Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Saw Till

I've been accumulating hand saws over recent months as part of my transition from a fully power tool woodworker to a hybrid woodworker.  What that means is that I'm starting to use hand tools more and more in my work.  I don't ever plan to change over to an exclusive reliance on hand tools.  Power tools are useful and have a good purpose, especially when processing large amounts of wood for larger projects.  Still, I like working by hand and am building up my skills in this area.  Hence the hand saws.

I now have three crosscut saws--two in serious need of sharpening, a skill I am working on but have not yet mastered--two rip saws of differing tooth configurations and several smaller saws.  Those saws are a Bad Axe Toolworks 18" tenon saw with a hybrid tooth filing, an Adria Toolworks carcase saw, a Lie-Nielsen dovetail saw and a Veritas crosscut saw. Each saw has its own purpose, so I feel justified in having them all.  I'm hoping they will meet all my hand saw needs for a very long time.

The problem with having this many saws is where to store them.  That led me to design and build a saw till so I could hang them in a small space on my shop wall.  As the photo shows, this turned out to be a simple affair, essentially three rectangles of birch plywood, two of which are attached at right angles to the back board and supported by a cleat on their undersides.  I sawed grooves in the horizontal pieces for the saw blades to fit into.  As you can see, the saws are held in place by their handles and a bit of gravity.  I screwed the whole affair into the concrete wall of my basement shop, where it hangs between some shelves and a large sheet of pegboard.

This simple design works well and was easy to execute.  But improvements might be possible for others who wish to build something similar.  I might have designed it so the handles are at the bottom and the blades facing upward, for example, but somehow the simplicity of this arrangement appealed to me more.  Another improvement would be to angle the top horizontal piece so it slopes upward toward the front.  This would have alleviated my fear that the saws will--given vibrations in the shop--gradually work their way forward in their slots and eventually fall to the floor.  My solution to that is periodically to push them backward in their slots to rectify any forward creep.  An angled board would have rid me of this concern.

Perhaps some day I'll make another saw till that incorporates improvements.  Until I'm caught up on all my projects--and that is likely to be a very long time indeed!--I'll use the one I have and be glad it is there to project my saws and keep them handy for use.

If you decide to build one of your own, leave a comment and tell me what you did.  I just might want to borrow from your ideas if and when I rebuild my own.


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