1. Dusty Shed Dweller

    Dusty Shed Dweller Most Valued Member

    Interesting hand saw that I restored recently; a 26" rip deeply stamped C. Johnson "Flag Works" Sheffield cast steel. The saw originally had split nuts but these were replaced by domed steel nuts a long time ago. These nuts were hot blued with vestiges of the finish remaining underneath, and I see a lot of saws with these replacements. The beech handle was smashed and the "sharpening" job was awful so de-scaling, sharpening and fixing the handle didn't disfigure anything. The blade is not taper ground but rings like a bell after re-tensioning. It will make a nice user.

    I believe that Johnson specialised in razors but was manufacturing saws around 1850.


  2. fred0325

    fred0325 Most Valued Member


    BSSM has Christopher Johnson and Co. as listed sawmakers from 1876 to 1879 only, but states that the firm was selling saws from as early as 1845.

    With the "Sheffield" being in italic script, this probably puts your saw to within the 1850/1860 decade.

    There is also an image of a medallion bearing your "Flag Works" stamp. It looks like the letters on your flag are C O?/D?/ or something. From BSSM's picture it looks like in reality the final letter is J.

    And they generally made of the highest quality. Hence your saw taking to restoration so well.

  3. Dusty Shed Dweller

    Dusty Shed Dweller Most Valued Member

    An update on the above saw.

    The saw has a particularly notable, cymbal-like note when struck, indicative of highly tempered, high carbon steel. Johnson was a master cutler, specialising in straight razors and it appears that this saw is made from the same top drawer steel.

    The saw has since passed on to a bloke who specialises in building large wooden structures - barns, covered bridges etc. Some of the beams are 30' long, 15 or so inches square, which he rips from logs he fells on his property. The beams are produced by an Alaskan Chainsaw Mill, using a big chainsaw fitted with a carbide-toothed ripping chain. This is required as the local native timbers- red and yellow box, ironbark, flooded and spotted gum etc are hard and tough. In addition, the Eucalypts typically contain a fair bit of grit from windblown dust.

    This the only saw that has stood up to ripping tenons etc in the big Eucalyptus beams and has outlasted a selection of Disston's and S&J's etc. It cuts smooth and fast, which is surprising given the brutally hard yellow box and the relatively "soft" set up of 5 degrees rake and 6 point toothing

    Sometimes you come across old tools that simply are better.
    ray and Underthedirt like this.