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Thread: Neat backsaw handle.

  1. #1
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    Neat backsaw handle.

    Having the saw plate, brass back, and other parts to make at least another dozen backsaws, I came across this open handle design that I plan to replicate.

    Doing a search through Simon Bailey's book British Saws and Sawmakers from circa 1660, the maker of this saw could be BROOKES Brothers (1862) or William BROOKES (1841 - 1871).

    The original photo will need to be resized to accomodate 3 handle sizes Small; Medium; and Large. Dovetail and Carcass Saws.

    I have some sweet looking dark Tas.Tiger Myrtle & figured Queensland Maple as 2 species of timber for the handle wood.

    regards; Stewie;
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  2. #2
    The handle on my LN dovetail saw resembles that (antique) one. I find mine very comfortable.
    Hope you will post build pictures.

    Fred
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  3. #3
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    It appears to break with the idea of having the bottom of tote above the tooth line.

    This can be important when one is working with a bench hook.

    The curvature at the top horn does look like it would nest comfortably in hand.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  4. #4
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    Stewie, in addition to being long, the handle appears to have a lower-than-usual hang. This may be the photo. Can you comment on these?

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  5. #5
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    Good to hear from you , Stewie.
    The plate looks a little short as well, adding to the appearance of a handle below the tooth line. 30* hang perhaps? Is the back 3/4" or perhaps 5/8"?
    Take care,
    Ron

  6. #6
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    That handle wraps around the hand top and bottom, with thumb rested you have great control of the saw without your hand being crushed as most saws do to mine. Large size please!
    ​You can do a lot with very little! You can do a little more with a lot!

  7. #7
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    Hi Ron; good to hear from you. The photo of the dovetail saw was from ebay. The seller didnt provide details on the depth of the back, but the length of saw plate is quoted as being 6 inch. The grip of the handle looks a little long for my taste, but it may have been supplied that way by the maker for a user with a xxl hand size. I will likely reduce the length of the grip prior to resizing the overall specs later on. The centre of effort looks to be slightly forward of the half way mark on the saw plates tooth line, which is about right for this type of back saw. You got to give credit to these early pioneers of the saw making world. They came up with some beautifully designed and shaped handles. Much greater effort and wisdom than some of the modern designs we see today.

    regards and best wishes; Stewie



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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Fretwell View Post
    That handle wraps around the hand top and bottom, with thumb rested you have great control of the saw without your hand being crushed as most saws do to mine. Large size please!
    Yes on the "Large size please!"

    The 'feel' of a tool in hand is my reason for making my own chisel handles. Have only made a couple of saw totes/handles so far. Often western saw totes/handles can be modified and opened up to accommodate a larger hand. Many of the later Disston saws have an almost too big and boxy tote/handle

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #9
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    You got to give credit to these early pioneers of the saw making world. They came up with some beautifully designed and shaped handles. Much greater effort and wisdom than some of the modern designs we see today.
    The difference may be in the times. The century or two between now and then and the time allotted to making a tote for a saw. Today's mass produced saws may not even have a person cutting or loading blanks in to a machine that spits them out in 20 seconds.

    The image makes me wonder about the saw Stewie. The curved cut out near the saw plate looks like a finger rest on one of my saws. Only where it is on this saw would be for using left handed.

    Looking at the listing it looks like the curvature may be caused by use when compared to the other side of the saw. It may have been used by multiple users during its long life.

    jtk
    Last edited by Jim Koepke; 06-01-2021 at 9:29 PM. Reason: Looking at the listing it looks like the
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stewie Simpson View Post
    Much greater effort and wisdom than some of the modern designs we see today.

    regards and best wishes; Stewie



    Stewart,

    Always a pleasure to hear from you after a prolonged absence. Curious, is your re-emergence always accompanied by a cheap shot as the one above? When you start a multimillion dollar company suppling tools to people all over the globe, please do let us know, will you?

    The saw shown isn't a bespoke piece of art, but neither does it cost $500. It fills a much needed niche for people starting out and is quite good considering the modest cost.

    All the best!

  11. #11
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    Open Handle hang angles.

    The following example shows the difference in hang angles on open handle backsaws.

    regards Stewie;
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    Last edited by Stewie Simpson; 06-08-2021 at 11:23 AM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stewie Simpson View Post
    The following small sample shows the difference in hang angles on open handle backsaws.

    regards Stewie;
    Very nice, thanks for that Stewie!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Pitonyak View Post
    Very nice, thanks for that Stewie!
    +1........
    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."
    - Sir Edmund Burke

  14. #14
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    Very interesting, Stewie.

    Can you put names to the saws? It would be useful to know if certain makers, even particular years of make, have a preference for a hang angle.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  15. #15
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    Interesting but should only be considered notionally correct, not precise. Many older saws with split nuts have one broken or loose which can affect that handle angle greatly. No way of knowing what orientation it might be in when the picture was taken. That is, spine fully seated, cocked at front or cocked at rear. In general, the angle over time has relaxed from near vertical to similar to what is shown in the graphic.

    Additionally, through repeated drops to the floor, even if the handle is tight, the spine is likely driven in at the toe of the saw which will also impact the "angle" since the spine is no longer parallel to the cutting edge. I know many believe that "tapered" blades were a thing, pointing to the saws in the Seaton chest, but in my view, the vast majority are saws that have had a rough life as almost all saws have. I'm not aware of any engravings or etchings which show the tapered arrangement at least in American literature. I know this is contested by some, but for the purposes of this discussion, if the spine is driven at the toe, it will affect the hang angle because that is the x axis and the basis for measurement.

    If both of these are in play, observed angle in a picture is meaningless.

    Yours in saw arcana.

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