View Full Version : Saw Till is Finished

Dave Anderson NH
03-23-2003, 1:23 PM
Being in the process of trying to reorganize my bench room and getting new tool holding racks installed, I completed my saw till this morning. As usual, the biggest amount of time was spent in completing the finish. The main till is poplar, as are all of the fences and dividers. The drawers and sliding trays for the drawers are poplar and the fronts are lacewood. I was going to turn more ebony knobs for the drawer pulls but I got lazy and purchased them from HD out of unfinished Chinese mystery wood.

The finish is Lexington Green milk paint with 2 coats of Danish oil. The drawer fronts are a coat of BLO covered with several coats of blonde shellac and rubbed out with paste wax and steel wool. The pulls were painted with black milk paint, oiled, and finished with shellac.

Dave Anderson NH
03-23-2003, 1:28 PM
The construction of the till was done completely with handtools. All the dovetails, the dados for the dividers between drawers, and all of the planing were done by hand. It took a bit longer doing it this way, but it was a good bit of fun and I even got to listen to the radio while I did it. Now I have to start designing a new home for all of my handplanes including the hollows and rounds.

Halsey MCCombs
03-23-2003, 1:56 PM
Your usual fine job Dave. I have room for your planes if you would like. Maybe I could learn to use them!. Halsey

Richard McComas
03-23-2003, 2:02 PM
Wow, all I can say is very nice work.

Bart Leetch
03-23-2003, 4:40 PM
Nice looking saw till. I noticed you have room for about 7 saws on each side of the center of the top board that is notched for the blades to set into. So what fits in the center 2-3 notches that don't have a rest for the handles to fit into down below?

Carl Eyman
03-23-2003, 5:41 PM
GOOD LOOKING! beautiful work. I have always wondered what it would take to gewt me to use the "report thid post to the moderator" button. I think it an abuse of fellow creekers (in my case creakers) to show off how much spare time you have away from "must do" projects to do selfish projects for your shop. Color me with some of that same paint - that's how envious I am.

Proud of you. Dave.

Tom Scott
03-23-2003, 9:40 PM
Dave, great work and great design. I really like your color choice and use of the lacewood.
Keep us posted on your plane storage.


Tom Stovell
03-23-2003, 9:44 PM
Nice work there, Dave.
After seeing all those great shops out there, I think someone should organize a 'cross country shop tour'. I'd sign up to take a look at all the nice work areas that I've only seen in pictures on the net. (I hope the Neanderthal tour isn't by horseback...)

It's hard to get a real feel for a place until you get to use a couple of senses....

Once again, nice job!


Dave Anderson NH
03-24-2003, 5:47 AM
Bart- The extra slots are for saws I don't have yet. The lower bar was installed on the left side when I discovered some of my saws were too short to reach the upper bar. I'm still trying to talk my Dad out of the half dozen Disston saws which were my Grandfathers and Great-Grandfathers. Dad won't part with them since he still uses them once or twice a year. Of course I could get some more at the Live Free or Die Auction next month in Nashua. The original plan is from the Old Tools group and I shortened it from 36" wide to 30". The plan did need a little tweaking though not too much.

Carl- I decided to take a small break from furniture to try and get the shop in shape. The tool wall behind the bench needed some attention and some of the storage was irritating from a handiness perspective. I spent part of yesterday afternoon drawing up plans for a wall storage unit for my planes. This should be quicker to build since it doesn't have drawers to make and put a finish on. When I'm done I should have all of my hand tools easily within reach and stored ina manner which won't risk damaging them.

Thanks to all for the kind comments. Sorry Halsey, I think I'll keep the planes.

Terry Quiram
03-24-2003, 7:12 AM
Hi Dave

Nice work. How about making one for me. I have 29 saws standing upright in a box just waiting for a nice till. Send me an email. I lost your address.


Lars Thomas
03-24-2003, 1:25 PM
Dave. By any standard, that's great work. I really admire the fact that you built it entirely with hand tools. The Lacewood stands out nicely against the green background.

Aspiring Neader

Von Bickley
03-24-2003, 4:52 PM

I don't usually get over to this part of town. Just drop by and saw your project. Your saw till is fantastic and something that you can always be proud of. Thanks for sharing the picture with us.

Brian Kent
04-27-2009, 5:20 PM
Being in the process of trying to reorganize my bench room and getting new tool holding racks installed, I completed my saw till this morning.

Hey Dave, how is that saw till holding up 6 years later? Have your original saws had babies and multiplied?

Sean Hughto just linked up to this thread from today's thread about building a saw till.

Brian Kent

Jamie Cowan
04-27-2009, 8:08 PM
Looks great, and I'm glad to see new pictures from you. A few months ago, I was obsessed with your thread for your workbench project (which is just stellar, by the way). Also, I recently did a Google image search for "plane till," and yours is the very first image that comes up. Pretty cool. Also good to see such great results with milk paint on the saw till.

Dave Anderson NH
04-28-2009, 12:40 PM
Brian, the saw till is an absolute failure. There is no room in it and hasn't been since about a year after it was finished.:D Dad gave up all but one of the family handsaws and somehow a couple of Wenzloffs and a few others managed to miraculously materialize in it. Seriously though, my only regret is reducing the size from the original 36" wide in the Old Tools plan to the actual 30" width I used. Big Mistake.

Jamie, I will be posting a few photos on some bench accessories and some other things soon. I was pretty time challenged for the last couple of years due to other committments, mostly our NH guild, but things are lightened up a bit last September. Stay tuned for a couple of tutorials coming up.

David Keller NC
04-28-2009, 4:31 PM
Even though this is an ancient thread, I've got to admit I almost busted a gut laughing at the "unfinished Chinese mystery wood" crack. I suppose it's not all that funny to 99% of the population, but to a woodworker, it's highly amusing - sort of a variation of the school cafeteria "mystery meat" designation.

Jamie Cowan
04-28-2009, 5:38 PM
Cool, can't wait. My skill level is really low, and I get lots of great information from these forums, but I also enjoy seeing more advanced projects from really skilled wwers, so keep it coming!

Brian Kent
04-29-2009, 1:06 AM
Is there an Old Tools (non-reduced size) saw till plan still available somewhere?

Johnny Kleso
04-29-2009, 1:40 AM
I thought you would have a Saw Room or Crib :)

Joe McMahon
04-29-2009, 8:18 AM
Dave, I'm not familiar with the "Old Tools Group". I would really like to build a till like yours. Can you be more specific as to where I can get plans? If it violates forum policy for some reason, perhaps you can PM the information?

Thanks, Joe

Dave Anderson NH
04-29-2009, 11:01 AM
Joe and all you other folks,

I searched for the saw till plans, but the link on shavings.net was broken and the information no longer is there. I don't know whether or not folks can find it if they search at oldtools.org. I wasn't able to find it. I will however check tonight to see if I saved the 1/4 scale drawings I made back when I built the till.

Johnny, I only have about a dozen and a half saws, I'm not a hog about tools, but would never rule out additonal acquisitions. Strangely enough, I'm actually putting together a bunch of my unused tools to sell off. The hard part is picking something up andforcing myself to put it in the pile. Somehow it seems unnatural.:D

Raney Nelson
04-29-2009, 4:47 PM
The wayback machine is a great bacon-saver for this sort of situation.


I'm pretty sure this is the same till plan Dave is referring to - I also built my first till from this plan.

My one recommendation would be regarding the joinery fro the top rail: the plans advise using dovetails into the sides, but with this orientation, the pins in the till sides are cross-grained, and rather weak. I'd advise using a different method - wedged mortise and tenon seems a very safe method.


edit to add: DOH! just saw the other thread - looks like I'm really late to this party.

Brian Kent
04-29-2009, 5:02 PM
Raney, do you have a picture of the till you made?

Raney Nelson
04-29-2009, 7:11 PM
Here's the one in question - if you look closely, you can see the chipping of a couple of pins at the top right:


My backsaw till is a little more recent, and was produced during a speed-round of shop reorganization last year while my wife was in the hospital waiting to deliver our twins:



I would actually suggest that both these designs are far more instructive in their errors than in what they got right. Both suffer from poorly thought out sections of short-grain; the first in the aforementioned DTs, and the second in the large dowel that forms the blade slots: you can see at top left where one section has been lost.

Both function just fine, but I'm quite certain I'd do things quite differently next time around... I think Derek's saw till in the other thread is the best solution I've seen to the first till design - moving the top rail to the top, rather then the back, the dovetails are structurally sound.

george wilson
04-29-2009, 7:57 PM
Somehow my post got lost. I would like to have a nice saw till,but my shop is so crowded I haven't the wall space for one.

Jamie Cowan
04-30-2009, 11:49 PM
When you have that sale, I assume you'll give first shot at those tools to people within an hour's drive of Chester?

Dave Anderson NH
05-01-2009, 7:09 AM
Actually Jamie, First shot at my extra tools goes to members of the Hand tools Group of our NH Guild. Second shot goes to the general membership of our guild. Think local you know.

Mark Singer
05-01-2009, 8:35 AM
Excellent! I could use one too:rolleyes:

Richard Dooling
05-01-2009, 9:02 AM
Good advise from all!

Not meaning to go off topic, but Raney, what is that contraption with wooden thread on the right of your first picture??


Raney Nelson
05-01-2009, 9:35 AM
It's a miter jack... a once-more-common fixture for shooting wide miters - these days, i think most people use a donkey's ear fixture on a shooting board for this sort of application but personally I prefer it to the donkey's ear by a wide margin.

The ever informative ALF in the UK has some nice plans on her site:

Richard Dooling
05-02-2009, 9:20 AM
Hey thanks Raney,

That reminded me of a FWW article where the author makes a metal screw version of this.

The link you posted is great and the site includes an article about making a jack plane that mentions a wooden handplane body finish method that George Wilson posted some time ago.

http://www.cornishworkshop.co.uk/wwjackplane.html (http://www.cornishworkshop.co.uk/wwjackplane.html)

It involves plugging the mouth of the plane and flooding it with BLO. Look in the lower right corner of the scan.

Here is a link to that old thread. Look for George Wilson's post.
http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=107996 (http://www.sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=107996)

Pat Zabrocki
05-02-2009, 8:53 PM
I think I recognize that Wenzloff large tenon saw with the bubinga handle ;)

Love the saw, thanks

Raney Nelson
05-03-2009, 12:39 PM
I think I recognize that Wenzloff large tenon saw with the bubinga handle ;)

Love the saw, thanks

Hi Pat,

Yup - that's the one. Nice to see you here - and I'm really glad the saw wound up with someone who appreciates it. Hopefully it matches your others - It really is a great (and beautiful) tool.