Robt Sorby, 4 medallions, double nib

Discussion in 'Forum: Saw Identification and Discussion' started by kiwi, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. kiwi

    kiwi Most Valued Member

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    292
    This saw was in the pile-o-saws I got recently. Its a little rough and I didn't notice it was "special" until I'd got past the other flashier saws (incl the Millington and the 4 medallion W/S mentioned in previous threads) and taken a closer look at the drek. (It's amazing how long it takes for "special" features to register in my old brain)
    The double nib is uncommon, my first British saw with this feature, (although I have some Canadian made R H Smith saws, from c1900, that also have this design.)
    The blade is somewhat pitted and the mark is not as clear as I usually find on Robt Sorby saws, but the words "London Spring" can be seen, denoting a higher quality than the usual "Cast Steel"
    The handle is missing the lower horn and has a shortened upper horn, and three of the medallions are missing.

    Since this is an uncommon saw I was thinking of repairing/refurbishing it, which brings up a dilemma.... if I repair the handle, I would then need to rob the medallions off three of my otherwise complete but ordinary Robt Sorby saws (maybe that's a tri-lemma) ?

    Also, a question; the handle has a bead carved in above the grip, between the peak and the horn. Do you think it originally also had a bead below the grip, in the notch of the fishtail ?? (none of my other Robt Sorby saws has any beads)

    (BSSM has a picture of part of a 4 medallion Robt Sorby handle, fig 4.33 p83, although it doesn't show enough of the handle to see the grip/horn area. Also, the "nose" on that handle is not hooked like my saw)
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    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  2. Underthedirt

    Underthedirt Most Valued Member

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    177
    Hi Kiwi, I have a couple of those, unfortunately in rather ordinary condition (I really don't know why people wouldn't look after a high end saw better), not with a hooked nose like yours though- maybe the hook is for the US market- make the nose similar to an American style nose? My ones were found in Melbourne Australia, & the noses are tapered like all the other 22 Sorbys that I have in the shed. And just as you suspected, these two do have a bead to the lower horn.

    Edit: in fact the top drop off on your handle is different too, more like an American saw as well.

    Regards

    Mari
     

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  3. kiwi

    kiwi Most Valued Member

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    292
    Thanks for the pictures Mari, good data for my repair attempt.
    Its interesting that all your Robt Sorby saw handles have the upturned English nose and sloping shoulder, (ebay seems to favour this design too). I must be in an anomolous zone here in Ontario as six of my seven Robt Sorby's have the hook nose and drop shoulder, with only a panel saw as the odd man out.
    I'm not sure why so many high end saws seem to be found in poor condition. Maybe its partly because the harder steel is more prone to breaking off tips, and higher blade polish promotes localized pinhole pitting. Or maybe we don't see the ones which stay in good condition because they get used all the time until they're used up.

    I've got as far as disassembling my saw (bit of a difficulty getting the medallion screw out as the screw had been peened over on the nut, but that's likely why it was still with the saw), and I've epoxy glued on some beech blocks to repair the horns (an old worn out transitional plane makes a good wood donor).
    In looking at the medallions on my Sorbys to try and decide which medallions to donate to this saw repair, I find that there is quite a lot of minor variation in the kangaroo design and I can't get 4 matching medallions. . Three variations pictured show the Roo with
    - side profile, ears below A-T of "corporate" , arms almost straight out, long curved rat tail
    - side profile, ears below A, arms drooping a bit, shorter curved tail
    - turned profile with both droopy arms and both legs showing, ears below R-A, flatter tail
    Maybe its Red Kangaroos for rip saws, Greys for cross cuts, and wallabies for panel saws (just kidding)
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    Last edited: Oct 28, 2017
  4. kiwi

    kiwi Most Valued Member

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    292
    Repaired and now a working saw,
    and looking somewhat better than it did, despite my amateur workmanship.
    I wasn't very successful in colour blending the new wood of the horn repairs and need to try some more dye colour touchup there (and I should hide those other Sorby saws that donated medallions so they're not out in the open and accusing me of robbery :()

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    ray, rob1713 and Underthedirt like this.
  5. Underthedirt

    Underthedirt Most Valued Member

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    177
    That looks magnificent Kiwi, its come up very well, & I think that your "American" style handle looks better than the other style Sorby's narrow "nose". It's a good looking saw, well done to bring it back to its glory...:) Hide those donors so that you don't feel too guilty!

    Regards

    Mari
     
  6. rob1713

    rob1713 Member

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    21
    You've made a nice job of that Kiwi, lovely looking user saw.