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  1. #1
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    Default A new handle for a new saw

    Hi all. My recent excursions into reviving old handsaws led me to taking a more critical look at the handle of my dovetail saw. As you can see from the photo it is a rather ugly thing (I don't think handles should be as big as the saw) and I like my new one better. Removing the original was tricky and ended up splitting it as I found the blade had small sleeves welded (?) to it and effectively tenonned into the nut holes in the handle. Once free I ground and filed them flat and fitted the Messmate handle - sourced from old rafters, OB for those that can remember. Finished with my usual mix of BLO, mineral turp oil and lacquer and lovely to hold (photo shows best view, a little bit of tear out on the other side). The nuts aren't glamorous but work well, the female section engages the holes in the blade and keeps handle firmly locked in place.

    20200406_083415.jpg

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  3. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Ash View Post
    Hi all. My recent excursions into reviving old handsaws led me to taking a more critical look at the handle of my dovetail saw. As you can see from the photo it is a rather ugly thing (I don't think handles should be as big as the saw) and I like my new one better. Removing the original was tricky and ended up splitting it as I found the blade had small sleeves welded (?) to it and effectively tenonned into the nut holes in the handle. Once free I ground and filed them flat and fitted the Messmate handle - sourced from old rafters, OB for those that can remember. Finished with my usual mix of BLO, mineral turp oil and lacquer and lovely to hold (photo shows best view, a little bit of tear out on the other side). The nuts aren't glamorous but work well, the female section engages the holes in the blade and keeps handle firmly locked in place.

    20200406_083415.jpg
    I can definitely see why, you wanted to change handles,
    That new one is 100 percent more pleasing to look at, and no doubt hold.
    Well done MA.

    Cheers Matt.

  4. #3
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    Default

    That looks great. Much nicer than the original.
    ​Brad.

  5. #4
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    Default

    Nicely done.

    Regards
    John

  6. #5
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    Oct 2018
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    Default

    Thanks Matt, Brad and John. The template comes from Blackburn Tools' website and the medium size fits my hand perfectly

  7. #6
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    Default

    Certainly an improvement on the 'thing' that was there before.

    The 'sleeves' you mention are something I've not seen - are you sure of that?. Saws of that era usually have the bolt (or rivet!) holes punched through the plate with the handle in situ, which flares the exit side of the plate, and as you discovered, makes it near-impossible to get the handle off without damaging it.

    Hmmm, you are well & truly on the slippery slope now - I won't be at all surprised if I see you've made a saw or two before the year is out...

    Cheers,
    IW

  8. #7
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    Default

    Hi Ian. Wheeeeeeeee! (That's me on the slippery slope). I had also read about holes being punched through handle and blade at the same time (Bushmiller post?) but these "sleeves" were perfect cylinders. I would have thought that punching a hole through would have left more of a ragged finish and there was definitely discolouration around the base of the "sleeves" like things got overheated. But I am only guessing. Maybe others know more?

  9. #8
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    OK, MA, agreed, the holes I've seen that were obviously punched through the plate with the handle on were pretty ragged on the exit side, they certainly don't look neat like bushes. So I'm baffled, I can't think of what useful function bushes would serve in this context. I'm really curios now - take some pics next time so we can get a look at them.....

    Cheers,
    IW

  10. #9
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    Default

    Unfortunately Ian the linisher has removed all evidence

  11. #10
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    MA

    Nice job.

    I do like the brass backs. They were much favoured by the Brits while the Americans preferred steel. Did you reuse the original saw screws and if so were the holes too big? I am wondering if the handle had come loose at some point and a previous owner had "bushed" the handle to take up the slop.

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

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

  12. #11
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    Default

    Hi Paul. Thanks. Brass does look better. Yes I did use the same saw screws and they still engaged with the holes in the blade - I must have marked out things accurately!! I bought this saw new but the concept of bushes is interesting. I broke the handle trying to get it off and was thinking that the manufacturer must have fitted the handle then installed the bushes and then somehow "welded" them in place, and then installed the screws??

    Don't know if you have found out any more info on Keystone saws but you might be interested to know that I also bought a Canadian Disston Tenon (back) saw at the same time. Steel back but has the Disston info stamped into it, handle not as decorative as others I have seen but may still be a fruitwood, no obvious grain. Nice weight to it

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Ash View Post
    Hi Paul. Thanks. Brass does look better. Yes I did use the same saw screws and they still engaged with the holes in the blade - I must have marked out things accurately!! I bought this saw new but the concept of bushes is interesting. I broke the handle trying to get it off and was thinking that the manufacturer must have fitted the handle then installed the bushes and then somehow "welded" them in place, and then installed the screws??

    Don't know if you have found out any more info on Keystone saws but you might be interested to know that I also bought a Canadian Disston Tenon (back) saw at the same time. Steel back but has the Disston info stamped into it, handle not as decorative as others I have seen but may still be a fruitwood, no obvious grain. Nice weight to it

    MA

    A little bit of Keystone info

    I will load the pix into the body copy tonight. First is from 1941. The other two are from 1952

    1941 Keystone etc.jpg1952 Disston Keystone adv 2.jpg1952 Disston Keystone adv.jpg

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

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

  14. #13
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    Some more on Keystone saws. They will usually have a Warranted Superior medallion that features the Keystone symbol in the middle. Note the first advertisements quote prices for a dozen saws. The lastad is each.

    1902

    1902 ad Keystone Brown Jackson.jpg


    1936
    1936 AD Keystone Disston Hand Saws p1.jpg



    1938
    1938 AD Keystone Hand Saws p1.jpg


    1940
    1940 AD Keystone Hand Saw Store Display Rack Stand Disston Atkins p1.jpg

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

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

  15. #14
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    Default

    Wow Paul. Great catalogues! I didn't realise that the Keystone series was as old as it is. I thought they were a more modern attempt at a budget version. Always lots to learn

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Ash View Post
    Wow Paul. Great catalogues! I didn't realise that the Keystone series was as old as it is. I thought they were a more modern attempt at a budget version. Always lots to learn
    MA

    Actually you are not alone in that. Keystone saws are not an area I have researched much other than in passing. I didn't realsie they started so early and I thought they lasted into the HK Porter era, but my investigations for the moment are that they stopped when HK Porter bought Disston in 1955.

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

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

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