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Tenon saws

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  • Tenon saws

    Can anyone tell me how tenon saws are made .I have a friend who writes for a major british woodworking magazine he is intending to make a Brass backed wood cutting tenon saw but would like to know are the teeth pressed guilotined or what???Alistair
    Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

  • #2

    (This post doesn't take into account a saw with induction hardened teeth but then again, I don't think I've ever seen a backsaw with induction hardened teeth.)

    From what I've heard, most of today's saws have the teeth stamped. This may be equivalent to what you're calling pressed guillotined.

    And nearly all saws are sold without the teeth sharpened except for the Lie-Nielsen saws and the handmade saws. Sharpening is the first thing that should be done to most new saws.

    I have taken saws to the sharpening shop and had them retoothed. In this case I think the old teeth are completely ground away and the new teeth are ground, set, and sharpened.

    If I were to make a backsaw today I would find an old Disston saw blade from a full sized (26"?) saw and cut it out to the shape I want. I would then either use the old handle or make a new one (applewood is nice. so is cherry.). I'd use the nuts from the old handle. I would take the blade blank to a saw sharpener and have the teeth cut, set, and sharpened to my specifications. I would then hunt down a piece of brass from an old back saw and put everything together.

    To maintain the saw I'd find a good saw set and buy the correct size of file then make a saw vise.

    Hope this helps.


    [This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 12-06-2004).]


    • #3
      I've looked into this Alistair. Factory made saw have puncked teeth. I made a couple of back saws from scratch using 0.020 flat spring stock. I filed the teeth from the solid. It only take 6 to 10 strokes per tooth to rough them out.

      I laid out the teeth from an old framing square (the kind that has 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16 graduations to the inch on the various scales.) Then I just filed them. I first worried about uniform spacing. Then I recalled my machinist training on the deisgn of reamers and how their teeth are deliberately mis-spaced to minimize lobing and harmonic motion in the reamed hole.

      Sure enough my second saw with its raggedy looking teeth worked much better than the first. No harmonics. It cut dovetails and tenons in hard maple very sweet and smooth.

      If you're going to make a bunch of saws make 20 at a time in a shaper or slotter by stack cutting them using a V shaped tool. For the brass back I milled a 0.022" slot with a slitting saw centered in the edge of a 1/4" x 1" piece of brass flat stock. I installed the saw blade in the backing with high strenght LokTite (anaerobic thread locker).

      Once the saw was made I set and leveled the teeth and refiled them lightly.

      The handle is the usual woodworking problem. I used apple wood and finished it with spar varnish (traditional here in the US). I used a 0.015 band saw blade with reduced set to cut the slot for the saw blade. The screws and hardware I made from silicon bronse (I had some scraps) on the lathe.

      [This message has been edited by Forrest Addy (edited 12-06-2004).]


      • #4
        Maybe OT, but have you loked at the Japanese style saws? Dozuki, ryoba etc cut on the pull stroke. Very thin blade and no need for the back since the blade is in tension during the cut stroke.
        Rgds, Lin


        • #5
          Lin the problem Ian my friend want's to do this as a project for the good woodworking magazine he is working for.
          I guess it will be a three or four page spread.I thought they might be punched but if they could be done on a shaper he could use mine however this may not suit him taking it to a saw doctor to have the teeth set might be the best option,as those reading it will have to have easy access to have the teeth cut or the project will be useless.Lin I would stick myself with the Japanese type saws but there is nothing nicer than a good tenon saw of high quality don't you agree.Alistair
          Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease