Making a new hand saw.

Discussion in 'Saw Makers Forum' started by lui, Mar 8, 2011.

  1. lui

    lui Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    77
    I've been thinking about possibly making myself a new handsaw.

    As much as anything else it will give me a better understanding of what was involved in the past, and I might get a half decent saw out of it.

    There seems to be quite a few people making back saws, but almost no one making hand saws.

    Having searched the internet for information, it is really hard to find any advice.

    The handle and brass fittings are no problem at all.

    Where I am finding it hard to get info is about the steel, hardness tempering etc.

    The way I see it I have two choices,

    1. Choose a steel that is the correct hardness prior to doing anything to the plate. What steel should I be going for? I was thinking around 0.032-0.04" thick. I was also thinking of atemping to taper ground the back.

    or

    2. Start with a good steel, shape the plate as required and then temper the blade to the required hardness. This seems like a harder option but I don't know if it is possible to get sping steel that is the correct hardness to start with.

    Any and all advice welcome.

    regards

    lui
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011
  2. ray

    ray Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    668
    Hi Lui,

    I think you are already on the right track with this, the steel to use is 1095 spring steel, and you can get it in various thicknesses, I have mostly used 20thou and a little 15thou, for backsaws but you will want a thicker saw plate for a handsaw.

    I have bought steel from this company in the US, but you will have to find a UK supplier of 1095.

    http://www.victornet.com/report/Spring-Steel/1306.html

    The cutting of the saw plate blank is pretty easy with an angle grinder and thin 1mm cutoff wheels. You sandwich the steel and clamp it up nice and tight between some mild steel flat to act as a heatsink, and use the mild steel flat as a cutting guide for the angle grinder.

    You'll have to clean up the edges with file, and joint the tooth line as per normal, unless of course you want to have a breasted tooth line?

    From the pictures you showed earlier of your workshop, I don't think you will have any problems. I'll be following your progress with interest.

    One thing I can't help with is grinding a taper on the plate, I've tried various grinding methods and all result in too much heat and the plate warps, the traditional way of doing it was a large diameter water cooled wheel, and I don't have one handy! :)

    Please post some pictures of the progress.

    Regards
    Ray

    EDIT: I did a quick search and I think in the UK the equivalent is BS1449 CS95. If in doubt look for the carbon content to be 0.95%

    Try this company
    http://www.westyorkssteel.com/spring_steel.html
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  3. lui

    lui Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    77
    Hi Ray,

    Thanks for that, I had managed to find a supplier of CS95 (polished) Annealed or hardened and tempered

    I think I'll go for the hardened and tempered but I don't know what temper is best? but this might be trial and error.

    As for the grinding I have an idea about using a pair of belt sanders back to back. This would grind both sides at the same time, but as you say keeping the heat down is the issue.

    I'll be interested to see if the CS95 is to brittle for the fly press, some testing is required. I'm going to go for 0.040" which works out around 1mm thick prior to grinding.

    I have some costs back for the steel, but still need to work on this as the steel cost per saw is looking at about £60.

    I'll keep you all informed if it gets off the ground and post pics at the various stages.

    cheers

    lui
     
  4. ray

    ray Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    668
    Hi Lui,

    The 1095 I've used is tempered to Rockwell 48-51, which is the standard spring temper. (as far as I know)

    If you temper it too hard, it becomes hard to file, and will snap more easily.

    Too soft and you can't keep it sharp and not enough spring.


    As for taper grinding, A lot of saws made today aren't taper ground anyway, for the first one you make, I don't think it will matter too much if it's not tapered. Still, it's something that would be a nice touch.

    The belt sander idea might work if you can get water cooling onto the plate.

    Regards
    Ray
     
  5. pedder

    pedder Active Member

    Messages:
    40
    Hi Lui,

    we order our steel at http://hs-folien.de/deutsch/praezisionlehrenband.html a 0,3m*1m big piece for two big handsaws is about 30€ incl. VAT an aditional 11€ for shipping. I've forwareded a few pieces to the netherlands, as HS-Folien doesn't seem to shipp to hole europe. As they do have an english page, the best will be to ask them. If you need any help, contact me at see picture below

    Cheers Pedder
     

    Attached Files:

  6. lui

    lui Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    77
    Hi Pedder,

    Thanks for the link, I found a UK supplier at a reasonable rate.

    £36 per blade blank including VAT and shipping. I picked up two.

    I only oredered it yesterday, so I will have to wait and see what the quality is like.

    Kindest regards

    lui
     
  7. lui

    lui Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    77
    Hi All,

    I've started the new Handsaw, things are going really well.

    I'll post the whole thing on here once it's all done.

    I do have a question.

    I'm using 0.040" plate (1mm) but I dont have a saw with a blade and kerf that thin for fitting the handle.

    Anyone have a suggestion, I'm guessing I might have to use a Japanese saw.

    All comments welcome.

    cheers

    lui
     
  8. ray

    ray Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    668
    Hi Lui,

    I've been interstate for a few days, and I'm sure I saw a tantalizingly beautiful picture of your new saw on the forum, on my miniscule phone screen, but now I can't seem to find it..

    It looked magnificient, nice lines, elegant handle... perhaps you could point me in the right direction? :)

    Edit: Ok, I found it... and it's even more impressive on a larger screen...

    [​IMG]

    It has those classic lines that a lot of modern saws lack... nice change of pitch for starting the cut, and pleased to see the nib was retained. :)
    Regards
    Ray
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2011