Patternmaker's Saw and a Refurbished D-8
The small saw in the middle of the picture is my version of a Disston Patternmaker's saw:
The lower is a 9" long dovetail saw I made with new .020" thick spring steel - beech handle, sharpened to 15 PPI rip.
Added 10/11: What are patternmaker's saws for?
Here's the blurb from Disston's saw manual - from Disstonian's page:
The blade of the No. 1 Pattern Maker's Saw is thin -- (.028). This saw is designed for small, accurate work in pattern and cabinet-making. The teeth are shaped to make a fine, exact cut. 15 points to the inch. Blade of Disston Steel with Disston temper, is 7 1/2 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Open handle, applewood, varnished edges.
Disston Saw, Tool and File Manual. 1940.
It's for fine work, and is made similar to a dado saw in that the handle doesn't get in the way when sawing on top of a panel. It is shorter in stature to allow it to get into tight places (where a dado saw can't), hence the slightly pointed toe... The teeth are cut with deep gullets to carry more sawdust (less clogging) also.
The pattermakers saws are much harder to make than it would seem at first glance - drilling a hole in the steel has been a hurdle, more so than on the back saws (the brass stiffened the steel while drilling, making it easier). The teeth are *very* hard to cut consistently. The handle design makes it very tough to cut the slot for the blade... The handle is a bit larger than the original, because those were just, well... tiny.
The brass back on the dovetail saw is exactly 1" tall from top to bottom. The handle itself is about 5% smaller than previous ones I've made. The biggest comment I've had on the handles was their size and the location of the blade in relation to the handle - that it was set too far out. I've got big hands, so probably made those more to fit me than anyone else. I mistakenly believed that most everybody thought the old handles were too small for their hands - this handle is made to the same size as the original I patterned it after. I made a few improvements on the blades location in the handle, too, moving it further back, closer to the handle by about 1/2" - 5/8".
I'm also working on a shorter version brass backed dovetail saw, with a 7" long blade. I might need to fashion or buy a saw set that will handle finer teeth than what I have currently.
- Just a quickie one page thing. This saw was refurbished using pretty much the same techniques as in Restoring an Old Handsaw, and the handle was fashioned in much the same way as in Recycling an Old Handsaw Into Four New Ones.
Pretty rough - but the blade was straight, and lot's of it left.
I'd seen a couple saws go by that had been offered up by some manufacturers that had some carving on them, such as this Woodrough & McParlin Panther saw:
So - I thought up my own "eagle" theme, and took a scrap of beech and started rasping, filing, and drilling away. Decided I wanted to try some carving - I've not done much and need all the practice I can get - as you can see. Here's what I came up with:
So, while my carving skills are still pretty crude - the rest of it has come out OK. This is with 2 coats of BLO and one coat of shellac. It needs to dry for a week, so I can sand it a bit smoother, add another coat of shellac, then wax it.
- I've been asked how I cut the slot for the blade into the handle and achieved a "closed" handle - where the slot for the blade doesn't continue through the top of the saw... first - the shape of the end of the saw blade is circular, so it's obvious Disston used a circular saw blade to cut them, so I thought I would also. I looked through my pile of old skilsaw blades until I found the thinnest one, a cheap old plywood blade. It still was too thick, and left too large of a slot... but I'll get to how I fixed that in a second.
- First, using the saw blade, I drew it's desired location on the side of the new handle. I then clamped it to the fence of my table saw (which now had the plywood blade mentioned above mounted in it) using the raised plywood blade as a guide to it's final placement. I then lowered the plywood blade - counting the number of turns of adjustment it took, and moved the fence so as to center the handle - well, just off center, really, you'll see why in a minute. I then started the saw and slowly raised the blade the number of turns that I had counted previously. I then relocated the handle and repeated the steps above to finish the cut (it needed 2 such cuts to complete the slot for the blade).
- Now I had a slot that was too big. So, I found a similar piece of beech to the one used for the handle, and sliced a thin veneer (<1/16") off of it, being careful to match the grain as well as possible to the handle. Using the original saw blade as a shim, I glued one side of this veneer, and stuck it in the slot, then used spring clamps to help hold it in place. With good grain matching, you can only see this "filler" if you are really looking for it. Structurally the wood is plenty strong, as well.
But it was fun to do, and definitely a learning experience!