I remember years ago when I first started making saws and how hard it was to find parts. No one sold brass backs or saw hardware or saw plates. If you wanted to make a saw you had to fabricate the parts yourself, or scavenge them from old saws. And neither is too much fun when all you want to do is make a saw and not get an internship in a machine shop.
Fast forward to 2013 and the wonderful reality that is the 21st Century American Hand Tool Renaissance.
Thanks to a small number of enterprising people, and the growing demand to resurrect and revitalize our appreciation for meat powered tools, we now have several commercial sources of excellent quality parts and supplies for saw making.
I use parts from all of these suppliers and can personally vouch for every one. These are the same parts that I use every day in my shop. They ALL offer top quality and awesome customer service:
Saw Plates, templates, plans and more: TGIAG.com
Complete saw kits, backs and fasteners: BontzSawWorks.net
Saw Kits, split nut fasteners and driver bits: ToolsForWorkingWood.com
Saw Fasteners, supplies and filing aides: BlackburnTools.com
So what are you waiting for….get building!!!! Any schmuck can build a saw. Believe me….if I can make one, so can you. And if you’re a bit nervous about jumping into the whole project then you’re in luck again, because I also teach a two-day class at the Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking on making a backsaw from rough components.
And starting with this next class in July, we are now offering students the option to choose the size of their saw! That’s right…..thanks to Ron Bontz at Bontz Saw Works, students now order their saw kits directly. You can pick any saw you want, from a tiny 8 inch dovetail saw to a monster 18 inch tenon saw (though I recommend starting with the 12 inch backsaw kit). Let Ron know your preferences when you place your order. Then just bring the kit with you to class and I’ll show you how to turn it into a top-notch tool. It’s a blast. And you certainly don’t have to take the class to buy a kit from Ron, or parts from any of the suppliers above.
Check out the details on the saw building class: Build a Backsaw July 20-21st
And just to make the whole experience a little more fun, I’ll now be adding a ’Gallery’ section on the blog to post pics of saws made by students, readers and fellow saw lovers.
So get building and keep in touch.