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  1. #1
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    Default More on saw plate availability..

    Obtaining saw plate in small quantities can be a problem for amateur saw makers in Oz since there seems to be no source of supply here in the lucky country. Simplicity started a thread on the topic almost 2 years ago. He concluded that the Blackburn pre-cut & pre-toothed blades were reasonable value, & I think that is still true, but postage costs sure sour the deal! I’ve been asked a few times lately if I’m still making saws, & said I’m retired from that business, but a couple of months ago decided I 'needed' to make “just one more saw” for myself. I scoured the interweb looking for a source of saw plate in small quantities at a sensible price & about a month ago, I came across packs of blue-tempered shim stock on Amazon, of all places. The cost (landed in my letterbox) was $Au105 for a pack of 6 sheets, each 6 x 12 inches, containing one each of 0.05; 0.010; 0.015; 0.020; 0.025 & 0.032”. (I can’t give you a link, because they are no longer listed).

    My packet of goodies duly arrived, even earlier than the promised delivery date, & I couldn’t resist getting stuck into it immediately. 1 Shim stock.jpg

    All I really wanted was one blade from the 15 thou piece, to make another saw modelled on the small Kenyon saw from the Seaton tool chest (Kenyon Saws ). The sheet was big enough to make 3 blades, with a bit left over (which I could make a 6” gent’s saw from if I feel like it at some point). I thought I may as well make up the extra two saws while I was at it, and also prepare some backs for the remaining pieces while I had my slotting arrangement set up. 2 Blades cut out.jpg

    In all, I got 8 blades from the 15, 20, 25 & 32 thou sheets so at an average price of a few cents more than $13 per blade, that’s not too bad. Don't know if the 5- & 10-thou sheets will ever get used, but I might find a use for them someday - anyone up for an ultra-ultra, or ultra-ultra-ultra thin saw? .

    I’d found a bit of Lace she-oak which was just big enough for my handle. It’s not the laciest example, which is why I’d put it aside & forgotten it, but still looks interesting. The profile is close to, but not identical with the Kenyon handle. It’s not meant to be a reproduction & I can’t resist putting my own footprint (or should that be handprint?) on things. 3 Lace S_oak.jpg

    The Beech handle on the saw in front in his pic is much closer to the Seaton handle3a Kenyon pr.jpg:

    The blade size is similar to the Kenyon but a bit thinner (original is 18 thou), & I toothed it at 18tpi, which should be the same as the original (quoted as having 19 ppi). I prefer 15tpi for a regular dovetail saw, but this one is aimed at slightly finer work. It will handle stock to 20mm thick ok, but I have a couple of projects coming up that will involve quite a bit of thin stock (8-12mm) & this saw will be happier doing this than my 15tpi saw.

    Saw #2 got the same tooth pitch & a birdseye maple handle, also in the Kenyoun style with minor alterations: 4 B_eye maple.jpg

    The third saw got 15tpi and a black walnut handle. 5 Walnut.jpg

    This handle is the shape I prefer on a dovetail saw, it's a modified version of a handle on a very old small Disston I once used. The slightly coarser pitch cuts a little faster, but still cleanly enough to fit your dovetails “off-saw’ & is a bit easier for my ageing eyes to see when toothing & sharpening. The grip is set more ‘vertically’ than the Kenyon handles (which I actually lowered a bit because I think the original is too high for sawing dovetails & tenons the way I do, with the sawing-point well above bench-top height so I can see the lines clearly. Here’s one of the “Kenyon” handles compared with my style: 6 Hang angles.jpg

    The grip on the walnut saw is more comfortable when sawing up high, the Kenyon angle is more suited to cutting at or a little above benchtop height.On all saws, I’ve shaped the grips into a more elliptical cross-section than the quarter-round edge style of the original Kenyon. To me, the extra shaping looks more ‘organic’ than the simpler rounding over, & snuggles into a hand very nicely – just personal taste.

    I decided to keep a couple of pieces of the leftover plate for future use, but I’ll make up a few larger saws over the next week or two. 7 Blades fitted.jpg

    They’re still only roughed out at this stage, but I might get them finished in time for the pre- Christmas sales…
    IW

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    Brisbane
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    Default

    They are amazing. I am still admiring how you knock these tools out. And not just only but a whole bunch.

    And how are you doing it now with the heat kicking in. It's getting really hot.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    Dandenong Ranges
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    1,013

    Default

    Hi Ian. I agree with CK. Are you filing the teeth into the plate or do you have a punch/stamping thingy? And when you say Christmas sales......?

  5. #4
    Join Date
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cklett View Post
    .......And how are you doing it now with the heat kicking in. It's getting really hot.....
    You're not wrong there, Ck - I am currently having a long lunch to let my fried brain recover a bit before I head back to the shed!

    I'm not that fast! The metal work is the most straightforward part, it probably takes less than two hours to cut out & tooth a blade, slot the back & turn a set of bolts. The handle is the killer, takes about 45 minutes to cut out, drill for the bolts, & rough-shape, then at least half a day to scrape, sand & finish it to standard & fit everything together. If everything goes smoothly, there is over a day's work in each one & more if something goes awry. Like having to can a really nice black wattle handle almost at the finishing stage when a couple of ugly cracks appeared in the middle of the grip. They were there all along, of course, but I didn't see them until the sudden burst of hot weather opened them up & made them visible!

    Cheers,
    IW

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Ash View Post
    Hi Ian. I agree with CK. Are you filing the teeth into the plate or do you have a punch/stamping thingy? And when you say Christmas sales......?
    Teeth are filed, MA, I don't have a toothing machine. It's really not that big a deal for a small batch of saws, I use a template to mark out (one stroke with a needle file makes a good notch), then file them in. With a sharp file, it only takes about 4-5 strokes to make a 15tpi tooth, so all up, not much more than 1/2 hour to tooth, set & sharpen a dovetail saw (took many times that for the first few!). For the smaller teeth I use Grobet needle files & they are very good, they don't shed teeth, & cut smoothly & consistently. But this 1095 plate is pretty tough on files, & I usually kill a 4 or 5 inch file on each of the larger saws (which adds about $15 to the cost of each saw).

    Poor files make hard work of it. Most files made now are too brittle & shed teeth from the corners almost immediately, which makes it really hard to make consistent, even strokes. I used up the last of my NOS Nicholsons a little while ago, so I'm back to struggling with Bahcos, which seem to vary from batch to batch - they go from tolerable to really bad!

    Cheers,

    A couple of saws are spoken for, but I'll put the 'spares' on the Marketplace when I get them finished & get a round tuit.....
    IW

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2019
    Location
    Brisbane
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    Default

    Got to watch the marketplace again. Sure they will be gone in no time...

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    1,189

    Default

    Ian these look fantastic mate

    If you don't mind me asking. Where do you source the brass for the top of the saw?

    Sent from my TA-1012 using Tapatalk

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    5,776

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post
    Obtaining saw plate in small quantities can be a problem for amateur saw makers in Oz since there seems to be no source of supply here in the lucky country. Simplicity started a thread on the topic almost 2 years ago. He concluded that the Blackburn pre-cut & pre-toothed blades were reasonable value, & I think that is still true, but postage costs sure sour the deal! I’ve been asked a few times lately if I’m still making saws, & said I’m retired from that business, but a couple of months ago decided I 'needed' to make “just one more saw” for myself. I scoured the interweb looking for a source of saw plate in small quantities at a sensible price & about a month ago, I came across packs of blue-tempered shim stock on Amazon, of all places. The cost (landed in my letterbox) was $Au105 for a pack of 6 sheets, each 6 x 12 inches, containing one each of 0.05; 0.010; 0.015; 0.020; 0.025 & 0.032”. (I can’t give you a link, because they are no longer listed).

    My packet of goodies duly arrived, even earlier than the promised delivery date, & I couldn’t resist getting stuck into it immediately. 1 Shim stock.jpg

    All I really wanted was one blade from the 15 thou piece, to make another saw modelled on the small Kenyon saw from the Seaton tool chest (Kenyon Saws ). The sheet was big enough to make 3 blades, with a bit left over (which I could make a 6” gent’s saw from if I feel like it at some point). I thought I may as well make up the extra two saws while I was at it, and also prepare some backs for the remaining pieces while I had my slotting arrangement set up. 2 Blades cut out.jpg

    In all, I got 8 blades from the 15, 20, 25 & 32 thou sheets so at an average price of a few cents more than $13 per blade, that’s not too bad. Don't know if the 5- & 10-thou sheets will ever get used, but I might find a use for them someday - anyone up for an ultra-ultra, or ultra-ultra-ultra thin saw? .

    I’d found a bit of Lace she-oak which was just big enough for my handle. It’s not the laciest example, which is why I’d put it aside & forgotten it, but still looks interesting. The profile is close to, but not identical with the Kenyon handle. It’s not meant to be a reproduction & I can’t resist putting my own footprint (or should that be handprint?) on things. 3 Lace S_oak.jpg

    The Beech handle on the saw in front in his pic is much closer to the Seaton handle3a Kenyon pr.jpg:

    The blade size is similar to the Kenyon but a bit thinner (original is 18 thou), & I toothed it at 18tpi, which should be the same as the original (quoted as having 19 ppi). I prefer 15tpi for a regular dovetail saw, but this one is aimed at slightly finer work. It will handle stock to 20mm thick ok, but I have a couple of projects coming up that will involve quite a bit of thin stock (8-12mm) & this saw will be happier doing this than my 15tpi saw.

    Saw #2 got the same tooth pitch & a birdseye maple handle, also in the Kenyoun style with minor alterations: 4 B_eye maple.jpg

    The third saw got 15tpi and a black walnut handle. 5 Walnut.jpg

    This handle is the shape I prefer on a dovetail saw, it's a modified version of a handle on a very old small Disston I once used. The slightly coarser pitch cuts a little faster, but still cleanly enough to fit your dovetails “off-saw’ & is a bit easier for my ageing eyes to see when toothing & sharpening. The grip is set more ‘vertically’ than the Kenyon handles (which I actually lowered a bit because I think the original is too high for sawing dovetails & tenons the way I do, with the sawing-point well above bench-top height so I can see the lines clearly. Here’s one of the “Kenyon” handles compared with my style: 6 Hang angles.jpg

    The grip on the walnut saw is more comfortable when sawing up high, the Kenyon angle is more suited to cutting at or a little above benchtop height.On all saws, I’ve shaped the grips into a more elliptical cross-section than the quarter-round edge style of the original Kenyon. To me, the extra shaping looks more ‘organic’ than the simpler rounding over, & snuggles into a hand very nicely – just personal taste.

    I decided to keep a couple of pieces of the leftover plate for future use, but I’ll make up a few larger saws over the next week or two. 7 Blades fitted.jpg

    They’re still only roughed out at this stage, but I might get them finished in time for the pre- Christmas sales…
    Ian,

    I had seen the same pack of Blue tempered steel on Amazon many times in my hunting of Saw Plate well I assume it was the same pack.
    So this thread comes as a mild revelation, I had thought many times I should just push the big button and give them a go.
    So I’m glad you did, and wow,looks like my hunch was right, they would make excellent saws.
    Going by your examples.

    I think now you have given me the courage to maybe even try some 1085 as well.

    I think I’ve almost forgotten your comment about something never making anymore,sorry I can’t remember the rest of it.
    Doesn’t really matter [emoji6]

    The Kenyon saws look very nice,
    I’m sure who ever ends up owning the saws will be very happy.

    Cheers Matt.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by delbs View Post
    ..... Where do you source the brass for the top of the saw? ....
    From a local firm, Westons, but there seem to be brass & non-ferrous merchants in all major cities....

    Cheers,
    IW

  11. #10
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    Default Finishing the batch

    Over the last few days I finished the batch.

    From the 20 thou plate I made two 250 x 75mm tenon saws, both toothed at 12tpi rip. One got a handle of spalted river oak (Allocasuarina cunninghamiana): a River oak.jpg

    The other got Persian or English walnut: b Eng W_nut.jpg

    I kept half of the 25 thou plate in reserve & made a 300 x 75mm 12tpi tenon saw from the other half. This got a 'swamp oak' (Casuarina obesa) handle: c Swamp oak.jpg

    Here are the 3 different casuarina handles for comparison: d Casuarinas cf.jpg

    So that's my little burst of saw making done & dusted for now. But one last thing, when I looked at the pic of the black walnut handled doveail saw, it looked a bit clumsy, so tis morning I pulled it out & trimmed the bottom of the grip to make the rear-facing horn thinner. I think it looks a bit better now: e Blk W_nut mod.jpg 5 Walnut.jpg

    Cheers,
    IW

  12. #11
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    They are marvelous! How the spalting curls at the first one. Like it grew for becoming this handle specifically. That's just beautiful.

    Thanks fir sharing.

    Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk

  13. #12
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    The spalting does make an otherwise slightly bland wood far more attractive. The tree this piece came from had jet black heartwood, 70-80mm deep, but most of it developed long splits in drying, even though I was ultra careful with it. Where the dark wood met the unaffected wood, the fungus has made seemingly random thick & thin lines, so it was just luck that the 'curl' ended up on the bottom of the grip like that. I guess one of the attractions of spalting is its variability, no two pieces are ever the same!

    Cheers,
    IW

  14. #13
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    Nov 2004
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    Millmerran,QLD
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    Ian

    Your saws look so good as usual.

    What was it the now departed Sean Connery said?

    "Never say never again."

    It's a pity there is no more of this material available as sourcing particularly the thinner plate seems to be a problem. What to do with the .05" (should that be .005"?) and .010" ?

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

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

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushmiller View Post
    .... What to do with the .05" (should that be .005"?) and .010" ? ...
    Paul, yes, 0.005" is what the thinnest piece is. I don't think it's a practical thickness for anything but shims or feeler gauge blades. I've been commissioned by my middle daughter to make an elaborate dolls house - it'll have to have a workshop, so p'raps I'll make a couple of mini backsaws. Let's see, at 1/12 scale, a 300mm saw would scale to 25mm long by 6mm wide - there'll be a few of those in a 12 x 6" plate, won't there?

    I might try making a small "razor saw" with the 10 thou plate, just for fun. I've got one I bought several decades ago, which is very handy for some little job about once a year, but otherwise sits unused. I think it's about 30tpi - that will be a test for my eyesight!

    Cheers,
    IW

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by IanW View Post

    I might try making a small "razor saw" with the 10 thou plate, just for fun. I've got one I bought several decades ago, which is very handy for some little job about once a year, but otherwise sits unused. I think it's about 30tpi - that will be a test for my eyesight!

    Cheers,
    Ian

    Once the teeth are 20ppi is there any practical advantage in going with a finer tooth, particularly bearing in mind the difficulty of both seeing and filing. I imagine that the teeth become fully blocked in no time at all during the sawing process. Maybe not quite so much on ultra thin stock.

    I do have a jeweler's loupe that attaches to the Optivisor headband if you are set on 30ppi and you are welcome to borrow it.

    I have never actually used it myself!

    Regards
    Paul
    Bushmiller;

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

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