paul Chapman

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  2. Mike Wenzloff (MikeW)9/25/2006 07:56:00 pm

    Hey Alf,

    I use 4 1/2 to 6 ppi cross cut saws for rough cutting to length as well as rough breakdown of sheet goods, typically Baltic Birch. Use 'em all the time.

    On the 6 ppi, I filed it with lots of fleam [~30 degrees] and about a 25 degree rake. To me, the lessened break out offsets the once in a while touch up as I can cut fairly close to a line. It also is never used on sheet goods.

    Take care, Mike

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  3. Ah, Mike, that's brilliant. Just the detailed info I was fishing for - you know me too well! I'm still slightly in two minds though, 'cos as it happens I shall be passing the saw doc tomorrow, and while I wouldn't trust him to sharpen a penknife, recutting teeth shouldn't be beyond his machine's abilities. And if I don't grab the opportunity now, I'll have missed it for the forseeable future... Decisions, decisions.

    Paul, just give it a go - I couldn't have done it once upon a time, not so long ago either. Avoid lamb's tongues though; pesky little blighters to do.

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  4. Mike Wenzloff (MikeW)9/26/2006 03:32:00 pm

    Well, in that case, there is a reason why so many 8 ppi saws exist. It is use full. Phil's is a 9 I believe.

    Most anything above 9 ppi I have are shorter saws. In my own use, I look at ppi and length as related issues. For instance, the only time I use 10 and 11 ppi handsaws is once the scale of the work diminishes and the cuts are needing to be more precise and so my saws at those ppi are typically 22" and shorter. They too are sharpened about the same as my 6 ppi I mentioned.

    Take care, Mike

    ReplyDelete
  5. Will do, Alf. Your handles and that one by ColinC have inspired me. I've got a load of mahogany-type wood in the garage from a staircase I replaced, so it won't matter if I mess up the first few. Want to replace the handle on that Spear & Jackson backsaw I showed you - then on to the sharpening........

    Paul Chapman

    ReplyDelete

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