Gent's Saws

Discussion in 'Saw Makers Forum' started by summerfi, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. summerfi

    summerfi Most Valued Member

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    184
    Hi all,
    This area of the forum seems to receive little traffic, so let me post a pair of gent's saws that I've recently completed. The plates are 8" spring steel in 0.015" thickness and filed 16 ppi. The 1/2" folded brass backs are hand made. The handles are figured American black walnut. The etch is applied by laser. Comments and critiques welcome, as I'm always looking for ways to improve my sawmaking.

    Bob
     

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  2. Barleys

    Barleys Most Valued Member

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    545
    Beautiful saws, Bob. If only I found myself needing to use a gent's saw! For small jobs I turn automatically to an 8in dovetail, but I once spent a week with the chairmaker John Brown, who wouldn't use anything but a gent's saw for his small work - said he preferred the control.
    How durable is the laser etch? How would it react to abrasives? Are the backs fastened with adhesive, or do they grip by friction only? How do you do the folding of the back?
    Am interested to know how much of the traditional (ie Sheffield) mode of manufacture you find useful today.
     
  3. summerfi

    summerfi Most Valued Member

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    184
    Hi Simon. Thanks for the compliment. It means a lot.
    These are the first saws I've made with a laser etch, so I'm making assumptions at this point. The etch is much different than modern saws that have a "painted on" or screen printed etch. It actually goes into the metal. The area is coated with some sort of ceramic material, and when the laser hits it, it turns black and fuses with the steel. So I'm thinking it will be quite durable, but only time will tell.
    I'm very much a traditionalist, so I prefer folded backs to the slotted ones. I'm not well equipped to make folded backs in my shop (yet), but I've made a few anyway in both 1/2" and 3/4" width. The 1/2" backs are 1/16" brass while the 3/4" are 3/32". I've used a cheap and much too flimsy metal brake to start the bend, and once it's started I finish it off by squeezing in a vise. I anneal the brass a few times during the process as it work hardens in order to prevent it from cracking. After bending, the backs require some cleanup and sanding to give them a finished look. It's a primitive method, but it seems to work. I use no adhesives to attach the backs. They are held by friction only.
    As far as I'm concerned, most all the traditional Sheffield mode of manufacture is useful to small scale saw makers today. I cannot name stamp the plates, of course, because the steel is already tempered when I get it. Nor am I set up to cast saw screws or medallions, so I make them by hand from brass rod. My medallions, by the way, also have a logo laser etched on them. My handle making, sharpening, etc. is done pretty much identical to how they did it 150 years ago.
    These gent's saws are the first of a full set of 10 matching saws that I intend to make that will range through all the saw sizes, culminating in a 28" rip handsaw. That will take awhile to accomplish. I'll post the other saws as I complete them.

    Bob
     
  4. TraditionalToolworks

    TraditionalToolworks Most Valued Member

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    181
    I think these gent saws look fine indeed. No quiver is complete without a pair of gent saws. I especially like the ribbon detail on the handle, and the brass end is a nice touch. Did you run the back all the way through the handle?

    Nice looking laser work also...really nice saws.

    I haven't been around here in a while, good to see a saw in here that someone made! Very nice saw Bob!

    Cheers,
    Alan
     
  5. summerfi

    summerfi Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    184
    Thanks Alan. The back doesn't go all the way through the handle, although I did think about doing that. The back and blade tang are epoxied into the handle. The brass button on the end is just for decoration.

    Bob
     
  6. TraditionalToolworks

    TraditionalToolworks Most Valued Member

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    181
    Well, it looks very nice Bob. As I said, I don't feel that any saw quiver would be complete without gent saws. I have about 10 Disston 68s (some Pennsylvania Saw), in assorted sizes. Almost all of mine have the older style handles on them with the ribs around the wide portion.

    A pair of gent saws has been on my list of saws to make for myself. :)
     
  7. ray

    ray Administrator Staff Member

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    651
    Just beautiful Bob, you are inspiring me to have a go myself make a couple of gent saws... I like the detail carving on the handle, I hope you won't be offended if I copy that.. :) it set's the handle off just right ... very impressive.

    Ray
     
  8. summerfi

    summerfi Most Valued Member

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    184
    Thanks Ray. Copy away! The handle detail was just done with a triangular saw file. Glad you like it.

    Bob
     
  9. summerfi

    summerfi Most Valued Member

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    184
    Here's another gent's saw I recently made on commission for a client. The handle is made of cocobolo at his request.

    IMG_1249.jpg IMG_1244.jpg