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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mnb View Post
    .......Is it the picture or does the plate on one of the saws in the original picture get narrower at the end further from the handle? (Wondering why if so).......
    Nope, not the perspective & not your eyes, Mnb, the blade IS narrower at the toe than at the heel. The accepted word currently used to describe this is "canted".

    Is there a good reason for canted blades? Well, it seems to happen naturally on many old saws. I have long noticed that many well-worn backsaws that almost certainly started out parallel from heel to toe have a pronounced cant. This happens, (imo), for several reasons, perhaps the main one being there is more wear on the teeth towards the toe, so when sharpening, you need to remove a bit more metal to remove the wear flats, frequently two or more firm strokes of the file. Closer to the heel, the points are usually still pretty sharp, even on an otherwise very dull saw, so all they need is a light swipe. Repeat this many times for many years with occasional jointings to keep the tooth line straight, & it's not hard to see how the blade might end up distinctly canted.

    You are also more likely to hit hardware with the front teeth, which will often necessitate a good bit of filing to tidy things up. Most of us are lazy sensible & do the least work necessary to bring them straight again, so the toe end sheds the most metal.

    For those two reasons at least, old saws will develop a cant of their own accord. However, there is little doubt some saws were made with canted blades, & the only plausible reason I can think of is the bloke what made them thought they looked nifty that way, as I do. And that's why I put canted blades on some saws - not all, I think it looks best on small saws - I'll leave the bigger ones to develop cant in their own good time.

    Canting has no functional value that I can see, though someone else maintained (in an old thread from years ago) that it helped him keep the saw level so the the cut ended on the scribe lines back & front. I cannot see for the life of me how a sloped spine helps anyone keep the tooth-line of the saw level, but different strokes suit different folks - what works for you, works for you......

    Cheers,
    IW

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  3. #32
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    Thanks Ian. Maybe without depth perception it would help - in two dimensions the saw is higher at the far end. Being silly there but maybe it could have something to do with perception of looking down at it, I guess if the line of the saw back is closer to the marked line it minimises error if you aren't looking straight down. Anyway, thinking aloud there.

    I just started cleaning up my Dad's dovetail\tenon saw (looks like those but not a pistol grip) and I'm using sandpaper with wd40 to get off the rust. The back has become really yellow compared to the colour it was (under the rust) - just thought I'd ask if sandpaper is o.k. while you're here.

  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mnb View Post
    ..... I just started cleaning up my Dad's dovetail\tenon saw (looks like those but not a pistol grip) and I'm using sandpaper with wd40 to get off the rust. The back has become really yellow compared to the colour it was (under the rust) - just thought I'd ask if sandpaper is o.k. while you're here.....
    That's what I use to clean up old saws. Usually start with about 180 W&D (using kerosene for the 'wet' part) if it's really bad, finer grades if the rust isn't too horrible. Do use a sanding block over any etches if you want to preserve them, don't just use folded paper under finger pressure. I usually don't go past 400, unless it cleans up particularly well, in which case I will often finish with some 'Autosol' metal polish.

    Depth perception is a complex thing - it's not simply the image that falls on the retina, the potato-powered computer in behind the eyes has a lot to do with it as well.. Until last year, I found it hard to believe that a canted blade could help keep a saw 'level', but I've had good reason to re-think that. About last Oct/Nov, I noticed I was having trouble jointing edges square. I'd hold the plane as I always did, it seemed level & the edge looked fine, but when I put the trysquare on it, the right side was consistently low by several degrees! By consciously planing the edge to what appeared to be 'low' on the left, it would actually come square! It had been a while since I'd last had my eyes checked, so went off to the optometrist & sure enough my prescription had changed, & more in one eye than t'other. 'Aha, sez I, this'll fix it' - so imagine the shock when I rushed to the shed with my new looking gear & discovered it was no better, in fact it might be slightly worse! So I've just had to get used to jointing boards that look low on the left, but straight with the trysquare & if someone tells me they can see something straighter because it's sloped, who am I to argue??

    Cheers,
    IW

  5. #34
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    Re the saw - that gives me some confidence. I was using 600 grit wet and dry. I can see the scratches from that so I was reluctant to go coarser but bits at the very front, back and down at the teeth are going to need more. It's difficult with someone else's tools too. They're effectively mine for everyday use but even with dementia Dad remembers his tools. He pops up every now and then and asks after a specific tool. Not just the type and size but the actual tool. Oh and thanks, I hadn't thought of using a block but was wondering about the writing.


    It's weird when your senses are wrong isn't it? I wonder if you will always have to plane low to the left. Your brain may re adjust.

  6. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post

    So that's it -I have used up all my saw plate apart from a few scraper-sized scraps, and I am now happily retired from saw making. I've learnt never to say 'never', but I can assure you all it will be a long time before I make any more saws, if ever!

    Cheers,
    Now, you can start making guitars! It seems like a logical next step. Lots of the tools will translate over, and you might even get the chance to use a spokeshave or drawknife to do coarse work.

  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.W. View Post
    Now, you can start making guitars! It seems like a logical next step. Lots of the tools will translate over, and you might even get the chance to use a spokeshave or drawknife to do coarse work.
    Funny you should suggest that, D.W., making instruments has long been an ambition, just never had the time to devote to it. I might have a go some time in the next few years, but I think I'd start with a ukulele rather than a guitar, not so much material wasted if it goes pear-shaped!

    Cheers,
    IW

  8. #37
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    I can see how a canted saw help you cut to the correct depth. If you keep the spine level you will hit your scribed mark on the front which you can see and are less likely to go too deep at the back where you canít see. A little touch up stroke at the end to level the cut out. Just an idea to try and justify a canted blade.
    Ö..Live a Quiet Life & Work with your Hands

  9. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DSEL74 View Post
    ..... Just an idea to try and justify a canted blade......
    Dale, that's certainly as good a suggestion as any I've heard. I still think it's purely an appearance thing, but for those who like reasons, your idea is the best so far...

    Cheers,
    IW

  10. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post
    Dale, that's certainly as good a suggestion as any I've heard. I still think it's purely an appearance thing, but for those who like reasons, your idea is the best so far...

    Cheers,
    You could just straighten your glasses .

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

    "Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"

  11. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post
    I might have a go some time in the next few years, but I think I'd start with a ukulele rather than a guitar, not so much material wasted if it goes pear-shaped!
    I think you’ll find that pear-shaped ukuleles are actually quite common

  12. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post
    Funny you should suggest that, D.W., making instruments has long been an ambition, just never had the time to devote to it. I might have a go some time in the next few years, but I think I'd start with a ukulele rather than a guitar, not so much material wasted if it goes pear-shaped!

    Cheers,
    It's a very easy transition from tools. Maybe not to make a cosmetically perfect guitar (but you'll be surprised how well you can do compared to people trying to learn to build guitars without any woodworking background) - everything has a learning curve, but all of the sculpting and joint fitting and fret work is pretty quick compared to making something like an infill plane.

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