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Thread: Hand saws

  1. #1
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    Default Hand saws

    I have a dozen old Disston and Atkins saws. The Disston were made near where I grew up. The Airmaster has a faint etch of a B-17. Lots of history. I went to the Home Depot and bought a $20.00 saw DeWalt puts their name on. I wanted it for taking down back to repair the dock. Impact hardened teeth you can’t sharpen. History has its place. That modern saw cuts twice as fast as the old saws some of which were sharpened by a well thought of guy. I don’t use it everyday. 12 strokes to get through a 2x4. For the money I’ll chuck it when it takes 17 but I’ll bet my son will be able to use it to knock my coffin together.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    Those Disston Saws are a treasure! I have those that my father left and when sharp they cut like a dream. I have found that they are still a good choice for some work that my Japanese saws are not suited for. I do tend to reach for a pull saw more often than the Disstons. Never used an Atkins.
    Jay

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    I have long said that it's silly to buy more tool than what you need. Many folks buy the 'best', most expensive thing... believing that a better tool will automatically make them a better woodworker. It's actually the inverse. One doesn't appreciate the better tools unless they've started with lesser tools... AND until they've reached a stage of competency that allows them to actually notice and appreciate the difference.

    Dismounting now.
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    http://www.harborwoodworking.com/boat.html

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    Ahh, .... but you don't get that aged look.




    Or the unique etching.




  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    Not only do those hardened aggressive tooth saws cut twice as fast they stay sharp for about 4 times as long.

    Exchang-A-Blade makes a hand saw you can trade in for a new sharp one for less money than buying a new one.
    Last edited by Gib Etheridge; 07-25-2018 at 11:58 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    There is the “patina” factor and that wood...love the thumb hole. But the question is still unanswered....WHAT THE HELL WAS THE NIB FOR?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    The nib is to start the cut without immediately tearing out a chunk with the set of the teeth.
    It should be sharp, filed on each side.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    I’ve heard that but don’t buy it. Holding the saw upside down to put a nick in the wood? Real saw nuts say they have no clue. The Disston Institute is silent on the issue.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    I just start with a pull stroke (western style saws) or push stroke (Japanese saws) to get the first little bit going without splinters.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    Quote Originally Posted by Ian McColgin View Post
    I just start with a pull stroke (western style saws) or push stroke (Japanese saws) to get the first little bit going without splinters.
    We were taught to use a marking knife and a chisel to make a kerf in which to start the cut.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    If you just use the marking knife to score the part that you are going to cut it goes a long way towards preventing splinters.

    Putting another thin layer on the underside will prevent blowouts.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    We were taught to use a marking knife and a chisel to make a kerf in which to start the cut.
    Which is what the nib is if you sharpen it.
    Works good btw...

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    The nib is to start the cut without immediately tearing out a chunk with the set of the teeth.
    It should be sharp, filed on each side.
    Heard a lot of theories, but never that one before now. It makes more sense that all the rest, for sure. I'll have to check mine and see if any show any signs of having once been sharpened.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    It is much like a marking knife, except with a rounded tip. The better saws are tapered significantly and quite thin on the back, so just a lick or two with a file will do it.
    The nib is much narrower than the kerf so you use the nib guided with your thumb to make a little pull cut on the side of the plank you are keeping, not the off cut.
    Try it...

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    I have a couple of Henry Disston and Sons hand saws I am considering selling if they are worth my time to box up. But I don't have a clue as to value and I am hoping to get some advise. One is a B23 and has 8 teeth per inch and the other is a D8 thumb hole, which has 5 1/2 teeth per inch.
    All the best https://diceus.com/business-intelligence-developer/
    Last edited by Thliza; 10-16-2018 at 02:53 AM.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    Quote Originally Posted by Thliza View Post
    I have a couple of Henry Disston and Sons hand saws I am considering selling if they are worth my time to box up. But I don't have a clue as to value and I am hoping to get some advise. One is a B23 and has 8 teeth per inch and the other is a D8 thumb hole, which has 5 1/2 teeth per inch.
    It's all about condition - rust, etching, handle damage, how many times it's been sharpened and how you can market them. People will pay nothing to over $100 for those saws depending.

    As reference I bought a D-115 victory panel saw for a couple bucks at my local thrift shop.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    it also depends on the model and age of the saw, which you can guess roughly from attributes like the medallion...
    i picked up a couple saws for loose change from the junk store and flea market,
    and it turned out they were made sometime before the civil war.

    lots of info up here:
    http://www.disstonianinstitute.com

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoeyawl View Post
    It is much like a marking knife, except with a rounded tip. The better saws are tapered significantly and quite thin on the back, so just a lick or two with a file will do it.
    The nib is much narrower than the kerf so you use the nib guided with your thumb to make a little pull cut on the side of the plank you are keeping, not the off cut.
    Try it...
    My arms are not long enough
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: Hand saws

    The nib is not a layout tool, it is only to start a clean cut by avoiding a bit of tear out on the first stroke by creating a little knife cut on the starting corner.

    (I was taught to use a layout knife for furniture carcass and veneer work, but my transition to "boat-work" was not exactly seamless... My mentor of 45 years ago (who apprenticed in England) gently suggested that a pencil was better for boat work by not leaving a scar to trap fungi or create a stress point. I did take his advice, but who knows? It is a given that I make more than one line as I close in on a "fit" It was a good skill to learn, varying the width of a pencil line and working within that tolerance, i.e. "leave the line", "kiss the line" or maybe "take half the line")

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