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  1. #1
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    Default Spear and Jackson No.49

    I was recently asked to re-tooth this Spear and Jackson No.49 8" dovetail saw. It had apparently been handed to a commercial saw sharpening outfit but they had made it 12ppi instead of 16ppi and done a poor job to boot. As the customer had bought a Simonds saw from me I agreed to re-tooth it and a deal was struck.

    Spear and Jackson No.49 001.jpgSpear and Jackson No.49 002.jpgSpear and Jackson No.49 003.jpgSpear and Jackson No.49 005.jpgSpear and Jackson No.49 007.jpgSpear and Jackson No.49 008.jpg

    I have been trying to date the saw from the patent 401,274, which is for the "Non-Break Handle." However I have drawn no luck in my initial efforts. I think it is post 1923 and pre- 1960, which is not a very good attempt at all .

    The third saw screw ( I am going to try to remember to call them screws as one of my New Year resolutions so IanW doesn't have to correct my paper when I call them saw nuts; Actually I agree with him on this issue as that is more indicative of a pair of trousers one size too small). Anyhow, the third screw is a screw and as you can see does not travel though the handle. Also the head of the screw is quite deep. It didn't look like an add on.

    Spear and Jackson No.49 009.jpgSpear and Jackson No.49 010.jpg

    I went trolling ( that should probably be surfing) for a No.49 but did not come up with an identical saw. This is a No.49 but with only two screws (I'm remembering so far):

    Spear and Jackson no.49 two screw.jpgSpear and Jackson No. 49 etch.jpg

    However I did find a No.52 with three screws and a medallion. :

    Spear and Jackson No.52.jpg

    There really doesn't look like there is enough room on the flat for that lot, but there is that third screw through the back.

    Any thoughts? That you can voice here.



    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

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

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  3. #2
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    Default

    Another point I forgot to comment on is the depth of back on what is a diminutive saw. It measure 23mm and really gives this little tool some heft. My impression is that the British saw makers tended to go for larger back than their American cousins. It is not an area with which I am familiar so that needs some support.

    Oh, and for the technically minded, the saw plate is .020".

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

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

  4. #3
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    Default

    There is a thread on backsaw.net dating S&J by handle shape that would put this circa 1920.
    Comparative Dating by Style | backsaw.net

    Here is a cut from the S&J circa 1930 catalog recently posted by Homesy
    IMG_1260.jpg

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushmiller View Post


    I have been trying to date the saw from the patent 401,274, which is for the "Non-Break Handle." However I have drawn no luck in my initial efforts. I think it is post 1923 and pre- 1960, which is not a very good attempt at all .

    There really doesn't look like there is enough room on the flat for that lot, but there is that third screw through the back.

    Any thoughts? That you can voice here.



    Regards
    Paul
    Hi Paul,
    The Leapfrog #49 had a blued steel back, the #52 was brass backed, both with English beech handles, and came in lengths from 8" to 24" I think the longer saws might have had three screws, the shorter ones might (?) have been 2 screws. Not 100% sure about that.

    The 1915 catalog doesn't list the "unbreakable" handle, so sometime later than 1915.

    Top of the line saw from one of the classic Sheffield sawmakers. Should be a delight to use.

    Ray

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    Thanks Gavin and Ray

    In fact I went straight to Homsey's thread to check the catalogues, but couldn't see a No.49. Clearly it does not have a lambs tongue either and as Ray mentioned it has the "Non-breakable handle."

    I was thinking that the patent would give an earliest possible date, but I couldn't track that.

    The saw is good to use but only in thin stock. Those little teeth struggle to rip much more than 12mm thick, but that I suppose is it's intention. It fairly flies through that.

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

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

  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushmiller View Post
    .....this Spear and Jackson No.49 8" dovetail saw. It had apparently been handed to a commercial saw sharpening outfit but they had made it 12ppi instead of 16ppi and done a poor job to boot.....
    Paul, I've had a similar experiences. One was a saw that someone with little expertise got at, and it came back with no two teeth the same size! The second didn't have the tooth size changed, but it came back to me as rip instead of xcut.

    In retrospect, it was a good thing, the second experience finally provoked me to take file & courage in hand, & start learning to sharpen my own. I was using a freshly-sharpened saw just a few days ago and thinking what a pleasure it is to have sharp saws that cut true..

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushmiller View Post
    ..... I have been trying to date the saw from the patent 401,274, which is for the "Non-Break Handle." However I have drawn no luck in my initial efforts. I think it is post 1923 and pre-1960, which is not a very good attempt at all . ...
    Aww, I dunno, on the geological time-scale that is incredible precision!

    I'm just guessing, but from the handle shape I would put it post WW2, however, there is still a shred of old style to it, so before the 1970s, when saw handles became a complete joke..?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushmiller View Post
    ..... Another point I forgot to comment on is the depth of back on what is a diminutive saw. It measure 23mm and really gives this little tool some heft. My impression is that the British saw makers tended to go for larger back than their American cousins. It is not an area with which I am familiar so that needs some support......
    I haven't seen enough backs to constitute a statistically significant sample either, but now you mention it, the heaviest backs I've seen were all on Sheffield products. For example, this 8" Tyzack I bought in the very early 80s has a very hefty back for its size, also about an inch wide, from memory (& also has 20 thou plate): Tyzack 210mm 15tpi rip.jpg
    The handle is a replacement for the bit of vaguely handle-like wood it came with!

    I used to like the heft, and it was my go-to D/T saw for years, but not all that long after I started into making saws, I made a light D/T saw with a 3/16 x 3/4" back and 15 thou plate, just for fun. That saw felt perfectly at home in my hand from day one, & very quickly became my preferred saw for dovetails & fine tenons, etc. It ousted the Tyzack, which now sits forlornly in the saw till & rarely gets a run. I should find a new home for it where it will be loved & valued, but I've had it for almost 40 years now, & have a weird sentimental attachment to it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushmiller View Post
    .....I went trolling ( that should probably be surfing) for a No.49 but did not come up with an identical saw......
    Just to make you happy, I will suggest that perhaps we should use the older spelling "trawling" (meaning to search diligently & systematically), in this context, to keep our meaning very clear, since "trolling" has acquired a rather unpleasant aroma in interweb circles, hasn't it? I always thought 'trolling' was just a Qld pronunciation of 'trawling' (given our predilection for shortening vowels that are long, & lengthening those that are short!), but it seems it is a legitimate way to spell the fishing/searching sense of the word, according to the on-line dictionaries I just consulted..

    Cheers (from your friendly trivia-trawler)
    IW

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    Quote Originally Posted by hiroller View Post
    There is a thread on backsaw.net dating S&J by handle shape that would put this circa 1920.
    Comparative Dating by Style | backsaw.net....
    Hmm, I don't think the handle on Paul's saw & those you posted look the same at all, Gavin! Apart from the lambs' tongues, far more effort has gone into the shape & contouring....

    That top wood screw really intrigues me. Someone must've thunked it up for some purpose, in which case there ought to be some reference to it in their advertising blurb. So your next challenge is to see if you can find a mention of it....?

    Cheers,
    IW

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    Ian

    I think we are pretty much in "synch." Another abbreviation, but one with which I am very familiar in my line of work.

    I like your little Tyzack with it's brass back, but knowing how you produce your saws I can understand why it takes a back seat now.

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

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

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    Ian, you may we'll be right on the dating but the S&J handles went "ugly" surprising early in the 20th century.
    There is a mention of the extra screw in the handle of the 260 saw in the catalog cut in post #3 above.
    Interestingly while the #46 in that 1930 catalog shows a semblance of a lambs tongue - the replacement handle for the #46 in the same catalog goes without! So I think we are in the ball park for dates.
    IMG_1261.jpg

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    Ok, a quick patent search finds that the non break handle was patented in 1932.
    So I'm now guessing 1930s.
    https://patents.google.com/patent/GB...q=saw&q=handle

    i also found out why it is so hard to remove the saw bolts for S&J saws.
    They were oversize and driven in!
    https://patents.google.com/patent/GB...q=saw&q=handle

  12. #11
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    That extra screw was intended to stop the back from slipping off the blade. This was in the 1915 catalog





    According to the catalog entry for the 49 Leapfrog, that pattern replaced the older 26 pattern.

    I note that the top of the line Mermaid saws had the Lambstongue carving, but that detail vanishes in the lower quality models.

    Ray
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Thank you Ray.

    That little snippet from the copy also seems to indicate that there was not intention for the back to be placed other than parallel to the tooth line, at least as far as Spear and Jackson are concerned. You may recall that the question of whether the slopping saw plate was by design or maltreatment has been a contentious issue here on the Forums.

    I believe some of their panel saws also had the non-break handle.

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

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

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