Thread: Kenyon riff
17th Aug 2018, 07:32 PM #1
Many moons ago, I saw some very appealing small saws with pistol-grip handles, in a tool chest formerly belonging to a bloke called Duncan Phyfe, who operated in New York during the early 19thC. They inspired my first effort at making my own handles, but I had nothing but a black & white picture of the handle only, and no dimensions, so my saw ended up not very much like the one in the tool chest!
Fast forward 30 years and the Seaton tool chest (from a decade or two earlier) is inspiring awe & replicas. It also contained a couple of small backsaws with open handles, by Kenyon of London, and the handles are possibly even nicer than on Dunc's saws. So, when Bushmiller told me he wanted to make a whole set of replicas from the Seaton chest, but was not sure how to go about folding the backs, I suggested he try slitting backs, then filing & sanding them to look like they were folded. I thought I had better do a 'proof of concept' so I decided to try my hand at a replica myself. This time, I had a good drawing & all the necessary info, thanks to Paul, so I've ended up with something a bit closer to the original than my first attempt so many moons ago.
Slitting the brass (a bit deeper than I'd normally do), & rounding the sides & top worked well - the back does look like it's been folded unless you look very closely & carefully, so that was successful enough to encourage me to press on.
I had two scraps of 15 thou saw-plate, one just big enough to match the blade of the smallest saw in the chest, the other a bit smaller again, so I thought I'd practice by making a saw that was similar to, but scaled down a little, from the Kenyon. It's a dinky little thing, but quite usable. The handle is Black Walnut. I put 18tpi on it & it cuts very cleanly - a good little box-makers saw, I reckon: Kenyon style.jpg
So that went ok, now for the 'real thing'. It isn't an exact replica, of course, the handle is close in shape & size, but of Persian Walnut, not Beech. I reckoned the hang-angle of the original was much too high for my taste, so I dropped that a bit. I also had to use 15 thou plate where the original is 18 thou. The tooth pitch of the original is given as 19-20ppi (which I take to mean it's between 19 & 20, not micro-progressive pitch!) & since I had a template for 18tpi, which is near enough to 19ppi, that's what it got (rip profile). The saw bolts are different, too, being turned rather than cast as the originals probably were, but they're mostly inside out of sight, so let's not get too picky! It's close enough for the bush: Kenyon_Seaton.jpg
I had a bit of a play around with both saws after assembly, and they gave a very good account of themselves.
Lotsa fun! Kenyon pr.jpg
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17th Aug 2018, 09:29 PM #2
Another set of gorgeous awesome saws.
I really love the little box making saw if I may call it that.
And I think you have pulled of a sly of hand with the brass backs looking like they were folded.
(I thought you said no more tool making awhile back [emoji849])
17th Aug 2018, 11:04 PM #3
Have you not heard the hackneyed expression "Do as I say, not do as I do." ?
However, I am with you on this Matt as Ian does do a very passable job . I have also had the opportunity to see the little one in the flesh. Just as you would expect, "Ugly Bubba." Hey, hold on a tick, that's another bloke. What I meant to say was "Splendid job old chap." I am just getting into character for the Kenyon festive season.
"Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"
17th Aug 2018, 11:59 PM #4
You are supposed to be slowing down. I can hardly credit how fast you knock those saws out, particularly bearing in mind you make every component of the saw and I know that it was not the only project on which you were working. What do you do after breakfast?
On the larger saw, which was unfinished when I visited, I like the little swirl on the lower horn (it only becomes apparent when the pic is enlarged, well to my eyes anyway). Overall, those saws have come up so well. I have hardly got anywhere and yours are done. Actually I did make a start and there was an immediate disaster. For the first time ever I had lined up a piece of Casuarina oak that was just barely large enough for the smallest saw (the dovetail). I started cutting it out:
but despite taking an inordinate amount of time to even get this piece I had not inspected this piece of Hairy Oak carefully enough:
as when I parted the hair there was a slit, deep and menacing lurking in the undergrowth....
P1040109 (Medium).JPGP1040110 (Medium).JPG
I suppose life's experiences should have led me to expect this.
Just as an aside (not really a digression) when I took the pix, I just happened to notice my screwdrivers had stamps on the blades: The legacy of their previous life.
Blow me if the smaller one, the Nicholson, did not have "Brazil" stamped on it! The indignity of it took me back to the dud file thread.
It truly did make it one of these:
However, the other was a a Wiltshire, made in Australia.
"Power tends to corrupt. Absolute power corrupts, absolutely!"
18th Aug 2018, 09:18 AM #5
The word seemed to get around that I was retiring from saw-making, & I got several last-minute requests, which I could only fill by putting the hard word on some friends for a couple more bits of suitably-sized plate. Said 'friends' responded by sending several more bits than I needed. I couldn't just leave them to rust away, could I?
Paul, Hairy Oak has to be the most frustrating wood I've ever met! I too have spent inordinate care on selecting & cutting pieces from the stuff we harvested several years ago, only to have major defects pop up when I started to cut out a shape or turn a handle etc. Apart from the deep splits that seem to occur along the radial ray cells, there are these internal defects, full of soft brown gunk that I assume are old wood-boring insect tracks. They become totally covered by new wood and are impossible to detect until you cut into one. Why is it that the worst ones are always smack in the most visible spot??
It's so frustrating, because of all the Allocasaurinas I've met, it's the easiest to cut & shape & makes an excellent handle wood (when you can find a sound piece large enough!).....
18th Aug 2018, 12:27 PM #6
18th Aug 2018, 01:48 PM #7
Great work as always Ian. Glad you got your saw plate. Iím quite enamoured with the smaller of the saws also.
I think we all need to keep conspiring against you so you keep producing fine tools.Ö..Live a Quiet Life & Work with your Hands
18th Aug 2018, 06:53 PM #8
18th Aug 2018, 06:57 PM #9
18th Aug 2018, 07:26 PM #10
Rate Iím going youíll out live me!Ö..Live a Quiet Life & Work with your Hands
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