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Tom Law's Saws

I just brought his name up in my last post here, and now I see there is more on famed saw-sharpener Tom Law being brought up on the various forums.  It appears he's not doing too well. From a post by Dave Caudill on the WoodCentral Hand Tools Forum:


Hi Everyone, it has been quite a while since I have posted here but wanted to pass on some news to all of you. Tom Law a well known expert on handsaws and who has probably sharpened many of the folks who frequent this websites saws over the years is selling his entire saw collection as well as some other tools.

Tom called me the other day and asked if I could help him out. He informed that he is sick and in failing health and needs to sell his saw collection as soon as possible. His son is going to help him out selling them on e-bay in the coming weeks. I don't have an exact time but it should be soon and I will let everyone know as it gets closer. It is going to be under the moniker of "TomLawsSaws". Tom has over 700 saws and I've had the pleasure of seeing many of them. Many of them are rare or uncommon saws as well as many common saws. All are of high quality as that was what was most important to Tom since he was a finish carpenter for many years. There are also a number of saws that Tom has made custom made handles for. All as you would expect are expertly sharpened.

I didn't speak with Tom at length as he is not feeling well due to his illness which doctors have been unable to diagnose. I can't say with certainty but I would surmise that he may need to liquidate them for financial reasons. Regardless of the reason they are going to be sold and Tom needs some help and I knew the folks on this forum would be interested and willing to help.

I know some of you have met Tom at the PATINA tool show that is held every March in Damascus Maryland seeling his handsaws and have seen his video on saw sharpening. He also used to write articles on finish carpentry for Fine Homebuilding and some of you may remember him from that. If you've met him or spoke with him on the phone you know what a down to earth, kind and personable guy Tom is. I got to know him after sending him some saws to sharpen and next thing you know he's telling me I should just sharpen them myself. So I'd call Tom and end up on the phone talking saws and sharpening for hours. Tom always had time and was always willing to give some tips to anyone who would call and want to talk saws and saw sharpening.

What I'm asking of you folks is all your ideas of blogs and other forums where I can post this information or if you are willing to post this information so that as many folks as possble can bid on these saws. Tom is looking for help and I told him I would do what I can to make sure I get the word out to everyone I can. I in turn am asking all of you to help me but more importantly a fellow woodworker, tool enthusiast and wonderful individual. I am not in this for any financial gain I'm just trying to help a fellow friend who is in need.

If you have any ideas or would like to help by posting a message on other woodworking or old tool forums please let me know.

Thanks Everyone.

Dave Caudill
Olympia, WA


That is all I know right now - I will update this post with more information as it comes available, and provide links to the saws if and when they show up on Ebay (or wherever).

Till then, you might consider purchasing his video on sharpening hand saws, available through Tools for Working Wood as well as other fine woodworking establishments:

It is an excellent video - while it's content is not mind-blowing (nor should it be), it serves as an great introduction to sharpening saws.  Tom shows general techniques and methods for sharpening that should be known by all competent woodworkers.  His easy approach to the matter shows sharpening in the light in which it should be - as an everyday task in the workshop that is not at all mystifying or difficult as some would make it out to be;  rather just as a skill that takes some commitment to develop and - like all useful skills - requires some practice to do well.

I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to learn to sharpen their own saws (or even those that already do who are interested in the process), as watching someone as masterful as Mr. Law perform it will only lead to their own betterment and understanding of the process.  I haven't watched my copy in a while, but I'm thinking I'm going to dig it out this weekend to have another look at it;  perhaps I can give it a proper review that I can post here on Norse Woodsmith.

Here's hoping all goes well for Tom.  Stay tuned for further updates.