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  1. #1
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    Default Australian Docking Saw

    I was going to call this thread the "Unpowered Chain Saw", but as you will see there is no real relevance to a chain saw other than this saw takes it's place.

    Some of you know that my vehicle is a Holden Commodore one tonner. I drive around in it with the sides off the tray. This is primarily because the vehicle is supplied with wing mirrors that were intended for the style side ute. The one tonner has a wider tray and the mirrors are hopelessly inadequate. The tray is also quite high so with the sides and tailgate in place rear vision is downright miserable. The point of this rant is that I have nowhere to store small goods and objects other than behind the seats. I have wanted for some time a saw of some description just in case I need a saw of some description to perform a specific task.

    I have three chain saws, any one of which would be up to the task; Even the little saw, but there is not enough room for such a beast and I really don't want the cab stinking of petrol fumes and having a river of bar oil preventing the floor pan from rusting!

    For some while I have thought of using a docking saw and this is the purpose of the thread. Docking saws were used around timber yards for trimming off split ends and on projects such as bridges where large section timbers were used. They almost universally had 4 1/2 ppi and came in lengths of 24" or 30". The saw plate was typically one gauge heavier than the handsaws and, while a timber handle was offered as an alternative to the cast iron handle, the vast majority had the iron handle which was secured by two rivets.

    I dug out what I thought would be a suitable candidate. It was a 24" version.

    P1030086.JPGP1030089.JPG

    The handle looks like the Simonds model, but there was no etch to confirm this. There were two oddities with the handle. Firstly, the rivets seem to be on the wrong way around. Normally the larger side would be on the face side. The second thing was the cast iron handle was aluminium. I checked all my other docking saws and they are all iron.

    P1030090.JPG

    It is no matter. The handle is going anyway. I have already drilled it out.

    P1030091.JPG

    It's got big fangs, which were not quite the normal profile.

    I cleaned up the saw plate, reprofiled the teeth and sharpened it. The toothline is heavily breasted. Hmm. I might call this saw Sebrina...

    P1030128.JPGP1030129.JPGP1030130.JPG

    I have a couple of handles that I keep just to throw on a saw for test purposes and before the real handle is finished. This is the saw cutting an old Ironbark fence post.

    P1030125.JPGP1030126.JPG

    Could be 40 years old. I base this on the premise that Ironbark is good for forty years in the ground at a minimum and this one was no longer in the ground. It seems to work fine.

    The handle is receiving it's finishing coats and will be ready before the end of the week.

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

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

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  3. #2
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    Default

    Just as a small aside I saw on Ebay a Simonds catalogue advertised and it included an extract with their docking saw. The catalogue was advertised as 1915, but I am pretty certain it is from 1937. Although Simonds ceased handsaw production in 1926, the docking saws were not included and persisted in the Simonds range until at least the time of this catalogue.

    The saws up until 1923 (the last catalogue I have) had a hollow handle without perforation, but as you can see from the pic below the later models were perforated as were most of the manufacturers docking saws. Each had their own style of perforation. Each had an iron handle. Each had a huge hand hole so that a gloved hand could be used in the cold weather in an exterior situation. And each one was ugly with some more ugly than others.

    Simonds No.348 circa 1937. cropped.jpg

    My conjecture with my saw and the aluminium handle, and irrespective of the manufacturer, is that it is from a later time again. However, I am not sure when aluminium became commonly used; Certainly by 1950.

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

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

  4. #3
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    Default

    I like the sentiment behind this saw Paul and looking forward to seeing the finished item.
    I have a hard point saw for this purpose, might have to re-handle it too.

  5. #4
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    Gavin

    I think we are on the same page. If you are ever passing down the road and see the top of a fence post cut off, you can take an informed guess I have been by .

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

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

  6. #5
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    Default The handle

    The handle is now attached. I used an Australian hardwood. It was a Eucalypt we cut down in our front yard as the limbs were threatening the house as well as filling the gutters with leaves. I and the young bloke who felled the tree for us (by climbing the tree with spiked boots and cutting it segment by segment from the top, as there was no possible way to fall it from the base) could not identify it other than it was a smooth barked gum.

    I cut a few billets from it just out of interest. Interestingly it is incredibly similar in colour to apple, although to my mind, it has a little more character. That is where the similarity ended as it was a classic Aussie hardwood and quite challenging to work.

    Before

    P1030086.JPG

    and after

    P1030144.JPG

    Some close ups of the handle

    P1030147.JPGP1030146.JPGP1030150.JPG

    The hardware was recycled from my stock of spares and I did my best to align the Warranted Superior medallion as I know there are some out there who play great store in this . I use the WS medallions so there can be no confusion that I am passing the saw off as something it is not. Not that it matters here as this is a saw I am keeping. Warranted Superior medallions come in a variety of styles, but I particularly like those with the eagle on them. Purely aesthetic and plays no part in the performance of the saw!

    P1030149.JPG

    Those large teeth again filed at 20 degs rake, 15 degs of fleam and quite a lot of slope .

    P1030151.JPG

    Temporarily I have made a tooth guard to prevent everything in the ute, including my fingers, being ripped to shreds, but I will probably substitute a cardboard or plywood scabbard for the tooth guard (one day).

    P1030153.JPG

    Oh yes, I forgot to mention that it is based on a Wheeler Madden and Clemson saw handle with the Holden patent, which I don't really have to tell you knowledgeable blokes was a "thumbhole" to assist two handed sawing. Thumbhole saws were primarily, but not exclusively, used on rip saws as that type of sawing is more demanding and often more protracted than crosscut sawing. Disston, for example, used them almost exclusively on their rip saws. However, WMC used it on all their saws if the Holden handle was assigned to a particular model, even down to the panel saws.

    My philosophy is that if you need to use two hands to saw, either the saw is not sharp enough or you need to revise you sawing technique. So for me the Holden patent handle is purely decorative. Technically, "Sabrina" is, at 24", a panel saw, but she does cut above her weight and there is more to her than meets the eye .

    In the WMC 1895 catalogue, 14 out of the nineteen models listed used a Holden patent handle of some description, although some were much more simplistic than others. The handle I have made is a slight hybrid in that the era I chose it from probably did not have any wheat carving, but the lambs tongue is authentic..

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

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

  7. #6
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    Default

    Paul,

    I kept seeing this thread on my phone at work and thinking I was going to check it out on a computer since it had photos, but it took me a while to make it happen.

    That's an awesome result. The carving and the handle in general is excellent. I love the shape. I've long pined over the WMC style handle. It is, in my opinion, cooler looking than the D8 rip saw handles, and just really exceptional from an aesthetic point of view. You've taken it to a whole new level here!

    I also keep an eye out for a good, 30" docking saw, but the ones on eBay are a bit rich for my blood right now. That day will come, though. I've also thought about keeping it in my truck.

    As always, a job well done on a saw re-done.

    Cheers,
    Luke

  8. #7
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    Default

    I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I intended making up a scabbard to keep both the saw and me safe from accidental contact when it was stored behind the seat in my ute.

    Just of late I have made up a few of these scabbards just out of scrap cardboard. Normally I halt the sheath at the start of the handle. However with this one I extended the protection to include the handle as I am pretty careless (not always, just on a good day) and tend to throw stuff behind the seats without regard for what is already there!

    The original handle was fairly bullet proof and while I believe the new timber handle is more pleasing it is more susceptible to damage.

    P1030603.JPGP1030605.JPG

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

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

  9. #8
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    Default

    I'm going to say - I think your earlier work (ie the saw handle) had greater artistic value.
    Awesome job, by the way.
    I love carved handles - and it'll look even better 20 or 30 years from now.


    I hope it doesn't get too banged up in the ute (although scars are cool ).

    Although I love me those pre-1900 handles, I also quite like the practicality of many of those metal handles.
    Some are quite acceptable in the hand.


    ... I will disagree about the two-hand sawing 'tho (unless I misread you).

    In ripping that length of telegraph pole once before (Crazy Teeth is about 2ppi) - that you were dumb bored interested enough to watch thru - using two hands/arms helped keep up an even pace for longer than I would have persisted with only one.

    Also, eg your classic two-man (or even one-man) sawing jobbie - either felling or bucking. Again, I think, having that aim to keep up a steady pace for longer, it's useful to employ all the body elements you can (for any piece that is "substantial relative to personal ability").

    Cheers,
    Paul

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