Welch and Griffiths backsaw

Discussion in 'Forum: Saw Identification and Discussion' started by nkrech, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. nkrech

    nkrech New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Hi everyone. I have been restoring and sharpening handsaws for several years now and have bought and sold many user quality saws. Yesterday I had a chance to purchase a Welch and Griffiths backsaw so I jumped on it. I know that there aren't many of these saws around and this saw looks to be in excellent condition. This type of saw is a bit out of my scope so I was wondering what there was for information on these saws.

    Does anyone have any saws similar? When I get it in I'll post more photos.
    Thanks. IMG_20190210_224211.jpg IMG_20190210_224243.jpg
     
  2. David

    David Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    266
    Hi Niles,
    You have found the first open handled W&G backsaw that I've ever seen (not that I've seen them all, but I have seen 6 of them). All the others I've seen have closed handles. I'd suggest that yours is later in their history, as all the other examples have a prominent forward-facing hook at the top of the handle, while yours has a much reduced hook there. The rounded nose on the folded back of your example has shown up on only one other W&G that I've seen. But, to answer your last question, no, none of us has a similar saw, an open-handled W&G backsaw. A wonderful find. It was a good jump you made. Congratulations!
    David
     
  3. nkrech

    nkrech New Member

    Messages:
    3
    Thanks for the response David. The hook was on the handle was the English design is that correct?
    When you say it is later in their history, do you think that would be around 1860-1880 time frame?
     
  4. David

    David Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    266
    Hi Niles,
    Many early American sawmakers used the forward-facing hook on their saw handles, as well as did the English makers. W&G made handsaws from about 1838 to 1885 when they went out of business, although they made circular saws and billet webs beginning in 1830. I hate to offer a date for the change in the hook detail since I have no information to base such a date on. So all I can say is that your reduced hook seems to me to be a feature that shows up later in W&G's history.
    David