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Hand Tools

Oil Stone Boxes


 Here's a simple and quick litte project - so simple, I normally might not have bothered posting about it, but since I haven't been posting much lately I thought it might make for a good page or two.

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:

Sloped Gullets: The Finer Points of Sharpening

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 I find it hard, even after many years, to carry on a conversation about "sloping gullets" with at least a little chuckle.   Not at how it refers to a certain method of sharpening a hand saw mind you - its more that every time I hear the phrase "sloping gullet", I can't help but think of some sort of deformed fish...

That, and when researching the origins of this icthyological pursuit, I ran across a reference to a photo of a WWII era front-line French infantry "installation" (actually a shack the infantrymen had set up as a bar) called "L'Auberge des Gosiers en Pente" - or "The Inn of the Sloping Gullets" - that is to say, always thirsty... (from "The French in love and war: popular culture in the era of the World Wars" By Charles Rearick)

When sharpening a saw, there are several angles you are concerned with. The terms associated with these angles which are most important to this conversation include rake, fleam, and of course - slope (as shown in the graphic above -you can click on any of the images to see a larger, clearer version).  I'll try not to go into too heavy technical detail on saw sharpening as that's another subject, and it's been well covered by others... as well as myself.

Saw Vises - Old and New

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Figure 1. The New Saw Vise from Gramercy Tools

 I don't think there's been a decent saw vise on the market in decades.  Sometime in the 60's, most all hand tools went out of favor with the advent of portable, reliable, and relatively cheap electric motors for use in powered hand tools such as circular saws and the like.  Hand saws became so very old school and fell out favor, so the market for them - along with the tools for maintaining them - dried up.

But - because they were so commonly used before, there's been a plethora of old saw vises to fill the void.  With the old school methods making a comeback, and age or wear claiming the life of them more and more, those tools have been getting fewer and fewer. 

Someone has stepped in.  Gramercy Tools is introducing a new saw vise, one worthy of the vises of old.  It looks impressive. 

Based on an old Wentworth saw vise design from the late 19th Century and made from heavy bar (or sheet, depending on how you look at it)steel (not cast) the vise looks to be the only really decent vise available new today.  Certainly it's far above quality wise than any other new vises that I've seen.

A Bad Axe update


Mark from sent me an update on his new line of "Bad Axe" saws - I thought it might interest some of you - so I thought I would share it here.  Here's the latest:

Moving ever onward. Thought I’d share some pics with you of the latest developments. Still working out some finish and back issues, but am almost there. With luck, I should still start shipping at the end of the month. At any rate, there’s been major headway this month, and as soon as I get my saw backs at 100%, I’m ready to go into production.


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