Backsaws – Beech and Mesquite – 2018

I have been longing for a set of tenon saws for a while.  Once I moved my saws from my Dutch tool box to a wall rack –  there was more room to store them.  Just like building highways adds traffic, building hospitals adds patients – increasing tool storage has a way of bringing tools into your life.  I used blades, brass and bolts from blackburn tools.  The blades come with the teeth punched – but its up to you to stress over which fleam and set you want.  The parts for blackburn make for a quick project and leave you with on fleek saws for a fraction of what a new set would cost you.  Sharpening crosscuts terrifies me – hopefully these saws perform as smoothly as they feel.


Turns out that sixteen inches is a really long saw.  More teeth to file.  After years of confusing my rip and crosscut vertias saws – I labelled them with a sharpie.  Choosing mesquite and beech accomplishes the same task – with a little more class.  PS – If anyone has access to apple wood blanks – I am willing to beg, barter or buy them for my next set of tools.  David used antique oil to finish my beech saw – and I used true and tried beeswax on the mesquite.

Ruffles and I studied up!  Even though I made back saws a couple of years, Ruffles and I watched Matt Cianci’s dvd as a refresher.  Highly recommended.



Blackburn is a great resource on historic handle templates.  As long as you can cut to a line and have a handful of forester bits – making a handle isn’t so bad.  I actually made a set of templates to sort out whether I wanted the large or extra large pattern.  I caught up on my podcasts and rounded everything with rasps.



The challenge is cutting a clean, straight kerf.  I got on the right course by screwing a pull saw blade into a jig.  I followed up with a rip saw where the set was roughly the same thickness as the new blade.  The brass backing fits into a tenon – and than you have to muddle around trying to figure out what hang you want.  Photo credits to Rev and her sharp eye.


2 thoughts on “Backsaws – Beech and Mesquite – 2018

  1. I received a 14 inch kit for Christmas almost a year and a half ago and have yet to make a handle. Isaac Makes a great deal of information available. Your saws look like they’re going to be great users. Please keep us updated. Also, is Ruffles a German Shorthair? My dad has raised them for some 55 years. Great dogs.

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