View Full Version : A Great Gloat...

Doug Evans
06-06-2003, 9:20 AM
In an effort to restore faith with a customer, Tom Williams, I made a trip to London, Ontario last night to retrieve an old box of Addis chisels (had to make up a set of CAD plans). Left at 7:30 p.m. with Robert Shaw and returned home at 1:15 a.m. It was sooo worth it!!!

Bob had finished my new set of carvers (just about knocked me off my chair - the buffed maccssar ebony and holly backdrop of the box is stunning).

In the course of discussion, I picked up a Joseph Flint brass back saw (1856 - 1867, St. Catherines, Canada West, the pre-1867 name for Ontario). I have seen only one other of these with a replacement handle and a fairly late one at that. I offered $500 to get it and my buddy refused!

This saw though cost far less and as I was cleaning it between 1:15 and 2:30 a.m., the steel started coming out great (I can see the etching starting to come)... a minor chip on the lower horn... a straight blade. The reason: one of the heads on the smaller brass screws let go (I have replacements) and I dont think the saw was used after that.

The reason I would pay $500 for a brass back. I am putting together a collection of Canadian-made 19th century tools, just to allow us to realize that Canuck's although primarily "hewers of wood and drawers of water" had occasional moments of brilliance. I have a gorgeous hanging tool chest above my bench that was built as an apprentiseship project at the Bell Piano Factory in Guelph, Ontario. It has the step down bit blocks, three dovetailed drawers, and outer panels which are comprised of alternating diagonal strips of black walnut and 1/4 saw white oak. I will be fitting it out with 4, 6, and 8 National (I have found an 8) iron planes (you can see the shadows of where the tools were in the box). In addition, I have a very rare Dawson, Montreal rosewood unhandled screw-arm plough. So, as you can see, this saw was a phenomenal addition to the project.

You never know what will be around that next corner.

Oh yeah. Here's the saw...


Tom Scott
06-06-2003, 11:31 AM
Nice looking saw, Doug. The handle seems to be in great shape for one that old. Must admit, though, that I wasn't familiar with Joseph Flint.
So, does it get sharpened? Or does it just get to sit in it's place of honor?


Doug Evans
06-06-2003, 7:54 PM
I pondered this for quite awhile and have decided that it goes on a shelf. I have a number of brass backs (Spear & Jackson's, Tyzak's, etc.) that I could also use and ultimately could be replaced (unlike this saw). The saw is filed cross-cut now, and will need work. I think I will set it up sometime and give it a go and probably put it into the hands of someone who can really comment on its performance.

I think Flint was bought out by either Smith (St. Catherines) or Dietrich. I wouldnt say that this is the only one in existance however, I would guess it to be extremely rare. I will call a few resources to understand it better.

If anyone can illuminate on this, let me know.