On today’s show, we’re talking about fixing a bent handsaw, deciding what scrap to keep, working with pine, and should woodworking be sexy?
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Poll of the Week
Are you a wood hoarder?
31% – I could build a project or two with what I have on hand.
29% – I buy as I go. I have nothing but scraps.
18% – I can go for a long time without a visit to the hardwood dealer.
17% – Just some choice boards for special projects.
4% – I can embarrass most saw mills.
Darth Rust wants advice on how to fix his bent Bad Axe saw. Mark Harrell of Bad Axe Toolworks replied:
What has happened is that when the user torqued the plate, rather than kink in a static scenario, it shifted out of tension where the folded sawback clamps along the spine. Here’s the procedure on how to retension the saw plate. Conceptually, what you’re going to do is LIGHTLY tap the toe end of the back, followed by another light tap on the heel end of the back with a dead-blow mallet. Follow this procedure:
– Hold the saw upright on a jointed flat surface (a jointed board that won’t rock on your workbench).
– With your left hand, tightly pinch the bottom edge of the back where the plate meets it about 3” behind the toe (forward) end of the saw. You want to feel both the bottom edge of the back and the plate with your thumb and forefinger, so you can feel the assembly move when you tap it.
– Using a dead-blow mallet, LIGHTLY tap the toe ahead of your hand. You should feel the back shift minutely where it meets the sawplate (hence, the reason you’re pinching it with thumb and forefinger).
– Reverse the saw and pinch the sawback where it meets the plate about 3” ahead of the handle.
– Lightly tap the heel end of the back. Again, you should feel the back/plate assembly very slightly shift where you’re pinching.
– Upend the saw, and site down the toothline; determine whether the S-curve you’re describing still exists. If not, then you’ve just equalized the tension of the back/plate assembly.
– If much of the S-curve has straightened out, but now you have a slight wiggle toward the heel end of the toothline, then that means you probably tapped the heel too hard; what has happened is that the back has torque pressure in the area where the fasteners bind the handle to the plate, and that pressure can be relived with one final, very light tap on the toe end—again, with just enough force to feel the back/plate assembly shift ever so slightly.
What I’ve just described here is how folded backs offer an advantage over backs that have had a slot milled in a brass bar and epoxied in. It’s 400-year-old technology that’s been around that long for the express reason of being able to readjust the tension of the back/plate assembly whenever a saw has been dropped or kinked. This is why one finds so many saws on eBay with a bow in the plate, usually accompanied with a chipped horn. Though the back clamps quite tightly onto the plate as a mechanical attachment, it is intended to slip as a dynamic advantage that allows one to easily straighten out kinks or bows as they develop over time through accidents or abuse.
Mark D. Harrell
Check out the blade before and after adjustment. Success!
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