How to Restore an Old Hand Saw, A Complete Guide. Hand saw handle replacement

How to Restore an Old Hand Saw, A Complete Guide

Restoring old tools to put back to use or decoration is a hobby of mine. I love seeing the transformation of a sad old rusted saw turning back into a sharp, usable hand saw that looks great. Whether you are cleaning up some of Grandpa’s tools or found a deal at the garage sale, this guide will help you to safely restore your hand saw. Restore an old rusted handsaw by loosening and removing the saw nuts, and disassembling the handle and saw plate. The sawplate can have all the rust removed and polished in about 30 minutes. Old varnish on the handle can be sanded or stripped, and the saw nuts can be cleaned by soaking in soapy water. There are four primary steps to restoring an old hand saw Step 1 – Disassemble the handle and saw nuts from the saw plate Step 2 – Clean and polish the saw nuts / hardware Step 3 – Remove rust from the saw plate Step 4 – Refinish the saw handle


The following materials will help you to restore an old saw. There are lots of substitutions that can be made based on your judgement and experience. The only thing I would caution you on is following the directions of any chemical stripper (if you choose to go that route). Also, we have links to all of these tools available at our recommended products page.

Materials for cleaning the saw plate

  • Simple Green cleaner in a spray bottle
  • Razor Blade Scraper
  • Wet or dry sand paper, 400 600 grit
  • 3m Scotch Brite scouring pad
  • Metal polish
  • Paste Wax
  • Shop Towels or cotton rags

Materials for restoring the saw handle

  • knife
  • Plastic Scraper (so you don’t damage the wood)
  • Sand Paper: 120, 150, 220 grit
  • Citrus Strip chemical stripper (Optional)
  • Jasco low VOC mineral spirits
  • Steel wool #0000
  • Boiled Linseed Oil, or Tru Oil

Process to restore an old rusty hand saw

You should plan on doing most of this work in a well ventilated area that can get messy. Using a workbench in a garage or a portable workmate works great. I have an old scrap sheet of plywood that I perform all of my rust removal on, as that way I can keep work surfaces a bit cleaner.

Disassembling the saw handle and plate

1 – Loosen the saw nuts with a large flat-head screwdriver. If they are seized, spray a little WD-40 to loosen them and wait 5 minutes. Then try again.

2 – Use a punch and hammer, or a small screwdriver to gently tap out the saw nuts. Set the saw nuts and screws aside.

3 – Carefully slide the hand off the saw plate

How to clean Saw Nuts and Saw Screws

Soak the saw nuts in a 1:4 solution of laundry detergent and water over night. Soak them for at least 8 hours. This will loosen up most of the grime and dirt.

After soaking the nuts, scrub the saw nuts with a brass bristled brush. Then, polish with steel wool.

How to clean an remove rust from the saw plate

Note – I STRONGLY advise you not to use vinegar, citric acid, or Evapo-rust to remove the rust from the saw plate. Doing so can leave a dark finish, pits, or remove the etching. It takes about the same amount of time (or less) to manually remove rust, and you will be left with a nice looking saw.

1 – Use a razor blade scraper to remove large pieces of rust. This will save your sand paper for the smaller bits. File the corners of the razor blade so it doesn’t leave track marks on the saw plate.

2 – Continue removing rust using 400 grit wet or dry sand paper. Use Simple Green cleaner to lubricate the plate as you go. This will help keep the sand paper from clogging. And the rust/water mixture can be wiped up with paper towels.

As an additional tip – using a hard rubber block to hold the sand paper makes this job much easier.

Be very careful with this step, as if there is an etch present on the saw, you will find it. If you aggressively sand the plate, you may lose the etching.

You can continue to 600 grit once the rust is mostly gone. The 600 grit is optional, based on how nice you want the saw to look.

3 – Use scotchbrite pad with simple green to further clean the saw plate. This will remove much dirt and grime from the grooves of the steel where the sand paper cannot go.

4 – Apply metal polish to the saw plate and buff with a shop towel, or cotton cloth. I used Flitz metal polish on this saw.

5 – Apply a coat of paste wax to the entire plate. This will help prevent future corrosion.

How to clean and refinish a wooden saw handle

Refinishing a saw handle can be done several ways. But each way has the same goal – to remove varnish. There are many ways to remove varnish, and I choose my method based on the type of handle.

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1 – Remove old varnish. If the saw handle has ornate leaf carving, then you have to use chemical stripper to loosen the varnish. There isn’t another way to get varnish out of those small grooves. If that sort ot detail is not present, then you can just scrape it off with a knife or by heating the handle and scraping it off.

I use a disposable foam paint brush to apply Citrus Strip to the handle. Then, I wait an hour or so before coming back to scrap off as much as I can remove.

But if using a chemical stripper, make sure you are in a well ventilated area. Also, follow all instructions on the bottle. I use Citrus Strip because it is safer than others. To remove the varnish in the small leaf indentations, I use a tooth pick.

After you’ve removed the varnish, scrub with mineral spirits and steel wool. This will help remove all trace of the chemical stripper, which is pretty nasty stuff.

2 – Sand the saw handle smooth. Depending on how much varnish is still present, sand down the handle. If there is a thin coating of varnish left, or you didn’t use any stripper start with an aggressive grit such as 60 or 80. Then continue to higher grits such as 150 up to 220.

You need to have bare wood in order to have a new finish grip and protect the handle.

3 – Apply new finish to the handle. Old saw handles are generally made of fruit wood and look quite nice. Use boiled linseed oil for a natural finish. Or you can use Tru Oil or Danish Oil for a darker colored finish.

Just wipe the finish on evenly using Shop Towels and let dry for about 24 hours. Make sure you either burn the towels or lay them out to dry. As many finishes can spontaneously combust if they are left crumpled up in a pile.

Reassemble the saw

To reassemble the saw, just reverse the steps you took to disassemble it. Take care when inserting the saw nuts. These are square, and have to fit in the hole properly.

Also, do not over-torque the saw nuts. Just get them snug. If they loosen up with use, just re-tighten them.

Sharpen the saw

You can now sharpen the saw if you intend to put it to use. Sharpening the saw is quite easy, as you can make your own saw chocks and just use a regular bench top vise.

Don’t use vinegar, citric acid, or Evoporust on hand saws!

Look, I like using chemicals to remove rust. It can be a great time saver and even Eco-friendly. Sometimes it is even necessary when the parts are intricate with small cavities, etc. But you should never use vinegar or acid on a hand saw. It will cause an ugly finish, and may cause pitting or dissolve the saw plate entirely.

How vinegar and acid damage old steel

Steel is just a mixture of iron and carbon. And while it should not be possible for vinegar or citric acid to damage the steel chemically, it often happens. Why is this?

Well, old steel isn’t as pure as we would like. There are many different impurities throughout the steel. And it is these impurities that will cause the ugly finish, pitting, and sometimes destruction of an old tool.

So – protect Grandpa’s tools! Use elbow grease to remove rust, not vinegar!

Making Handles for Japanese Handsaws

A while back I received a box full of old Japanese handsaws from a friend. They were in various states, with some coated with rust, some missing teeth, others were all gunked up with glue, and all needed to be sharpened. The box ended up sitting on my shelf for a while before I finally worked up the mood to start cleaning them and looking at them more closely. I tried both electrolysis and a store bought mild acid to get the rust off. In the end I ended up using the acid because it was faster than electrolysis and I had 8 saws in total that I wanted to get cleaned up.

Once I cleaned off the worst of the rust I sent the saws out for resharpening. My friends and I sent our saws as a group to Takijiro-san, a traditional saw blacksmith near Tokyo, for resharpening. Takijiro-san did an amazing job of tuning up the saws, and they were in beautiful condition when they returned to me.

With good saws in hand, it was time to make some handles. This was my first experience making handles and I’m certainly no expert, but everything went well and so far the new handles have been holding up.

Wood Selection

When I started looking around at my friend’s saws and the types of handles they had I noticed that almost all of them were made with either kiri 桐 (Paulownia), or some type of soft wood like sugi 杉 or similar lightweight cedar. To be honest I don’t fully understand the reasoning behind these two wood options being so prevalent, but one thing that my boss mentioned is that these soft woods can help to absorb sweat and keep your hand from slipping when using the saw.

In any case I figured I would follow tradition and use one of these woods for my new saw handles, and it just so happened that there was a small stash of kiri available in the shop. Decision made.

Fitting the Tang

The old school method of making handles involves using a solid piece of wood, drilling a pilot hole into the end where the tang goes, and using a long thin saw to cut the recess for the tang. I chose an easier method to make the handles using two pieces of wood, allowing me to use a trimmer to cut out a recess for each saw’s tang, and then glue up the two halves of the handle.

Below I have one half of a new handle with a recess routed out for the tang. You can see the pencil line where I traced around the saws tang to mark the actual size. When I routed I stayed within that line by a couple of millimeters. When the saw gets inserted the tang should be driven into a slightly narrower recess so that the wood fibers will compress around the tang, gripping and holding it in place. Kiri is notoriously soft so I left a generous amount of wood for compression, not knowing what the correct amount should be, and it all worked out in the end. I also planned to use heat when inserting the tang such that the perfect fit gets “burned-in”, but more on that in a bit.

Shaping the Handle

Below you can see the setup I used for shaping the handles using hand planes. After gluing the two halves of the handles together I layed out a series of reference lines to assist in shaping the handles into an octagon shape.

After shaping the octagon profile, I added a few more reference lines and kept planing to form the handle into an oval shape that felt comfortable to hold. I had fun trying to take some really thin shavings with a single blade mame-ganna 豆鉋 for the final surface, trying to make the handle as smooth as possible with no tearout.

Wrapping the Handle

Wrapping the handle can be done in a variety of ways, but it’s almost always done with some type of rattan. It’s quite common to see handles that are completely wrapped top to bottom with rattan. Cheap disposable blade saws often have this kind of wrapping, including many of my own. Another alternative that I have seen more so on higher quality saws is to leave the handle bare and only wrap the top end near the blade. The purpose of wrapping is to prevent the handle from splitting from the tension introduced by fitting the tang and through use.

I decided to wrap the handles with the second method, using a really thin rattan (somewhere around 1-1.5 mm diameter I think). Before wrapping I soaked the rattan in water to soften it, making it pliable and easy to work with. I also applied a bit of wood glue to the area I planned to wrap. Glue is perhaps not absolutely necessary but it does offer a lot of reassurance that the rattan won’t come loose and fall off overtime.

Below I’m about done with the wrap and am about to pull the end of the rattan back through, essentially hiding and locking the exposed end within the wrap itself. (There are lots of tutorials online for this method, including one variation by Mike Pekovich on Fine You can also see a bit of glue squeeze out, which I easily cleaned up with a damp rag.

Torching the Tang

I had a lot of fun with this step. I used a torch to heat the tang up to red hot and then inserted the blade into the handle. This is done to let the tang essentially burn itself into the overly snug handle, creating a perfect fit in the process. Even with the burning the grain still compresses quite a bit making for a really snug fit. The important part with torching the tang is to not let the heat flow up into the rest of the blade and ruin the temper of the steel. So the “traditional” trick that was recommended to me was to take a piece of zucchini and slide it onto the tang to act as a heat sink. I didn’t have a zucchini so I used a carrot instead.

Here you can see the blade burning the kiri handle as I started fitting the blade. I pushed the blade as far in as I could by hand and then finished driving the tang in with a wooden mallet.

When all was said and done I finished five new handles and installed them on the freshly sharpened saws.

The scorching on the saw below is how this saw came from the blacksmith. The carrot method really worked well, and I could hold the blade comfortably on one side of the carrot while the other side was red hot.

This turned out to be a pretty fun weekend project. If your saw handles get damaged or you just want to upgrade your saw with a custom handle, then it’s nice to have the ability to make a replacement. It’s also a great way to get old used saws in working order again.

Replacing Screws and Caps…

…things to consider It’s strange, really, when you think about it. Whenever you start any kind of retrofit, replacement of components, and especially something fitting into wood, you suddenly see that all things are not quite created equal. A half-inch becomes a little less and a little more. 12mm becomes 11.41 and the drill bit sizes are equally a more-or-less, give-or-take optional non-option. It surely has to be a constant compromise to get as close as possible to a half-decent but rarely ever exact fit. And please don’t tell me you get what you pay for. I have been there too, paid tops for the best and what have you. In our highly ‘respected‘ and sort of ‘accepted‘ fait accompli of global factory production that are always elsewhere but no one knows quite where, we often find ourselves in unbelief that accuracy has slipped quite this far. I think too that simplified information can be misleading too. In the description the seller says, “Requires a 1/4″ (5.5mm) hole between 13/16″ and 1″ deep (21-25.5mm),” Following this information I would have been in deep trouble. In reality, your stud sizing will best be determined by your actual saw and in reality, again, you will actually need at least three drills bits to make these fit in 95% of saws. If you follow the guidance of a 1/4″ hole and press-fit the serrated component into the hole of any hardwood saw handle the chances are you will most likely end up splitting the handle. If the saw requires four studs, then watch out, chances are you will have four splits in one! Also, the information says requires a 13/16″ to 1″ deep hole. Well, if the saw handle is the very standard 7/8″ thick, I can tell you that the studs will not fit without a decent recessing of both screw and cap and not, “…the heads can be recessed slightly for thicker handles.” For my 7/8″ thick handle I had to recess 3mm each side as the components would not connect, never mind tighten. I doubt that you will find a wooden saw handle thicker than 1″. If you do, then the recesses will need to be 4mm deep each side to work. that’s about 3/16″. In redefining the shape of the handle of my now much-loved Spear Jackson handsaw, I realised that I couldn’t remove the handle for the maximum refinement I wanted without drilling out the core of the existing press-fit screws and caps. Now as far as functionality goes these screws and caps work just fine; if or when the handle shrinks, you simply place the studs on a hard surface and hammer-tap the stud. This pinch of the cap tightens on the circumference and length of the stem and secures the handle further. Surprisingly, they work well. Simple, but I must say that they are less attractive and they look a little cheapish because, well, that’s what they are, cheap. Whereas I could replace them with some vintage studs and nuts I already have, I feel that that would seem pretentious, and it wouldn’t help others if they wanted to change theirs out too. Foolishly, instead of ordering one set to try a set out first I ordered two sets of four because I would need two sets, one for the first effort in developing and creating the methodology, to check the sizing, work needed, and then to get the design right. I can then use that to create a matched partner in the video I make. I ordered my replacement sets wondering if one-size-fits-all works because the suppliers I sought to buy from sell only the one size. The information provided was minimally simplistic though, so it can appear that there really wasn’t much to it whereas there actually is. When the first sets arrived I felt strongly that the screws and caps looked too short. Fact is that the only way for them to work would be to substantially recess the heads into both sides of the handle. Whereas the supplier did say that you can drill them out deeper for thicker handles, so that the screws and/or caps could be recessed that way, the problem was I didn’t want recessed caps sub-surface; not what I wanted at all. Too, for the recess to gain the purchase and then retain a good appearance meant I would only recess by 2mm; the gain meant that the threads would only engage by at most 2 threads. Certainly, I could recess more but to get what I would consider a decent thread gain would mean a deep recess. The connection must be enough for a confident tight cinching. But by then, in my view, I have compromised the ‘appearance‘ of the saw–something saw makers of old saw as critically essential and therefore really sought to perfect because they felt appearance was the heart to any saw made and that it maximised functionality. It was only after the Second World War when the real compromise became the established standard of utilitarianism that the industry would adopt as normal. The war brought many ugly looking tools, together with low expectation levels in tool making. This was so short-sighted because, as is the case with Spear Jackson and many others, and even so-called premium makers, all they really had to do was spend ten minutes more on the handle to increase their price by £100 and more per saw. It takes hardly anything to make a really good saw. Mostly they require very basic engineering achieved by programming milling machines and such. Arrogance took over when the founders lost their grip in these once remarkable companies and their juniors, knowing nothing of the trade, took over and the juniors thought that they as the tail wagged the dog. I checked the size on forty different makes or and sizes of hand and tenon saws to see which ones they might fit. It might surprise everyone to know that they all measured within half a millimeter of 22mm thick. That tells us that through two centuries a standard sizing was established and a one-size does indeed fit all. Not one of the saws would benefit from these new studs. New, vintage, and those in between, all of my saws, which are quite standard, were indeed too thick to work well using these screws and caps as is because indeed the threads would not even connect. A simple solution Checking precisely with calipers, it looks to me that the makers could simply make the barrel part of the caps 2-4mm longer to resolve the issue. By doing that, both the bolt (screw) and barrel (cap) components would fully engage with a thread count of four to six threads rather than one or two. The barrel or bolt could be filed shorter to suit should that then be necessary (but that would be the very rarity and not the norm) and just about any saw handle could be retrofitted without needing a variety of sizes: problem solved. I did consider reducing the thickness of the SJ saw handles by 2mm each side, but felt that that would make the saw handle just too thin. Below pic shows the cap recessed 1mm which would be my preference for domed screws and caps, but still not enough to engage the thread in the very standard 7/8″ thick handle. I decided to try another UK supplier. Their studs would apparently fit any saw up to 1″ (25mm) thick without recessing the heads. Few handles are ever that thick, and their price was fair for such a specialised item too. I ordered a set of their regular brass screws and caps with the slotted head and then a set with split nuts. Indeed I was right. These studs can be readily cut to fit simply by filing the barrel and or the screw. With all of my handsaws, tenon saws and even my dovetail saws measuring 7/8″ thick, ~22mm, my first set of screws and caps offered did meet at 20mm, but the threads did not actually engage until 18-19mm. Not near soon enough. I am hoping that these things will help you determine what to do to make screws and caps work in your saw. Personally I would not spend £6 to £12 per set on studs. £10 per set of four works fine for me and they look fine too. My complaint is only minor and I made mine work for me. The sizes you are given online to work with and make decisions by may not be that helpful if the engineering isn’t altogether thought through to align with your expectations. For instance, if the inner lip inside the barrel part of the cap, the part receiving the threaded screw, is beveled or recessed, the chances are that the screw cannot actually engage in the receiving thread before entering the barrel for the first one to two millimeters. Of course, there is nothing deceitful going on with the suppliers or the makers. There’s just more to this than meets the eye that’s all. The problem is you cannot access the proper and detailed information until you’ve bought the screw and cap set and hold it in your hand. Now don’t think that this inner bevel is bad engineering. It’s common practice to ‘guide’ the ‘bolt’ in a centered presentation to the hole. Combined with a similar chamfer to the screw (bolt) it pretty much guarantees there is no cross-threading to the threads in either part as they first engage. But in our case, it is unhelpful because it compromises thread engagement by several thread counts. Drilling the holes, fitting the screws and caps For the first sets of studs to fit, you will need three drill bits to make these studs work in your saw, not the single 1/4″ suggested: Two twist drills 7.5 and 6.5 and a rim bit like a Forstner 13mm. As you will see in the images below what the variations were in sizing. What was stated on the bits was not the outcome under the eye of the vernier calipers. I felt, after a lot of consideration, that the studs worked okay. Unfortunately, the supplier did not give the diameter of the screw set heads. That would have been helpful but perhaps difficult as the diameter is far from standard at 12.4mm. Usually, when stepping sizes to create steps, in new work we start with the larger and then use the centre-point of that hole to guide subsequent step sizing. With our saw, the hole is already in place and you have no centre to work with. In our case, it’s not a problem as subsequent hole sizing is larger, not smaller, until we come to the rim hole that is. Drill through halfway with the 7.5mm bit. This size is slightly larger than the barrel of the cap because this cap needs to rotate to tighten the cap onto the stem and also, the fractional difference allows a little flex for alignment of one component to the other. From the other side drill the 6mm hole. This is larger than the screw part but smaller than the serrated part. That means that the serrations engage the wood but not so much as to crack the wood as you press the stud home in the vise. If your handle needs the recessing, set up in the drill press and drill only to a depth you determine beforehand in a scrap of wood. Additionally, you may need to drill through the saw plate itself to enlarge the hole for either the cap or the screw stud. The plate can be extremely hard at this point as often it has not been annealed here. Just be prepared. I will show results with alternative supplier’s studs soon.

Комментарии и мнения владельцев

Doubt they will. Too forward-thinking. Even the premium makers of things today don’t really invent much of anything that wasn’t already there before for them to copy, they just saw that by factoring finishing quality into something it would become more preferable and saleable and that they could charge ten times the price. At one time the standard would never have dropped so far but two world wars and the birth of mass, mass-manufacturing saw to that.

What I don’t understand is: if you can program a CNC machine to cut the shape they currently have, then why can’t they just program it to cut a more comfortable shape well established by crafts people over the centuries.? One would think SJ have a department that deals with these aspects of customer satisfaction, such as ergonomics, etc. In fact, it should be the most essential thing after the quality of the materials themselves. From just a little bit of research online it’s clear to see that a general shape of saw handles has been established over the centuries and to me it’s somewhat arrogant of SJ to produce a saw handle with the word “TRADITIONAL” emblazoned on the plate, whilst flying in the face of centuries of established knowledge.

It’s been the same since the 1950s. Actually, the Taiwanese are more than happy to make anything you want making and to very exacting standards. Don’t suffer under any illusion that these are anything but British saws in name only; they are made in Taiwan.

Hi Paul I read all the posts with interest and they made me think somewhat about tools in general. When I was a lad starting out Stanley, Marple’s Spear Jackson and Henry Distton were the best gear around. I remember saving up a few bob every week to get my first plane then a chisel set and so on! All the best makes have disappeared which is very sad but in my opinion inevitable brought about by the decline in apprenticeships which started mid 70s. Ten in came the 6 month schemes?? After completing my apprenticeship, I remember when turning up for a new work on a site somewhere being asked for CG certs, union card then open your box for a tool inspection. It became the only way they could whittle out what they called chancers! sad really they were just people trying to get a skill. Later on in life I went into training with several institutions where we taught those very people basic construction skills (one year) enough to get people on the ladder then find sponsors who would take them on to the next level. I came off the tools around 1990 due to arthritic problems and went into site management then safety management. Now retired I have built my workshop last year and will fit it out this summer as like yourself I have purchased an old house and have spent nearly a year refitting it out, almost finished… I am looking forward refurbishing my tools now and following your every move whilst working in my man cave. Your are a special kind of person Paul and I admire your outlook on life and your well honed skills. God bless you!

@Thomas: After these last two articles by Paul, they most definitely will not! From the reviews on Amazon it is clear that many many buyers (including me) acquire these saws because Paul recommends them and teaches how to sharpen them. Now there are these detailed articles with clear instructions and beautiful results on the handle. SJ will not change a thing. They will sell even better. might go higher now. @Paul: a big thank you! It is amazing to see how you have transformed this handle. I really appreciate your work and your teaching! And your team is excellent too!

Different saw strokes for different saw folks, I suppose. Perhaps put yourself in the position of others. For instance, you have never done any woodworking in your life before and you want to get started. Someone asking your advice would need to go out and buy over a thousand pounds worth of handsaws before she or he even knows if she or he even likes it. Now that is what I call a big “hoop to jump through”. But this gets all the bigger if you only earn say £20-25k a year and you have two kids and spouse to support, a mortgage to pay and so on. Think about it. And this kind of thinking happens across the board when the privileged regions and people start giving advice. Some suggest going out and buying £10,000 worth of machinery just to start woodworking yet all they wanted was to do was make a few pieces of furniture. Let me explain further: I am glad you are enjoying your new saw, but that really wasn’t the point of the article nor should you feel sorry for those who could never afford to spend as much you did on what is another handsaw. To use the phrase, “the hoops you had to jump through” tilts the discussion to justify your spending I suppose. Changing the studs took me 20 minutes. Not exactly ‘hoop-jumping‘, not in my world, anyway. No, you see I took a saw, tried it, quite liked it, and thought, this is at least affordable. I wanted to be a resource for those looking to find a decent saw. I wanted to use it, improve it, I persevered with it, transformed it, I totally succeeded! than that, I now have a totally good saw, I totally, totally enjoyed it and I hope hundreds if not thousands will follow my example and not just give in. Most of my audience are doers and like to do things for themselves. They’re looking to improve things all around them and they could never afford nor perhaps even want to spend £400 to £440 on what at the end of the day is a handsaw. Paying around twenty times higher in price makes it prohibitive for many to get into woodworking. Magnify that three to four times to buy four saws makes £1,200 particularly hard.

This is so true. If the working of wood is “hoop-jumping”, well that pretty much dismisses woodworking itself as a chore.

You are forgetting another element of this too Paul. Some of us actually ENJOY tinkering with things. When I learned to drive I had an old Mustang that I enjoyed spending the weekend tinkering about, fixing things up, tuning the motor. Sure the rich kid in the Lamborghini might see that as jumping through hoops. But it was something I enjoyed. Same now with tools, I am actually enjoying finding old tools in antique shops and garage sales etc, taking off the rust, sharpening the blades/irons, fettering and tuning it into a working tool. I actually get some enjoyment from it. And I don’t have to line somebody’s s who is overcharging for something.

… further more, we can now take a steel plate and a piece of beech and make our own saws. Instructions on tooth shaping and sharpening have been here, on WWMC and on Paul’s YT channel from quite some time. Now we have the handle instructions. This is all one needs to make a saw from the very beginning and the reasons may be of different kind: joy in making, self trainig and expertise upgrading, need of a particular kind or size of saw, not being able to afford a Bad Axe saw, custom made saws to sell, etc. I have made my own router and rebate plane. Now I’m thinking about making a saw, but after I reshape my SJ’s handles.

I agree completely with the notion of finding joy in getting vintage or less expensive tools working well. I can also say that Mark, who is the guy that makes the Bad Axe saws, is a very nice gentleman. I emailed a question to him about something I was trying to do with a vintage saw and he was kind enough to immediately respond and then took time to hop on the phone and do some questions and answers. In other words, the gentleman took the time to stop making those expensive (and very nice) saws and helped me for no other reason than (I think) he enjoys saws and the art and knowledge around them both old and new. Of course, the fact that the owner of Bad Axe is a nice guy is not an argument for buying an expensive, boutique made tool unless you have a few hundred to spare and want to be a bit self indulgent. For the record, I’ve not purchased anything from Bad Axe myself. I have read through some nice articles they have posted on techniques for saw maintenance and restoration. Maybe I will buy one of Mark’s saws one day. I do think they are nice and he is obviously passionate about what he does. At the same time, I’ve done very well with my less expensive saws. In the end, I agree with Paul that no one should feel that they can’t get started and get good results without investing thousands in this hobby. At the same time, my hat is also off to guys like Mark that are keeping the art of the sawyer alive (and are nice people to boot).

I just had to reply to this. What a timely post Paul, thank you. I have a very good friend who has a wife who is addicted to garage sales. I have been recuperating from blood clots in both lungs for a year now. Hopefully will be back in the shop in a week or two. Meanwhile my friend has picked up 4 disstans and 1 atkins. The Atkins is a very nice rip and in good shape. The disstans are old to very old and need some TLC… One handle must be remade, but the others are salvageable. The big thing is the handles fit my large mitts. The new saws of today do not fit my hand, not even close.

These folks are not all that far from where I live and I doubt I will ever be able or for that matter decide to purchase a saw that expensive. I will be content even to have to fiddle about for a couple of hours and make my own handle nuts

@Mike Woodward – Seeing the hoops you had to jump through by paying 10 times the price of a good saw makes me glad I saved the extra on a SJ saw.

I hope you continue giving recommendations and advice as you have for the SJ saws. Great buy and a pleasure to use.

Hello Paul, thank you so much for doing all the dirty work here so we don’t have to trial and error our way into frustration. I did manage to find 2 SJ saws on Amazon here. A 22” 10pt. and a 24” 7 point saw. Both listed as “universal teeth”. Can you recommend which one to get? Would like to get started in these recent modifications you posted. Thanks again! Cheers Steve

OK thanks, will order on of those! Its amazing how UGLY that handle is on the factory saw after looking at your modifications. Its almost as if someone purposely went out of their way to see how ugly they could make a saw handle. And the ones in the big box store are plastic, usually with the cheap mold casting line down the center cutting into your hand. I guess they expect the average buyer not to actually use them.

Thanks for this Paul, I am working on a Tyzack 14″ Tennon saw I bought to practice my sharpening skills. This may sound like sacrilege to some but it was cheap and in a really shocking rusty state. The handle was loose and there is an odd shape to the blade however it cuts straight which is the main thing. I have a couple of 1990s spear and Jackson saws which work ok but I find the handles uncomfortable as they are a bit square and flat, I think i will have to be brave and take a rasp and sand paper to them. I have a lovely PAX 1776 dovetail saw I bought when on a course with Peter Sefton, it cuts great and the pear handle is lovely in the hand so i will use that as my model I think. At Harrogate this year I got to try Shane Skelton’s saws, he will make handles to fit your hand when you buy his saws but you are paying for a bespoke service and a real lifetime and beyond tool if you buy one of his. If I was a full time furniture and cabinet maker I would get great value from his saws but as a hobby woodworker I cant afford the luxury right now. In one of your videos you showed modifying a saw set, I have an Eclipse one of these and it also came with a device to help keep the angle consistent when sharpening your saw. It works fine and for hobby woodworkers who may not blunt their saw over 12 months it might help with teh learning process. Thanks again for your continued blogs of inspiration.

“In the description the seller says, “Requires a 1/4″ (5.5mm) hole […] ” To the seller: either do it properly/correctly or else just don’t bother. Was it too much effort to reach for the cell-phone with built-in calculator?… I’d expect anyone to know such simple conversions from memory. That 1/4″ = 6.35 mm, 1/2″= 12.7 mm, 3/8″ = nearly 10 mm (9.5 mm in reality), etc. But anyone doing work for publishing (such as advertising) or trade I’d expect to check their work, if not double-check. That would have been enough for me to immediately discredit and highly suspect any other dimensions or numbers of this product, and even company. Things like these are partly why I’ve stopped reading the newspaper. Too many discrepancies within the article, never mind when cross-checking with other sources. If I find errors in things I can very simply see myself, I automatically assume that everything else said/written is very suspect. Or, in more direct words, worthless.

Great advice. I find the cheapest way to get replacement studs is to go to a salvage yard. One near me has a rack of rusty old Disstons they sell by the pound. Most of the time the saws aren’t reclaimable but the studs almost always are, and you can sometimes reuse the handles or at least get Apple or beech from them for new horns. 2 usually gets you a saw. If I buy more than one I bargain. And occasionally a saw is reclaimable. Then, of course, you have to go back and get another.

Paul, Any advice for a 10″ Groves dovetail where the brass back wiggles side to side where the brass back mates with the handle? The 2, screw/nuts are tight. I put a plane shaving in there to fill the gap but is there a better way? The handle is tight to the saw plate but not the brass back. Thanks!

Remove the handle, clean up the and insert a new piece of wood using a 1 ton epoxy or similar. Leave to set up and the recut mortise.

Hi Paul, Thanks for the advice about dealing with saw blades that wobble sideways in the handle. A while back I bought some saw screws from Thomas Flinn ( ) The brass ones have a head diameter of 1/2″ and would probably be okay for 15/16″ to 7/8″ thick handles. The brass plated steel ones have an unusual head diameter of 3/8″, screwdriver slots at both ends and no serrated grip, and would probably be okay for a 3/4″ to 1″ thick handles. They also sell brass split nut ones but I don’t have the dimensions of these. Dieter Schmid ( ) sell a variety of older pattern brass saw screws with split nuts and also brass cone screws and nuts, with full dimensions shown on their website. Best wishes – Richard C

Paul – with help from your YouTube videos, can now do a reasonable job sharpening a ‘western’ hand saw. Much appreciated. Enjoyed your latest blog on replacing/installing handle caps and screws. Have a number of old Tyzack and Disston saws that could use new caps and screws. Not able to source these in Canada. Your suggestions on suppliers in UK, please. Thank you. Best Regards.

I live in Italy and it is impossible to find a saw screws here. Fortunately they can be purchased in Amazon in US: They will fit perfectly the standard 22mm handle or even thicker.

Appears to me as though these are not Saw-Nuts at all. These are probably Chicago Bolts. Some “enterprising bodger” hopes to fulfil demand for expensive saw-nuts with cheap cupboard fixings. That’s why they’re too short, instructions are vague, and measurements incorrectly translated. Google “chicago bolts” and you may find a better/cheaper match.

Very close, Alan. The serration seems to be missing on mist Chicago bolts but you could definitely make them work for a fraction f the rice if you can find the size, which I think you can.

Hi Paul, As someone mentioned earlier, the Spear and Jackson saws are advertised as having universal teeth. Does this mean that they are shaped differently to a cross cut or rip cut pattern? Or is “universal teeth” just an advertising gimmick and they are really just cross cut saws? I plan on re-sharpening my SJ saw this weekend and was wondering how to approach it. Is it ok to sharpen as if it’s a cross cut pattern or should I try to match the profile existing of the existing teeth? Many thanks for sharing your knowledge and passion for woodworking.

Universal teeth is a copout by SJ and many other makers. Remember that they, first of all, know very little about saw teeth or saws beyond using equipment that makes the saws. Remember too that the saws are very rarely ever used for rip cutting real wood but mostly for crosscutting lengths into short sections and then cutting sheet goods like plywood and OSB, pressed fibreboard and such, where fifty percent of the material is striated cross-grain. These saws are not universal saws but crosscut saws with pinnacle teeth. So if you want a crosscut saw, leave as is. If you want a ripcut, follow my instructions on YouTube.

restore, hand, complete, guide, handle, replacement

Last night I needed to make some rip cuts (about 29″ long rip cuts) in big box store American pine. Out of curiosity, I tried one with the SJ with the “universal” teeth as the way they came and a similar length traditional rip cut saw. The difference of speed of cut between the two was very noticeable. I think the rip cut tooth saw must have gone at least three times deeper per cut than the SJ “universal” tooth saw did.

Yes, but to be fair, as I have written elsewhere since this blog, most users will be using them to crosscut building lumber like 2 x 4s on up and then plywood. I doubt that a ripsaw would be anywhere as efficient and would really tear at the fibres. The crosscuts can be quickly reshaped for rip cuts and then turned back to crosscut but best to have two dedicated saws really.

Hi Paul, You are absolutely correct. I could have been more clear in my reply above. Based on what you have said, I agree that having the teeth cross cut from the factory makes sense given what most folks use it for. Having two saws make sense – one for rip and one for cross cut. I do intend to get a second SJ saw and sharpen for rip cut. Not related to this post per se, but tied to other posts you’ve done on sawing, I went three years with just my dovetail saw as my fine joinery saw. It worked perfect well, as you have pointed out elsewhere, for both rip and cross cut. When I finally did buy a fine joinery saw for cross cutting I was underwhelmed at the difference between the two. I am in the process of making a medium sized portable tool chest. I plan to have both a rip and cross cut panel size saws BUT only a dovetail saw. Toss in a coping saw, and all of my sawing needs are taken care of.

Hi! With an Lathe it should be relatively easy to make fitting screws caps. If an Cap with an thread going through is an option you could just use a screw with the right length, but my knowledge about woodworking saws is very limited. But I’m pretty sure if you ask an machinist there is a simple solution that fits

I don’t have a metal lathe so when I needed a sex bolt I made one on my mill out of a big old wood screw. Could be done on a drill press too. Just had to cut the thread off the screw and left some plain shank on the head. I drilled the shank out and tapped it. Worked good. The biggest trick was getting the screw to stand straight up and down as I clamped it with a V block in a vise. To manage that I made a pillar with a dimple in the end of it out of a scrap of threaded rod to hold the round screw head. I just drilled the end of the rod a little with an appropriate size drill bit to put a conical depression in it. I could balance the round head in that dimple pretty easily. Plus I made the pillar rod a convenient length to hold the screw up in the V block so I could work on it.

So on a completely different tact… I wonder if the older toolmakers were driven toward producing beautiful tools because the beauty advertised their skill? The customer would say “hey if they can do that scroll work, surely they can build a good saw”. Now days, we look a price first and beauty and quality suffer. #2 I wonder what the furniture companies in the 1800’s looked like. Were there assembly lines, first guy cuts the same mortise on the same component all day. Is that really craftsmanship? You mention doing runs of 20 Windows during your apprentice days, how was the work divvied up? At the very least I remember you saying that there was a layout guy and guys that cut #3 – there was an interesting piece on how the Amish think about technology that’s making it’s way around the net. The key point is that when considering a new tool/technology they consider they consider BOTH the utility of the tool, and the impact of the tool on the individual and the community as well. The example given was a hay-baler. They choose not to “approve” a modern baler because while it would allow one man to finish a field in one day, that one man and his community would not benefit from the communal effort of working together.

I am never sure where religions take people ultimately. From airless, non-tubed and non-rubber tyres (tires USA) to phones in boxes out of the house and at the end of the driveway and off their land. I say this because these are the common practices of the Amish, an American religious sect following certain precepts of Christianity. Newspapers rarely get that close to dig for the deeper truths but can indeed romanticize certain things that might serve more to pragmatize isolated communities that choose to live more traditionally than others. I do understand the reasoning behind farming with horses rather than heavy equipment compressing and consolidating the soil and indeed people supporting one another as they work more co-dependently with one another; agrarianism versus agribusiness and so on. Are they now the so-called 20th century Luddites refusing to embrace progress or are they protecting a way of life they feel is much more wholesome and valuable to family and community values? Seeing the impact of the internet and our ultra-dependency on it does beg the very big questions; where is this taking us? Which conveyor belt are we switched to? How did I get here? I didn’t sign up for this? Following the removal of hand tools from public or state schools and the replacement with computers and CNC equipment is now so complete that no student in school will ever achieve much more than a nod to the traditions of the past. This went ahead completely unchallenged. As far as I could ever see no teacher or educationalist challenged the shift. Current school-aged students in state-run schools will EVER master skilled hand working nor even really get much more than experiencing failure in using a hand tool because no time is given to developing ability in it. This is one of the saddest failures fo both state-run and private education.

Fear not Paul, there may be a concerted drive to remove hand skills from state education but the extended family still carries great weight and influence, especially among trades women and men. ” This was may grandfather’s saw/plane/spokeshave ” still has a greater worth than certificates or cash. Our two year old grandson was watching and ‘helping’ me trim a door the other day. He can’t manage or understand the theory or processes yet, but he can hand me tools when I ask (and so learns their names) and helps sweep up the shavings (good practice). I hope he will one day inherit and be able to use my tools; but who knows…. ? PS, a ‘mini lathe’ is ideal for making brass screws, bolts, etc, and it passes a few contented hours.

You’re quite right. Paul. I have dealt with this company, even spoken to them on the ‘phone querying their claim about the screws being suitable for handles up to 1″ thick. The brushoff answer I got was, “We use them on our own saws’. Be that as it may, the screws will definitely not engage with the nuts without recessing the handle to a degree that looks untidy, with the dome of the head ending up lower than the face to the wood. Ugly! But I couldn’t find an alternative supplier in the UK. If I still had access to a lathe, as I did before I retired, I would start up a small sideline manufacturing screws of a proper length for all us hand tool woodworkers. Thank you so much for all your superb teaching. Long may you keep going.

It is so frustrating when something like that happens, where issues prevent a company from admitting there us something not quite right. No one is accusing anyone of doing something wrong, just that something said is wrong and that there should be a correction made somewhere. It may well be true that they used them on a saw or two of their own, who knows, but the reality is that these saw screws and caps will not fit 99% 0f saws because the majority are indeed 7/8″. I am often urged to name and shame but in some cases, the company just does not know there is something wrong so it is best to give them the benefit of the doubt and tell them first. I always hope that the company will indeed see sense and make change happen but often nothing is done and at that point I will usually state the name. What would actually of great help, and speak of integrity too, would be a simple line drawing giving the exact details of the parts, photographs showing how they seat in saw handles and what the alternative options are for recessing.

It is so frustrating when something like that happens, where issues prevent a company from admitting there us something not quite right. No one is accusing anyone of doing something wrong, just that something said is wrong and that there should be a correction made somewhere. It may well be true that they used them on a saw or two of their own, who knows, but the reality is that these saw screws and caps will not fit 99% 0f saws because the majority are indeed 7/8″. I am often urged to name and shame but in some cases, the company just does not know there is something wrong so it is best to give them the benefit of the doubt and tell them first. I always hope that the company will indeed see sense and make change happen but often nothing is done and at that point, I will usually state the name. What would actually been of great help, and speak of integrity too, would be a simple line drawing giving the exact details of the parts, photographs showing how they seat in saw handles and what the alternative options are for recessing.

There is at least one seller (Dieter Schmid in Berlin, Germany) who describes all the details and measurements available to him. Brass bolt (a strong 1″ long) and split nut are available alongside with some very detailed installation notes you surely will enjoy. Just perfect for the SJ saws. Unfortunately this doesn’t make some of the (US made?) medallion screws any longer. Hope this helps a bit.

Yes, I have always had excellent dealings with Dieter. It is a great company to buy from all around. And their services are top-notch too. That said, these are pricey!

I ran into this exact issue replacing the handle and damaged screws on a used saw I purchased. Screws and caps were a mismatch if parts that did not suit me so I ordered a new set supposed to fit 7/8” handles. The caps, part with female thread) were just too short. I wasted half hour calling and leaving a message then and e-mail with photos, after which I was assured I was sent the correct parts. Who am I of course I’m just the guy with the saw and parts I hand that will not tighten up without tearing the 1 thread engaged off the screw. So I ended up making new caps that are longer, half a days work I had not planned on. This type of thing is what I call the its good enough syndrome, where manufacturers simply don’t care if their product is quality, just that it’s “OK” no need to make the effort to make it right. So now when you purchase things your really getting a kit that needs assembly, replacement parts and your time to make it what it should have been out of the box. I get that it’s cheaper than a quality saw but what if I want something I don’t have to fix before I use it

They could just make the thread 1/2″ longer and leave us to do our own length adjustment where necessary. How difficult would that be? And how much extra could it possibly cost? 5 pence maybe? The ridiculous thing is that the suppliers we purchased from don’t actually manufacture the screws themselves: they buy them from another supplier! Why wouldn’t they demand longer screws from that supplier when they get complaints from their customers? My own young ‘apprentice’ also rang them with the same complaint so that’s at least three of us that we know of from this blog. Whatever happened to proper engineering standards, let alone customer service?!

Hello Paul. My name is Eduard from Barcelona. I recently discovered your channel on YouTube, and I just wanted to say thank you for all the useful tips. A quite while ago, I discovered the tools that my grandpa used, but all were rusty, and I restored them at a point that were OK-ish, but they didnt work as they should. I followed some tutorials about sharpening woodworking tools and knifes, and everything is buy this and buy that… I don’t have much money, and I don’t want it to spend it in a little plastic jig from china that will break in half a use. My grandparents lived the Civil War and they passed very tough times and they carried on with humble tools without spending tons of money in accessories… I’m 31 and it’s a shame that everything that is “manual labor” today is underrated. I’m quite a “techie guy” I like technology as well, in fact, Iown a cheap 3d print to prototype and make some classes for kids, as well, seems that the word “effort” means nothing today, why sharpen a knife when you can buy a new one and have it home in 2 hours flat? I’d rather buy a good quality steel knife and a sharpening stone (or a set of sanding sticks) and sharpen my knife in 5 minutes flat… And whenever comes dull swipe it again… It makes me sad, really. Unfortunately both my grandparents passed away when I was a little kid and they couldn’t teach me much… Thanks to you I’m learning now, those tips that my grandparents surely will give to me, and now you are sharing them on YouTube. Following your tutorials, now I know that the saw I have is a ripcut saw, and this afternoon I just sharpen the teeth with the file, and how to restore the plane that I have, and this evening, I discovered your website, and, what a coincidence, “how to replace screws and caps in a hand saw”… That’s a sign to restore the saw to a brand new condition!! In relation to the article, if instead of using a Forstner bit to use to make the hole for the serrated part of the screw, can you use a countersink bit to make a cone shaped hole, so it has more contact surface within the wood without splitting the handle apart when you tight the end cap? It’s a very interesting article… I don’t know if they exist, but a cheap option could be using brass carriage bolts and then screw the end cap… Again, thanks a lot in all your patience and dedication you have in every one of your videos, Paul. Cheers! Take care.

Just like to say thank you Paul for this and the previous blog about re-shaping the SJ panel saw handles and replacing the rivets with screws and caps, I requested (along with a few others) just such a write-up or video and lo and behold you’ve come up trumps! Your discovery of a less than satisfactory screw and cap product/supplier will help so many of us falling for this item, along with all the hassle of returning the product for a refund. Yes, it does not make sense that just a little more care in designing could have produced a much more fit for purpose product (unless you happen to have a thin saw handle of course!) You are of course 100% correct, a simple line drawing giving accurate dimensions would have avoided customers (including yourself) purchasing a product that just isn’t suitable. Being the cynic that I am, I do wonder if the product description was purposely vague or inaccurate? Looking forward to your next instalment on this subject. Cheers!

If the supplier is the one we’re probably all assuming it is then there is no problem using the brass bolts with 7/8th inch handles. The bolts will engage the threaded cap and you’ll get about 2 1/2 to 3 turns before they’ll be holding rock solid. You’ll get an extra turn if they’re replacing steel bolts as they’ve usually compressed the wood over the years. With M5 threads that is sufficient for their purpose. An inch wide handle will be pushing it but as has been said, 7/8th inch is fairly standard so don’t be so quick to dismiss them in that case. Paul, can I ask what the thickness of the SJ saw handles are out of interest? Are they a little thicker than might be expected by any chance? Or maybe the fact that the SJ saws had those compression fit riveted fittings means that the brass saw bolts don’t fit quite as well as they would on a saw handle that had steel bolts fitted before. I actually think that’s very likely a factor worth considering.

All I said was that they didn’t engage in 7/8″ thick wood which they didn’t and neither would the threads engage. You are saying they do but none of the 8 sets did. The wooden handles on four saws by the same SJ maker all measured 7/8″ between outer surfaces with a vernier and maybe a paper thickness on one, no more, over. The handles were slightly compressed from the compression with the studs too so should have engaged but still didn’t. The maker extending the barrel will resolve the issue which seems a simple long-term solution.

Thank you for clarifying an issue which, for me, will be 40 years old next year! I bought some new studs for an old saw back in 1981. The shop I got them from had a good and long-standing reputation and, in those pre-internet days was the only place I knew where I could get them. When I got them home, I quickly found they had the utility value of a chocolate teapot because they were too short (as explained in the blog the maie thread would not reach the female thread). I have not bought studs since then but have resorted to ‘alternative methods’ (i.e. I have bodged solutions with varying degrees of ugliness and inelegance). In the intervening decades, I have learned that a) nearly all old saws have handles of very similar thickness b) The studs I purchased (I still have them somewhere) were never a fit for any saw I ever met! So, it appears that sometime in the latter half of the 20th century, a new de facto British Standard was created. Saw handle studs which do not fit any standard handle they are ‘designed’ for. Given that we do not want to thin our standard-thickness saw handles to fit the ‘new standard’ studs I guess there is only one way to turn the current situation to advantage. Does anyone have any (polite) suggestions as to what the ‘New Standard’ saw studs might be useful for? If we can find a use for these ‘New Standard’ studs, we can all sleep easy at night without worrying about the march of progress (or maybe not!)

In the US Chicago bolts work just fine. They’re cheap, available in brass and stainless, and look just like the vintage bolts. My local hardware store has them in many sizes and you can get them on Amazon.

“the saddest failures for both state-run and private education” This is probably an exception, but look for “école Boulle” in Paris – France. Sylvain

Those bolts are known under many names. For a list to help find them on the net, look at third paragraph in wikipedia sex bolt. (we don’t need funny Комментарии и мнения владельцев about this name)

I recently made a replacement handle for a Sandvik sheet saw – the plastic handle had failed. Looking at the price of the proper bolts as above I decided they cost far more than the saw was worth. Having recently assembled some shop brought furniture I decided that the economy way of making the bolts was to buy some ‘Furniture Connector Nuts’ these are available in different diameters lengths. Combine two of these with a short length of metric studding and you end up with fastenings for any thickness of handle. The nuts typically use a hex (Allen) key to tighten them so it is quite simple to tighten them if the handle becomes loose. Put a drop of soft set Loctite on the threads if you are worried about them working loose. No need for a special split screwdriver. Being plated steel the nuts may not be as aesthetic as the proper brass ones but are quite low profile with rounded corners. The handle was made of a laminate of two pieces of 9mm plywood with the gap for the blade being created by sandwiching a piece of veneer the same thickness as the blade in the middle. This also allowed the gap to be made the same shape as the rear of the blade that had been made to fit the plastic moulding rather than a shape that was possible to cut with tools. Result a saw revived for under a pound.

I did a bit of internet research and you can get Furniture Connector Nuts in brass as well as steel with a variety of finishes including antique if that takes your fancy. A few shops also sell them in stainless steel. The critical thing is not to cut the studding too long so it bottoms on the threaded holes before clamping the saw blade – however it only needs a bit of sawing or filing to shorten the stud. One tip when cutting or filing the cut end of a piece of studding or a bolt, screw a plain nut (or two) on the thread before you cut or file it. When you have completed the cutting filing wind the nut(s) off over the cut end. If you do this the end of the thread that is normally burred over will open up and it will make it much easier to screw the cut thread into a nut or hole. Two or more nuts make it easier to hold the studding or bolt in a vice without damaging the thread – hold the nuts in the vice instead while you do the cutting filing.

The reason folks with low skill may buy pricey tools comes down to a few issues: 1. Ignorance: what is a good price range? 2. Greed: it is shiny while the old saw is dull and rusty. 3. Intimidation: ps is the Tiger of Woods. I can’t do most of what he does before breakfast. His apprentices would laugh at my woodworking…after it fell apart! 4. Time vs. Money. Usually if you have one you don’t have lots of the other. 5. Best quest: i must have the best kit or i can’t do anything. 6. Fear of failure: if i have to tune up stuff i will wreck a saw…better leave it to an expert in a shiny catalog.

I have encountered two wooden saw handles that could not be removed because the m/f had punched the holes in the steel leaving a deformed section within the hole. I have tried drilling to no avail. The first time I ended up breaking the handle and had to glue it together again. Have you encountered this problem? Is there a solution?

Great information. New reader here. Will be doing this on a one man logging crosscut saw as it needs a new handle. Do you have any information on straightening a wavy/deformed draw knife blade? It’s not much but it does bother me. Can not find any information on correcting this online.

Just live with it and get used to it. Draw knives need not be straight and fixing can result in breaks.

Hey. So I bought a saw on eBay that has two brass pieces holding the handle to the plate but the handle is loose. It’s held together in the style I think of lie Nielsen And Rob Cosman saws. I’ve never seen either in person so I’m going off pictures. They aren’t screws. I can see on both sides it looks like there is a pentagonal pin through the handle and plate and on either side they go through a round brass piece that is recessed and then the pin was cut flush and everything polished. I’d like to take the saw apart and clean everything but I would settle for just tightening. Maybe ball peen is the answer but again if anyone knows how I can get it apart I would appreciate it. I can send who ever a picture if needed. Thanks!

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Saw handle replacement for shovel

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Do you need to change the handle and saw blades of your Ski-Doo shovel? We have everything you need! The saw handle is D-shaped to give you a better grip. It is easy to install on the shovel and can also be disassembled in seconds. Thanks to this accessory, you will be able to push back the snow again without too much effort!



Outer, Mid Base layer Sportswear


Chest 33-35 84-89 35-38 89-96 38-41 96-104 41-45 104-114 45-49 114-124 49-53 124-135 53-57 135-145 57-61 145-155 61-65 155-165

Waist 27-29 68-74 29-32 74-81 32-35 81-89 35-39 89-99 39-43 99-109 43-48 109-122 48-52 122-132 52-57 132-145 57-62 145-157

Hips (seat) 33-35 84-89 35-38 89-96 38-41 96-104 41-45 104-114 45-49 114-124 49-53 124-135 53-57 135-145 57-61 145-155 61-65 155-165

Arm length 30 76 31 79 32 81 33 84 34 86 35 89 35 89 36 92 36 92

Inseam 31 79 31,5 80 32 81 32 81 32 81 32 81 32 81 32 81 32 81


Chest 38-41 96-104 41-45 104-114 45-49 114-124 49-53 124-135 53-57 135-145 57-61 145-155

Waist 32-35 81-89 35-39 89-99 39-43 99-109 43-48 109-122 48-52 122-132 52-57 132-145

Hips (seat) 38-41 96-104 41-45 104-114 45-49 114-124 49-53 124-135 53-57 135-145 57-61 145-155

Arm length 33,5 85 34,5 87,5 35,5 90 36,5 93 36,5 93 37,5 95

Inseam 34 86 34 86 34 86 34 81 34 86 34 86


Chest 32-35 81-89 35-37 89-94 37-40 94-102 40-43 102-109 43-47 109-119 47-51 119-130 51-55 130-140 55-59 140-150 59-63 150-160

Waist 26-29 66-74 29-31 74-79 31-34 79-86 34-37 86-94 37-42 94-107 42-46 107-117 46-51 117-130 51-55 130-140 55-60 140-152

Hips (seat) 35-38 89-97 38-40 97-102 40-43 102-109 43-46 109-117 46-50 117-127 50-54 124-137 54-58 137-147 58-62 147-157 62-66 157-167

restore, hand, complete, guide, handle, replacement

Arm length 29 74 30 76 30 76 31 79 31 79 32 81 32 81 33 84 33 84

Inseam 30 76 30 76 30 76 30 76 30 76 30 76 30 76 30 76 30 76

Chest 36-39 91-99 39-42 99-107 42-46 107-117

Hips (seat) 39-42 99-107 42-45 107-114 45-49 114-124

2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5 6 6 7 7 8 8 10 10 12 12 14 14 16 16 18 18

Height 2’11” 89 3’2″ 97 3’5″ 104 3’8″ 112 3’11” 119 4’2″ 127 4’5″ 135 4’8″ 142 4’11” 150 5’2″ 157 5’5″ 165 5’8″ 173

Chest 21 53 22 56 23 58 24 61 25 63 26 66 27 68 28 1 ⁄2 72 30 76 31 1 ⁄2 80 33 84 35 89

Waist 20 51 20 1 ⁄2 52 21 53 21 1 ⁄2 55 22 56 22 1 ⁄2 57 23 58 24 61 25 63,5 26 66 27 68,5 29 3 ⁄4 75,5

Hips (seat) 21 53 22 56 23 59 24 61 25 63.5 26 66 27 68,5 28 1 ⁄2 72 30 76 31 1 ⁄2 80 33 84 36 1 ⁄2 93

Arm length 15 1 ⁄2 39 17 43 18 1 ⁄2 47 20 51 21 1 ⁄2 55 23 58 24 1 ⁄2 62 28 1 ⁄2 72 30 76 31 1 ⁄2 80 33 76 33 3 ⁄4 86

Inseam 13 1 ⁄2 34 15 1 ⁄2 40 17 1 ⁄2 44 19 1 ⁄2 50 21 53 22 3 ⁄4 58 24 1 ⁄2 62 26 1 ⁄4 67 28 71 29 1 ⁄2 75 31 79 31 1 ⁄2 80



5 5 6 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 10 10 11 11 12 12 13 13

EU size 37 37 38 38 39,5 39,5 41 41 42 42 43 43 44,5 44,5 46″ 46 47 47

Size 9 23 9 3 /8 24 9 5 /8 24,5 10 25,5 10 3 /8 26,5 10 5 /8 27 11 28 11 3 /8 29 11 5 ⁄8 29,5

EU size 35,5 35,5 37 37 38 38 39,5 39,5 41 41

Disston Handsaw Restoration. Rust Removal

Size 8 5 /8 22 9 23 9 3 /8 24 9 5 /8 24,5 10 25,5

EU size 32 32 33 33 34 34 35,5 35,5 37 37 38 38

Size 7 5 /8 19,5 8 20,5 8 3 /8 21,5 8 5 /8 22 9 23 9 3 /8 24

110 Year Old Hand Saw Restoration. Disston & Sons, Inc.




Palm 3 7.5 3 1.4 8 3 1 2 9 4 10 4 1 2 11,5 5 13 5 1 2 14

Palm 2 1 2 6 2 3 4 7 3 8 3 1 2 9 4 10 4 1 2 11,5



Men’s (Shoe Size) 6-9 1 2 6-9 1 2 10-13 10-13

Women’s (Shoe Size) 4-8 4-8 8 1 2-12 8 1 2-12

Kid’s (Shoe Size) 9 1 2-12 1 2 9 1 2-12 1 2 13 13




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Saw Parts. make your own saw

Fulfil your dream of building your own saw now! There is nothing more satisfying than being able to work with your own self-made tool. This page provides you with (almost) all the parts required: nuts and bolts to fasten handles, slotted backs and prefabricated saw blades. Get started by manufacturing your own saw.

Resources: Making your own saw, while a very rewarding project, can be daunting. While there is no substitute for actually making one, many of us are not inclined to jump right into things. These resources will help you get started on your saw. This series of blog posts covers the construction of a saw from start to finish. A variety of saw handle templates are available as downloadable pdf’s. These saw parts are made by Blackburn Tools in the USA.

Brass Saw Bolt Split Nut

The split nuts are 5/16 inch (8 mm) long, giving enough thread engagement to virtually guarantee that it will never strip, no matter how hard it is tightened. Both the bolt heads and nuts have tapered sides, making them easy to install and remove without spelching. This is of great utility test fitting the handle. Instead of a square shank on the bolt, a toothed washer is used to prevent rotation of the bolt. To compensate for the thickness of the washer, the nut is made slightly thicker than the head of the bolt. Both the bolt and nut can be installed flush with the surface of the handle with a single counterbore depth. The length of the bolt is 1.025 inches (26 mm), and will fit handles as thin as 26 mm.

The split nut slot is 0.032 inches (0.8 mm) wide. If you do not have, and do not wish to make your own driver, we strongly recommend purchasing our saw nut spanner.

Installation notes: Each bolt/nut set is sent out with two lock washers. One of these goes under the head of the bolt, whilst the second is held in reserve, to be pressed into service when the first falls into the sawdust pile. Alternatively, it can be stacked on top of the other to bring the head of a bolt flush to the surface of the handle if its counterbore is drilled too deep. Close examination of the washers will show that the teeth are sharper on one side than the other. The washers should be installed with the sharper side against the metal, as it will more effectively bite into the metal.

Brass Medallion. flush

Blank medallions are 3/4 inch (19 mm) diameter, and are available with flush or sunken faces. You can hand grave or laser engrave them with your initials or design of your own creation. The length of the bolt is 1.025 inches (26 mm), and will fit handles as thin as 13/16 inch (20.6 mm).

The split nut slot is 0.032 inches (0.8 mm) wide. If you do not have, and do not wish to make your own driver, we strongly recommend purchasing our saw nut spanner.

Brass Medallion. sunken

Expected to be available from week 33 / 2023

Code 322612 Price ∗ € 17.80

Truncated cone Brass Bolt Nut Sets

For a relatively brief period in the mid to late 19th century, Disston and other saw makers adorned some of their saws with bolts and nuts whose heads are best described as truncated cones. With their hardware standing well proud of the handle, these saws possess a bold and distinctive air. Because they soon fell out of favor, replacement bolts and nuts for these saws are hard to come by. Now, 150 years later, Blackburn Tools offers a modern version of this hardware. These new bolts are available in large and small variants. For those making new handles, this is very simple and forgiving hardware. Because the heads are not sunk into counterbored holes, a clean installation is not dependent on precisely drilled holes. To further ease installation, the slots on these nuts (unlike those on split nuts) require no specialized screwdriver or spanner. The bolts have square shanks that can be mortised into the handle to prevent rotation when tightening the nut.

Threads are 8. 32 UNC. Both bolts fit saw handles ranging from 9/16 inch (14.3 mm) to 1-1/16 inch (27 mm) in thickness. You will need to cut or file the threaded portion to length, a relatively simple task. Instructions for doing so are below.

Dimensions of large type: The nut has a slot that is 0.050 inch (1.3 mm) wide and 2 mm deep, and requires no specialized screwdriver or spanner. To avoid mangling the slot, please select a properly fitted screwdriver. The maximum diameter of the bolt and nut heads are 0.530 inch (13.5 mm); their heights are 0.205 inch (5.2 mm). The bolt shank is 0.160 inch (4.1 mm) square.

Dimensions of small type: The nut has a slot that is 0.032 inch (0.8 mm) wide and 1.4 mm deep, and requires no specialized screwdriver or spanner. To avoid mangling the slot, please select a properly fitted screwdriver (this may require some grinding of the blade to thin it out). The maximum diameter of the bolt and nut heads are 0.430 inch (10.9 mm); their heights are 0.125 inch (3.2 mm). The bolt shank is 3/16 inch (4.8 mm) square. You are right: wider than the large type!

Expected to be available from week 28 / 2023

Code 322620 Price ∗ € 13.10

Expected to be available from week 24 / 2023

Code 322621 Price ∗ € 13.50

Slotted Back for Saws

Whether you are building a small dovetail saw or a tenon saw suitable for small timber frames, you will find a suitable back here. The edges come square, but can easily be chamfered, rounded, or shaped to simulate the look of a folded back with files. Slots are accurately milled to ensure a good fit that requires a minimum of truing or adjustment after assembly. Blades can be held in the back with epoxy, rivets or screws, or by squeezing the slot closed (in which case the blade is held in place by friction, much like a folded spine). All sizes of backs are available in brass.

The 9 inch back has a diameter of 3/16 x 5/8 inch (4.8 x 15.9 mm), the 10 inch back 1/4 x 5/8 inch (6.35 x 15.9 mm), the 12 inch back 1/4 x 3/4 inch (6.35 x 19.05 mm).

Saw Blades

Whether you are building a small dovetail saw or a tenon saw suitable for small timber frames, or simply replacing a worn out blade on an old saw, you will find a suitable blade here. All blades are made from 1095 spring steel, hardened and tempered to Rc 48-51. The teeth are punched, but not sharpened. Rip teeth are punched with approximately five degrees of rake, crosscut teeth with fifteen. These angles are a good starting point for most users, but can be easily adjusted when you sharpen it.

The back end of the blade will need to be clipped off at an angle to fit into the handle. (Note: usually this was already done by the maker) An angle grinder, hacksaw, metal shears, aviation snips, belt sander, or even a file will work. The sheared edges will need some truing and smoothing, which is easy to do with any decent file.

Expected to be available from week 28 / 2023

Code 322650 Price ∗ € 28.20

Expected to be available from week 24 / 2023

Code 322653 Price ∗ € 31.90

Saw Nut Spanner

To properly tighten or loosen split saw nuts, it is imperative to use a properly fitting spanner. This spanner fits the split nuts offered. With a tip that is 0.031 inch /0.79 mm) thick. just 0.001 inch (0.025 mm) thinner than the slots in the nuts., there is no chance of damaging the nut. The tip is reversible, with one end being used for 7/16 inch (11.1 mm) nuts and the other for 1/2 inch (12.7) and 9/16 inch (14.3 mm) nuts. 2-1/2 inch (63.5 mm) overall length. The adjustable T-handle provides all of the torque you will ever need, and is removable. All components are made from brass or stainless steel. A 7/64 Allen key is included.

Expected to be available from week 24 / 2023

Code 322670 Price ∗ € 26.70