Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Dovetail saw with copper back, children's size

Sunday I had the opportunity to spend some time in the workshop, and I managed to finish the handle, mount the back on the plate, produce some saw nuts and assemble the saw.
After the test assembly I disassembled it again to varnish the handle.

At some point I decided that the back was too tall for a child's saw, due to the weight of it that is. The raw back weighed 385 gram, so I was afraid that the saw might feel to heavy to be comfortable.
Therefore I removed roughly 1/4" from the lower part of the back. Making the new height of it approximately 9/16". In addition to removing weight, it also made the proportions a bit prettier in my opinion given that the saw plate itself is 2.25" high.

The handle was shaped using mostly a round file, and after I was pleased with the overall shape, I used sand paper starting with a grit 60 and ending with a grit 280.
I had never expected the handle to turn out as well as it did. But a lot of time with sandpaper really helps. also I am not used to making things that are this highly figured, but once I overcame my reluctance to start it, it was quite liberating not having to worry about square corners and parallel surfaces. It just had to be comfortable to grip.

The saw nuts were tuned on the lathe from some brass stock. The thread is M5, in order to make them fit a small handle.
I am fairly skilled at using a metal lathe, so turning something like this doesn't take very long. I didn't time myself, but I estimate that it took maximum 10 minutes for a screw and a bit less for a nut.
I filed a square on the screws and sawed a slot in the head of the screws. The slot is a bit too narrow to fit a usual screwdriver that wide, but since it is made using a hacksaw, the back side of a hacksaw blade is a perfect size.

Since I had removed the lower part of the back it did  no longer grip the blade sufficiently tight, so I took it back to the press to compress it a bit again. I figured that it was the most clever thing to do before I started removing the tool marks.
Those were removed by using a couple of files and some emery cloth / sand paper. To be able to work on the sides of the back, I made a small arrangement similar to that used for planing mouldings.
Two flat sticks were mounted horizontally in the vice, with the aft stick protruding 1/4" above the front stick. I then screwed in a small screw to act as a "planing stop". So the back could now lie on its side supported by the aft stick and the planing stop screw at the end.

Finally I found found some old varnish, very nearly dried up. I removed the dry layer and added some paint thinner. I used a piece of an old rag to apply the varnish.
The handle was sanded lightly between each coat, and I think I gave it 5 coats in total.

Now it just need to be used by some child in the workshop.


Children's dovetail saw with copper back.

Plywood handle.

Sawing the handle.

Workholding for the back.


Homemade brass saw nuts.






16 comments:

  1. Wow! It certainly looks like you've once again accepted no compromises given the lack mutations of woodworking at sea. Nicely done.

    Your saw nuts look fantastic. Perhaps a blog post on how you make those?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Freaking auto spell. You get the idea.

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    2. Thanks for the nice comment.

      At first I was wondering if it was another American idiom that I was unfamiliar with :-)

      I need to make another set of saw nuts for the next saw. So I'll try to take som pictures along the way.

      Cheers
      Jonas

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  2. That turned out very well, the plywood handle turned out much nicer than expected, and I think you did the right thing on back height, it looks very well proportioned for the saw. I would also like seeing the saw nut making process, though I suspect step 1 will be "Have access to a metal lathe"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jeremy
      Thanks for commenting.
      Reducing the back was more important that I had first imagined. And I'm please that you agree with me on that point.

      I hate to tell people that they need to have a special tool for a certain job, but saw nut making is actually quite difficult unless you have access to a metal lathe.
      It can be done entirely by hand too. But I just don't want to take that much time to do it. Other options would work as well, but they are hardly practical.

      I'll try to make a post for tomorrow on making saw nuts North Sea style.

      Brgds
      Jonas

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  3. Blackburn Tools : http://www.blackburntools.com/new-tools/new-saws-and-related/saw-bolts/index.html
    sells split nuts and saw bolts

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi.
      Thanks for the link.
      I found out that Blackburn has got distributor in Europe as well. Which is great news for us on this side of the Atlantic.
      I checked the handle scans on their page. They are very clear. I especially like the idea that you can print them out in the size you like. It makes it easier for a computer moron like myself.

      Brgds
      Jonas

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  4. Blackburn Tools also has Handle pdf's http://www.blackburntools.com/articles/saw-handle-templates/index.html

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  5. Wow, impressive! It looks perfect and the plywood doesn't distract at all, au contraire!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kees

      Thanks.
      I admit that I am amazed myself.
      Brgds
      Jonas

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  6. I understand people liking rosewood saw handle and plane tote; but on an engineering point of view, plywood would be much more resistant to a fall on the ground because of the cross grain direction of the ply.
    My son is the kind of guy to whom you hesitate to lend a tool. At 36 he is now better than before(He buys his own Tools now).
    Sylvain

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    Replies
    1. Hello Sylvain

      I really laughed about you being hesitant to lend tools to your son. I was expecting the next line to be something like he is 7 years old :-)
      As far as I have understood from the Bad Axe toolworks, they advocate plywood handles on the children's saws for the same reasons that you mention.
      But it was actually not that hard to make a handle shaped object, so I might try to make another one out of some fancy wood at some point.
      Brgds
      Jonas

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  7. I have to add:
    - very nice saw;
    - I am always amazed at what you achieve with limited resources.
    Sylvain

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the nice comment.
      Jonas

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  8. Hi Jonas,

    sorry for being late to the party!
    What a beautiful first saw! I never managed to make acomplete saw from scrap. An you did at your first try.

    I think you can take a bi step in toothing, if you shape all teeth from one side. You can change the sides when sharpening, if you feel to need to. (I do not.)

    Cheers
    Pedder

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    Replies
    1. Hi Pedder

      Thank you so much for the nice comment.

      I think I overestimated my own abilities when I wanted to make the first saw with 20 PPI. A few of the teeth are not looking too well.
      I think your suggestion sounds very sensible. I'll have to do that on the next rip filed saw.

      Today I once again admired the photo series of your saws with ebony handle. Now those are truly beautiful saws.

      Cheers
      Jonas

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