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  1. #1
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    Default Is anyone in Australia making panel saws?

    I have been slowly replacing my Bunnings-grade hand tools with craftsman made/grade tools. I have a couple of HNT Gordon planes and a spokeshave, I have a Colen Clenton square and have a trio of mortise chisels on order from Trent at Harold & Saxon (been waiting for them since February ). Looking for hand saws, though I can't find anything made in Australia. I see some beautiful items on Mike Wenzloff's site and Bad Axe tools get a great rap from The Schwarz - but nothing this side of the Pacific? In the last year I have picked up a LN tenon saw and a LV dovetail saw and like them very much, but now I want to complete my set with both a couple of panel size rip (7tpi) and crosscut (12tpi) saws. I don't want to buy something like that without feeling the grip and the balance in my hands, so I'm unlikely to order from the US - even though they seem to be excellent tools. Does anyone know of local saw makers of the quality of Colen and Terry who make panel saws for sale? If not, does anyone have any experience with the LN panel saws?
    Shine on you crazy diamond!

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  3. #2
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    You might be waiting a while for those chisels. I think one forum member waited over 18 months but apparently they are worth the wait
    "All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing"
    (Edmund Burke 1729-1797)

  4. #3
    Scribbly Gum's Avatar
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    Apart from some of our fellow forumites I don't know of anyone in Australia making panel saws.
    Good panel saws come along second hand every now and then. They usually sell cheaply and are from recognised saw makers.
    Disston, Spear & Jackson, Atkins, Simonds, Keen Kutter, Tyzack, Sandvik etc all pop up on auction sites.
    These usually go quite cheaply, as hand saws are really the poor cousins as far as popularity goes at auctions - unless they are super rare or super minty.
    Here is one:
    KeenKutter No.88 24" 12ppi Panel Saw GOOD | eBay

    This is rare, in that the price is cheap and it is from the US where they seem to value their old handsaws more than we do over here.

    Here is a nice Spear and Jackson 10Pt saw that just sold on Ebay.

    And here are a couple of my old faithfuls that I love using.

    I haven't really answered your questions but I hope I have given you a few more things to think about.
    Cheers
    SG
    .... some old things are lovely
    Warm still with the life of forgotten men who made them ........................D.H. Lawrence
    https://thevillagewoodworker.blogspot.com/

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwioutdoors View Post
    You might be waiting a while for those chisels. I think one forum member waited over 18 months but apparently they are worth the wait
    Yup! When I ordered them and paid my 50% deposit to Trent at the hand tool expo in February he said there would be a 6 - 12 week wait. I had heard the reputation for his fine workmanship, but not his reputation for delayed delivery ... 8 months and counting.
    Shine on you crazy diamond!

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scribbly Gum View Post
    Apart from some of our fellow forumites I don't know of anyone in Australia making panel saws.
    Good panel saws come along second hand every now and then. They usually sell cheaply and are from recognised saw makers.
    Disston, Spear & Jackson, Atkins, Simonds, Keen Kutter, Tyzack, Sandvik etc all pop up on auction sites.
    These usually go quite cheaply, as hand saws are really the poor cousins as far as popularity goes at auctions - unless they are super rare or super minty.

    This is rare, in that the price is cheap and it is from the US where they seem to value their old handsaws more than we do over here.

    Here is a nice Spear and Jackson 10Pt saw that just sold on Ebay.

    And here are a couple of my old faithfuls that I love using.

    I haven't really answered your questions but I hope I have given you a few more things to think about.
    Cheers
    SG
    Thanks SG - it was a good answer, if not the one I hoped for. I have very large hands (all jokes aside) and really want to get a grip on the saws before committing - though if the price is significantly reduced as these ones seem to be, maybe it's worth a punt?! I have heard that old craftsmanship - especially in tool making - is better, and have generally found it to be true. Have also seen some pretty crappy old saws on guys walls and benches too!
    Shine on you crazy diamond!

  7. #6
    Scribbly Gum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waveink View Post
    I have very large hands (all jokes aside) and really want to get a grip on the saws before committing - though if the price is significantly reduced as these ones seem to be, maybe it's worth a punt?!
    If you are used to using the plastic handled tradesmen's saws, then you will find that you can usually get a four fingered grip - the handles are designed for it. Older saws and the modern professional sawmakers' saws, are all designed for a three finger grip with the forefinger extended down the side of the handle. This is the way they are meant to be used. When you pick up an older or classical shaped saw handle, don't panic if you can't get four fingers into the hand grip.
    It isn't the fact that you have big hands (although in your case I'm not sure), it is simply the design.
    Cheers
    SG
    Last edited by Scribbly Gum; 19th October 2011 at 07:04 PM. Reason: Pic courtesy Lie Nielsen
    .... some old things are lovely
    Warm still with the life of forgotten men who made them ........................D.H. Lawrence
    https://thevillagewoodworker.blogspot.com/

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scribbly Gum View Post
    If you are used to using the plastic handled tradesmen's saws, then you will find that you can usually get a four fingered grip - the handles are designed for it. Older saws and the modern professional sawmakers' saws, are all designed for a three finger grip with the forefinger extended down the side of the handle. This is the way they are meant to be used. When you pick up an older or classical shaped saw handle, don't panic if you can't get four fingers into the hand grip.
    It isn't the fact that you have big hands (although in your case I'm not sure), it is simply the design.
    Cheers
    SG
    I'm actually looking forward to that part - to holding it 'properly' so to speak with a three fingered grip. I'm more concerned about the thickness of the grip in my hand as I already have a hard time gripping screwdriver handles and the like if they're too small in diameter. I also don't want the bottom horn to dig into the heel of my hand - don't know if that's a legitimate concern, but am just imagining all the variations possible in shape and design.
    Shine on you crazy diamond!

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by waveink View Post
    Yup! When I ordered them and paid my 50% deposit to Trent at the hand tool expo in February he said there would be a 6 - 12 week wait. I had heard the reputation for his fine workmanship, but not his reputation for delayed delivery ... 8 months and counting.
    I ordered in January and was told 5 weeks. I cancelled my order a few weeks ago.

    I hope to one day still own a set.

    Andy

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by groeneaj View Post
    I ordered in January and was told 5 weeks. I cancelled my order a few weeks ago.

    I hope to one day still own a set.

    Andy
    Have considered doing the same many times, but figure I'm this far in I might as well hang in there - they have to come eventually, right?! Maybe Christmas!?
    Shine on you crazy diamond!

  11. #10
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    Hi waveink,

    As Mr Scribble has already suggested, your best bet is to trawl the swap meets, and ebay looking for a fixer-upper, I'd suggest you try and avoid anything made later than WW2, older Disston's, Atkins, Spear and Jackson are a good start.

    If you don't want to invest the time in restoration, I'd get in touch with someone like Daryl Weir, he is on woodnet, and if you tell him what you are after, I'm sure he will find a good one.

    Failing that, I'd go with Mike Wenzloff, you won't be dissapointed. here you go.. http://www.wenzloffandsons.com/compo...cross-cut.html

    Regards
    Ray

  12. #11
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    Default

    I'd also suggest checking out any local antique stores/restorer's barn type places. I've picked up a few old saws, chisels etc. that way. Not necessarily as cheap as ebay, but it means you can hold them, check that the blade's straight etc.

  13. #12
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    At least one of the reasons I have never contemplated making a panel saw is the difficulty of accuraately taper-grinding the blade. This is one of the features that makes the old saws so good to use.

    Another reason is that there is no need. As Scribbly & others have pointed out, there are still many fine old saws for sale at sensible prices, so if you keep a sharp lookout in the right places, you have a better than even chance of netting a good old pre-WWII saw for a pittance.

    I understand your concerns about the handles, but its not all that difficult to make a new handle. The first one may not be the best, but it will teach you the principles, & #2 o r#3 could be just right! There is a very long tradition of craftsmen making & modifying their tools, so don't feel you are violating an old tool by changing its woodwork a little......

    Cheers,
    IW

  14. #13
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    Hi Wavelink

    On hand size, if you are ok with the LN backsaws, then a vintage panel saw should not be a problem. I have some 1950s saws with huge handles that I find unusable; my hands are 4" across at the bottom of the fingers.

    A suggestion - The Traditional Tools Group (TTTG) runs Saw Sharpening workshops in Sydney (at Asquith), there will be one in the first half of 2012. Go to The Traditional Tools Group (Inc.) -- Coming Events for info. The 2012 Program is not up yet, but will be there soon.

    At a workshop there will be saws for sale. In addition you learn how to maintain your saws, as well as restore old ones. Generally the saws for sale are not top of line, but with notice I am sure we can have some better ones to try.

    Virgil posts here and can give you a participants view on the workshops.

    A further suggestion - whilst panel saws are nice, I like and use them a lot, 26" xcut and rip saws (also 28" rip if you have longer arms) are very useful - and they will enhance your arsenal. And with buying vintage saws you will be able to affor more than 2.

    Sunday 11 March 2012, TTTG will have the next Tool Sale - there will be saws at this, typically of all quality levels.

    If you do have really big hands, the 1950s-1960s Sandvick saws with plastic (yes I know) handles are excellent. The steel is first class, and harder than US saws. Tough on files, but great saws if you can find them. With any saw you can of course make your own handles - plenty of guidance on the Web.

    Cheers
    Peter Evans

  15. #14
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    Thanks guys. Looks like I'll be searching out some good vintage saws for the next little while - and if nothing turns up soon will definitely be at the TTTG sale in March. I hadn't thought that making a handle would be feasible, but trolling the net does give enough guidance that I'll probably give this a try if I can source a decent blade or two. I'll let you know if anything eventuates.
    Shine on you crazy diamond!

  16. #15
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    Yes Mr Evans I do post here and I am more than happy to give a participants view of said workshop. Grand fun. I went to my third or fourth one recently and came home a very happy boy. I learn something new every time. Have done a lot of rust removal, teeth filing, setting and can confidently say that I can sharpen a saw. I'm no expert but I can get an old saw to make saw dust again. As Peter says there are usually old saws to be had at very reasonable prices too.

    If you're in Sydney I strongly recommend attending one of these workshops (in fact, any of the workshops TTTG runs) and it wouldn't hurt to sign up and become a member too.

    Cheers,
    Virg.

    PS Peter, I might see you on Sunday at the next workshop.

    PPS Waveink, I'll see you at the next saw sharpening workshop!

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