Tag Archives: tote

New Saw Tote – Part 2

Rough out the saw tote.

Roughing out the saw tote.

Since last weekend, I had a chance to get some more work done on new saw tote I’m making.  The next step after laying out the tote is to rough out the  shape of the tote.  I’m still getting used to my turning saw (I have a hard time cutting square edges) so I saw a little outside the lines.  As you can see in the photo above, I also bored holes to relieve the some of the curves.    Below is a photo of the rough sawn tote.

Rough sawn tote.

Rough sawn tote.

After roughing out the tote, I used rasps and a float to get it shaped down to the layout lines.  At this point, I try to get all the edges square.  Here are a couple of photos.

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2013-12-26 21.26.29From lumber to this point has taken about 3 hours at this point.  The next step will be to saw the kerf for the saw plate and boring the holes for the saw nuts.  I’ll cover those steps in the next post.

Until next time. . .


New Saw Tote

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This weekend, I started working on a new saw tote for one of my crosscut hand saws.  All of my handsaws are post World War II vintage.  During this time period, power tools began to quickly take over and tool makers began to forget what makes a quality tool.  That isn’t to say that the steel isn’t good in most modern tools; but the design of the tools leaves something to be desired.  In the case of handsaws, this is usually the shape of the tote or handle.  I have 3 rip saws and 3 cross-cut saws.  I recently finished a handle for one of my rip saws, and wanted to get a good tote on at least one of my cross-cuts.

The photo at the top of the post shows the saw as it was before this weekend.  On the piece of plywood the saw is sitting on, you can see a drawing of a tote design I was going to use.  However, I changed my mind and used a template I already had.  The reason for the change in direction was that I didn’t like the way the back of the sawplate/blade was shaped  (see the photo below).

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The curved shape of the sawplate isn’t very convenient if  you are making a saw tote only with hand tools, because you either have to have a circular saw blade to cut a curved kerf for the blade to slide into, or make the tote much larger so you can cut a straight kerf that will accomdate the curved blade.  I chose a different option – I cut of the back of the sawplate so it is straight with only a little curve at the top of the blade.  Unfortunately, this shortened the saw by around an inch, but that shouldn’t be too big of a deal.

2013-12-21 15.14.16After cutting off the back end of the sawplate, I laid out holes for the screws (called saw nuts) that will hold the tote onto the blade on my template and then drilled them in the sawplate.

Here is a picture of the blade and tote template to give an idea of the way the new tote will look.

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I then used the template to layout the design on the piece of cherry lumber I am going to use for the tote and cut the blank down to a workable size so I can get the tote cut out.

One important point in using a template like this is to make sure the grain of the lumber is running through the tote in the right direction.  The line with arrows that is circled below indicates the direction the grain should run.

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Here is the blank with the saw tote laid out (note I also marked the locations for the holes for the saw nuts while I had the template attached to the lumber with double sided tape.

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I hope to get the tote roughed out this week.  My next post will cover the process of shaping the tote.  Hopefully, I will even have the tote finished and installed on the saw by then.

Until next time. . .



Saw Restoration

Saw after restoration.

Saw after restoration.

Around Thanksgiving, my Father-in-Law, Dave, mentioned that his handsaws needed to be sharpened.  I told him that I would be happy to sharpen them, so we went out to his workshop to check them out.  One of the saws had a really bad kink in the blade and wasn’t in any condition to be salvaged without a lot of work.  The other was fairly rusted and had a minor kink near the end of the blade, but it wasn’t too bad.

I wish I had taken a picture of this saw before I started working on it.  It was a Craftsman; I think it was probably made in the 1970s or 1980s.  In addition to the kink in the blade, the tote (the proper name for a saw’s handle) was very poorly designed.  It was made of 1″ plywood, and all its proportions were much to large to be usable.  I asked Dave if he wanted me to make a new tote for the saw in addition to sharpening it.  He responded,  “Whatever you want to do.”  That was music to my ears.

I brought this saw home and over the past week and a half, I have been working on restoring it.  First I picked up a nice cherry board from my friend Kurt and started making a new tote.  On Christmas Day, I took the mostly completed tote to see how it fit Dave’s hand.  After finishing the tote, I gave the saw plate a bath in Evapo-rust, a great (and very environmentally friendly) rust remover.

I had talked to Dave on Christmas Eve about what type of wood he expected to cut and what clean-up he usually did after using the saw.  It turns out that the saw wasn’t particularly suited to his needs, so I decided to rework the saw’s cutting geometry.  The first step in this process was to file away all the existing teeth of the saw.  Next, I had to file in new teeth.  Once the new teeth were formed, I sharpened the cutting angles on the teeth.  It took several passes with a file to get the saw good and sharp.

Once the blade was sharp, I cut a groove in the tote for the saw-blade and drilled holes for the saw-nuts that hold the handle to the saw plate.  Next, I put several coats of Watco Danish Oil on the tote; and when it was dry, I put the saw together.

Here is a photo showing both the original tote and the new one.

Saw tote comparison

Saw tote comparison

What do you think of the restoration?  I would love to hear your thoughts?  Also, please let me know if you would like more or less details in future posts.