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).
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.
After 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.
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.
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.
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. . .