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Old-New Saw Till




As part of the gradual rationalising of my tools - the last episode being the building of an underbench cabinet - it was the turn of my saw till and backsaws. Actually, Lynndy is more astute - she just calls it as it is ... I promised to build a new outdoor table, and I am avoiding it (but I did build it!) ...

If you get down to it, joinery is what it is all about for me. Chiselling and sawing. The saw till is pretty much dedicated to joinery backsaws: rip dovetail, small and large crosscut, small and large tenon saws, and a mitrebox saw. I have a few dovetail saws. Some I made and some have sentimental attachments: a birthday present dovetail saw from Mike Wenzloff, another from Rob Lee and Lee Valley, my first new dovetail saw from Lie Nielsen, the forerunner from Independence Tools, another a gift made by my mate, Ian Wilkie. I use them all as they have different configurations and suit different woods. And then there are Japanese saws. A Nakaya dovetail dozuki is sublime. The whole Nakaya range is sublime.
And, of course, there are the Knew Concepts fret- and coping saws, which always bring a smile to my face as a reminder of the late Lee Marshall, with whom I worked to design these saws for woodworkers.

This is my old saw till, taken probably about 10 years ago ...



Here is the new saw till, stripped and rebuilt ...



The triangular rests at the front pivot away ...



The rear of the till is home to Knew Concepts saws: 5" and 8" fretsaws and 5" coping saw. (The 8" fretsaw was the one that Lee Marshall sent to me, and we worked on together to eventually come up with the fretsaw line for woodworkers). Plus the Japanese saws: flush cutting, dozuki, ryoba, kataba and azebiki.



Here is the completed till ...



The Western saws sit in mortices ...



The "gates" are locked from the outside of the cabinet, so they do not swing freely.

If you look carefully at the sides of the cabinet, you will see two hex keys (one on each side). Just pull one out half way to release a gate.



The gates were made this way ...



These slots are for the brass backs.

Over the front a solid section is glued, and this is slotted for the blade. When the back is slid down into the slot, they are effectively locked into position.


Here can be better seen the section that runs across the front of the grooves for the saw back. This was glued and screwed as a single board to the front, and then a kerf added for the saw blade ....



As now seen, the saw back is trapped in the groove. The lower groove is left open.



I will add that the same system was used for the Japanese saws inside the cabinet. Some required openings for the saw backs/spines, while a few did not. I simply drilled and chiselled these out.



Lastly, there are drawers for all the saw stuff: files for sharpening, Stanley 42X and Eclipse 77 saw sets, and so on. Of course, the dovetailing was a fun part of this build.





Files, etc etc ...





Modded Veritas file holders ...



And four favourite saw sets (#42 and #77) ...



Disston 3D saw vise ...


There were two modifications to the Veritas saw file guide (1) glue a small Stanley spirit level to the top of the protractor. These are aluminium and come with hook ears for hanging on a string line. Very cheap. (2) I cut a kerf into the main knob for a screwdriver, as this makes it easier to tighten/loosen.

The yellow spirit level in the drawer is to ensure that the saw blade is horizontal when clamped in the vise ...



Then, when you use the saw file guide, it will amaze you how easily it is to alter the file angle without meaning to do so. Once you have checked a few times how you are progressing, it becomes more automatic.



Regards from Perth


Derek


October 2021