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Thread: First backsaw: or, why hadn't I done this sooner?

  1. #1
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    First backsaw: or, why hadn't I done this sooner?

    There's something really satisfying about going from a chunk of wood, a piece of bronze, and a steel plate to a functional backsaw. Especially since I really needed a 16" tenon saw.



    I really should have done this sooner. Much like most things I managed to put off.
    ~mike

    life in a mud hut

  2. #2
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    Looks very nice. Congratulations. Well done!!! So how does it saw?

  3. #3
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    Well done Mike. Putting a saw together from a kit is a great way to get some experience (and confidence) and get a premium saw for a bargain price.

    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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    It saws exactly as I'd expect. Then again, while the first saw, I've been sharpening mine for a while and I'm pretty comfortable with that. That part was much easier than a couple rehabs I've done, where the teeth were really uneven and required a lot of work to get them back into shape. Most of the work involved was just paying attention. Although, the back was shorter than the blade, so I had to shorten that by about 1/8".

    Thanks for the kind words. If anyone is hedging on building one, I highly recommend. The whole project was just a lot of fun, I gained a nice saw that will be used all the time in the process.
    ~mike

    life in a mud hut

  5. #5
    Is this one of the Blackburn kits?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Bancroft View Post
    Is this one of the Blackburn kits?
    It is, yes.
    ~mike

    life in a mud hut

  7. #7
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    Looks great Mike. Since you enjoyed it so much, you could send to me and build another one I built a dovetail saw from a Gramercy kit a long while ago, but haven't gotten to any sharpening.

    Side question-how do you like the optivisor and loupe? I have one on the way and will be curious to see if I like them and whether I got the right magnification. Didn't get the loupe yet.

    Best,
    Chris
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Charles View Post
    Looks great Mike. Since you enjoyed it so much, you could send to me and build another one I built a dovetail saw from a Gramercy kit a long while ago, but haven't gotten to any sharpening.

    Side question-how do you like the optivisor and loupe? I have one on the way and will be curious to see if I like them and whether I got the right magnification. Didn't get the loupe yet.

    Best,
    Chris
    I really do like the optivsor. Most of the time I use a 4x, which is great for sharpening saws. The loupe comes in handy, occasionally, but I really rarely use it. The last time was desoldering on an IC.

    Oh, I have progressive safety glasses. Which normally really help. I have to take them off using these, or the focal length becomes incredibly small.
    ~mike

    life in a mud hut

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Beautiful saw Mike – thanks for posting. Acquiring the right nest of joinery saws can be a big hurdle for people getting started hand tool woodworking – harder to find vintage examples (at least here in the hand tool desert of Southern California) and contemporary boutique makers build beautiful, super effective saws, but they can be pricey. Kits are a great way to go.

    I started out building my own back saws out of raw materials – brass bar stock and 1090 spring steel. It was a ton of effort for very marginal finished product. Extremely difficult to get a thin .025" – .015" thick saw plate into a solid back and tote an end up with completely straight saw plate. Ultimately I ended up buying slotted brass backs and rough filed saw plates – I think from Ron Bontz (it's been years, not sure if that's still an option. I highly recommend Ron and his products). Having a set of purpose built, back joinery saws set up for specific tasks is I think one of the "secret weapons" of building fine furniture etc.

    I'll try and post a couple pics of shop built backsaw's.

    Best, Mike

    DSC_0055.jpgDSC_0163.jpgDSC_0209.jpgDSC_0214.jpg_DSC0790[1].jpg

  10. #10
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    Thanks Mike-I went with a lower mag/longer working distance b/c my main plan is for use while doing marquetry work. Thanks for posting and looking forward to seeing you put it to work.

    Chris
    "You can observe a lot just by watching."
    --Yogi Berra

  11. #11
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    Very well done, Mike. That’s a beautiful saw. The saws I built from Blackburn kits are some of my favorites, though that may have as much to do with making the handles myself as with how they perform. I agree that it’s quite satisfying and easier than I originally expected.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by mike stenson View Post
    It is, yes.

    Looks great. I have one on order that I'm eagerly awaiting. How did you close the spine on the plate?

  13. #13
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    Thanks!

    I have a half ton arbor press. But would have used a machinists vice otherwise. Or locktite, to be honest.

  14. #14
    Nice work, sir.

  15. #15
    Mike, that is a beautiful looking saw, congratulations o the build.

    That looks like a Gramercy saw vice, how do you like it?

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