Saw Making #1: A Borg Backsaw

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Blog entry by AgentTwitch posted 05-07-2016 07:44 PM 2067 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Saw Making series Part 2: Gents Saw Conversion Part 1 »

I thought it would be interesting to try another inexpensive build and decided to re-purpose one of the Home Depot Husky 14” backsaws that sell for a little less than $9 USD. Here it is in its natural environment.

On first inspection, you see that its made in the USA (from global components), but is made from high carbon spring steel, is .032” thick and the plate is not etched. The folded steel back of this is my least favorite part, and I debated slotting a piece of brass, but decided to keep it in the end.

I took the steel back off, used Acetone to remove the husky logo and cut the saw plate to fit my Tyzack backsaw pattern.

I didnt want to invest a lot of money in this already inexpensive saw, so I used the tail end of a piece of curly maple that had very little figure in it. In the picture, this almost looks like a piece of rough cut pine, lol.

After gluing the template the board, I take it to the drill press to help cut the tight radii, and then to the bandsaw to cut the rough shape.

After this I might have become fairly lax in my documentary methods. Oopsie…I do cover some more of the methods I use in my other hand saw projects.

I bought some medium sized brass split nuts from Alamo Saws on eBay and am pleased with the quality for the price. I got a discount for buying 8 sets. The two brass split nuts became the most expensive part of the build. I did a lot of shaping with rasps and sand paper and then used some Transtint dye in alcohol to bring some of the curl out. I dyed it dark, sanded off the majority of the dye, added oil, and then tinted the shellac seal coats to make it a little warmer (started with red mahogany, than antique maple). I was aiming for more of an antique apple handle, but am happy enough with the coloration. Used Minwax Antique Oil for the final coats which gives it a nice smooth and shiny surface.

Without calculating the cost of finishing supplies, I spent $9 on the saw and $10 on the split nuts. I will hold on to the steel split nuts that came with the saw for a future build.

This was a fun little saw project!

-- Regards, Norm

7 comments so far

View cutmantom's profile


407 posts in 4011 days

#1 posted 05-07-2016 08:45 PM

Looks great, a brass back would be a nice addition to the handle, did you sharpen it or leave it as it was

View AgentTwitch's profile


631 posts in 4473 days

#2 posted 05-08-2016 12:30 AM

I left the saw geometry as is for now…but I will file them to be more aggressive later. I will save my brass for better saws in the near future, as this was just a quick saw making fix during a few nights.

-- Regards, Norm

View htl's profile


5325 posts in 2135 days

#3 posted 05-08-2016 01:10 AM

Nice looking you really jazzed it up with that handle.

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs

View BurlyBob's profile


8304 posts in 3242 days

#4 posted 05-08-2016 02:27 AM

You really turned that into a beauty!

View AgentTwitch's profile


631 posts in 4473 days

#5 posted 05-08-2016 11:15 PM


-- Regards, Norm

View Woodknack's profile (online now)


13545 posts in 3356 days

#6 posted 05-10-2016 04:37 PM

So I’m guessing these don’t have induction hardened teeth, that’s good to know. Sure made a silk purse from a sow’s ear.

-- Rick M,

View AgentTwitch's profile


631 posts in 4473 days

#7 posted 05-10-2016 06:58 PM

Rick, you are correct – no induction/electro hardened teeth on the plate. Another benefit to this cheap saw is that there isnt any additional holes punched into the saw plate for hanging (a HUGE pet peave of mine).

-- Regards, Norm

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