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Toolmaking

Folded Backs and Two Guys In A Garage

Two Guys In A Garage Tool Works is a pair of guys who happened upon a supply of spring steel scraps and, being woodworkers who loved hand tools, they hated to see the “scraps” going to waste - came upon the idea of re-purposing the steel into usable tools for the hand-tool crowd.  Card scrapers, specifically...  

As time has gone on, they've branched out into supplying spring steel plates for those who want to make their own hand saws, first supplying plates for stair saws then later expanding to larger saws and also saw-tooth pattern plates. Their plates come now with teeth pre-punched in a wide range of PPI and are ready for sharpening and setting.

I've linked to their web site before - Dom maintains an excellent library of saw handle templates online free for everyone to use.  I see they have also added brass split nuts and screws to their list of available products, which means they are only lacking one thing for all of the metal parts of a saw - the back!

It would seem they are now ready to remedy that.  Recently I was fortunate enough to be on a list of folks sent prototypes of their folded backs to evaluate and provide feedback. I am honored they would choose me as one to look at them. Here's what arrived:

Two of their prototype backs, and two 3" x 12" dovetail saw plates.  The sawplates have teeth stamped out at 13 PPI ready for sharpening and setting.  The teeth are wholly consistent, straight, and with a good rake angle for getting you started,

Using one of Dom's templates, a pair of their split nuts, some wood and one of their handle templates (or make your own) you have everything you need to make your own backsaw.   Read more about Folded Backs and Two Guys In A Garage

Saw Handle Templates available online

General:

A short public notice for all you sawmaking-types out there - Dominic, a saw-making enthusiast for some time now and one of the moderators over at the Woodnet Hand Tool Forum along with his partner Mike have put together a web site where he has PDF's of several classic saw handles available, as well making available for purchase some of the materials you may need.  Take a look!

TGIAG (Two Guys In A Garage) Toolworks

Read more about Saw Handle Templates available online

Saw Filing Templates

Something I am always asked for are the saw filing templates in PDF form that I made for my backsaw project.  They're the ones that are just lines on a page showing an angle to file a saw at or lines showing ppi to aid in cutting new teeth, like in this shot:

There were a few sizes missing - I made some additional templates to cover more sizes and angles, hopefully these will help you out.

I've compiled them all into one document and put them here:

Saw filing templates

They are all in PDF format - if you plot them without scaling them to fit the page (no scaling, in other words), they should print to scale properly.

EDIT:  For those daring types, here's a pair of progressive pitch templates, one for 6 ppi - 9 ppi Toe to Heel on a 9" (22.86cm) blade similar to Lie-Nielsen and another that is 7 – 13 PPI over 14” similar to their progressive-pitch filed tenon saw...

Progressive Saw Filing Templates

Have fun filing!

Leif Read more about Saw Filing Templates

Make Your Own Totes? An Interesting New Veritas Router Bit

 

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The Veritas Variable Round-over Bit
 

Do you make your own totes or tool handles?  It is one of the most time and labor intensive parts of toolmaking.  I find when making a saw, it probably took as much time to form the handle as it did to make the entire rest of the saw.

Today I see that Veritas, the manufacturing arm of Lee Valley, has come out with a new router bit the likes I haven't encountered before - a variable width round-over router bit.  Made specifically for handles, it promises to speed the process greatly...

Lee Valley has also come out with several templates of theirs and classic Stanley plane totes, free for download.

The instructions for the router bit are available here.

Kudos to Veritas.  This is the kind of forward thinking and customer oriented design we've come to expect from Lee Valley and Veritas.  They are constantly innovating and coming out with tools and products geared towards the hand tool user - and though this technically doesn't count as a hand tool itself, I think I can let that slide by this time. Read more about Make Your Own Totes? An Interesting New Veritas Router Bit

Marking and Cutting Gauges

 

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Figure 1. A freshly made set of marking and cutting gauges, ready for use.
 

 Have you ever had a favorite old tool that you have used absolutely forever, and weren't willing to give it up even though it's worn far past the point of usefulness?  I have two such tools - both, unfortunately, happen to be marking gauges.  One is an old Stanley #97 wheel marking gauge, the other a Stanley #77 mortise gauge.

This errant devotion to these old tools finally led to frustration when I realized that on the #77, the pins had worn down to the point that there wasn't enough pin left to mark anything with.  Over the years I had filed them down to tiny little nubs - there simply wasn't enough of them left to do the job anymore.

Something else - I didn't have a decent cutting gauge, something that I am going to need for my radio cabinet project.  Very similar to a marking gauge in construction, they use a knife blade rather than a pin to cut rather than mark the surface, and are often used when cutting veneer parallel to an edge when installing inlay.

I could buy all the gauges I wanted, but getting all I wanted would cost a bit of cash, and the way things are I figured it might be cheaper (and funner!) to make them myself.  Besides, I had all this brass stock laying around and also had this one, perfectly quartersawn piece of coco-bolo I have been hording since I found it years ago that was just begging to be used for some small tools just like these. Read more about Marking and Cutting Gauges

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by Dr. Radut