Australian Saws

Discussion in 'Forum: Saw Identification and Discussion' started by Underthedirt, Feb 11, 2016.

  1. Underthedirt

    Underthedirt Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    177
    Hi Chris, thanks for your remarks, & yes you are correct, the thumbhole rip has a ppi stamp on the heel, quite deep & noticeable on the other side, the panel saw has a ppi stamp too.
    I was chuffed to find them, I've heard lots about them but never seen even a photo of a River Lett saw...:)

    Regards

    Mari
     
  2. Underthedirt

    Underthedirt Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    177
    Two Denman & Robinson of Melbourne saws, an 26" aggressive 7ppi xcut with a beech handle & Sheffield W/S medallion, plus an 8" bb gents saw 16.5ppi xcut, stamped on the brass spine.

    I've had the 26" saw for about 3yrs scratching my head over the etch, I presumed that it was just another Bowden when starting to clean it & I was very surprised to see a worn etch ...man & Ro...son, Melbourne! For the life of me I couldn't work it out, so I put it back on the shelf until hopefully more evidence would come to light, & when I found the little gents saw the penny dropped.

    Denman & Robinson had a reasonable sized workshop in Oakleigh & were saw Drs & cutter sharpeners, I believe that they have closed now unfortunately.


    Regards


    Mari
     

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  3. Model T Ford

    Model T Ford New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Hello All,
    I contacted the Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum to see if they had any further information on River Lett Saws. They kindly provided the following information:

    "Information on the saws is fairly scant. All we have is the following:

    The River Lett saws were made by Geoffrey Kensett. He worked at the Factory during Second World War and started sharpening saws in a shed from 1946. He later leased a "rec" building to manufacture saws and was in business from 1947 to 1950. The blades were made at the Factory from English steel. The handles were coachwood supplied by Tom Kirk's saw mill at Mount Wilson, we assume he shaped them himself.

    He made various saws including rip, panel meat and a 24" handyman saw. Over 20,000 total were made in the 4 years. Many were exported to New Zealand.

    We may find more on the saws as we continue to catalogue our archives.

    Kind regards,

    Donna White
    Custodian
    Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum"

    So there we are. A bit more information about Australian saws.
     
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  4. Underthedirt

    Underthedirt Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    177
    Dear Model T,

    Thanks so much for contacting the museum & posting this, its invaluable information & fascinating to read...:)

    Regards

    Mari
     
  5. Model T Ford

    Model T Ford New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Yes very interesting Mari.

    20,000 saws in 4 years is 5,000 p.a. Assuming 46 weeks per year production that's 109 saws per week, say 22 per day without any delays. That's one saw produced every 20 minutes. Geoffrey must have had a few people helping him I would think.

    It would be interesting to know how he distributed / sold the saws, and then why he stopped production. I have not been able to trace any adverts for the saws, so maybe Geoffrey sold his saws through hardware merchants?

    From what I have read on line over the years it would appear that around about 1950 the likes of Stanley, Disston and Spear & Jackson were taking advantage of import tarrifs and started to "manufacture" saws in Australia = assembling saws from imported components and then export them and sell locally - maybe some of the handles were made locally?

    Geoffrey most likely would have found he could not compete with the big manufacturers when they rode into town, and decided to close the business.

    Or maybe it is as simple as his lease ran out and he didn't renew it so shut the business down. Or he simply retired and shut the business down.

    Hopefully the Lithgow Small Arms Factory Museum will unearth more information in the future as they sift through their archives.

    Regards,
    Trevor
     
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  6. Underthedirt

    Underthedirt Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    177
    Thanks for your reply Trevor, I'm surprised that the River Lett saws were only made for 4 years & then finished up in 1950- that would explain why they are hard to find.
    Also, some of the handles that Disston used on their locally "produced" D8s look to have been made out of Meranti- not beech, so I would think that those were possibly made here.

    regards

    Mari