LJ Fun #2: Tool Identification

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Blog entry by Schwieb posted 01-02-2012 08:19 PM 2302 reads 0 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Lumberjocks meeting #1 Part 2 of LJ Fun series Part 3: Tool identification update »

This 18” saw was something my Dad had around in his shop that I came across when we cleaned it out several years ago. I kept it, probably for the same reason he did, because it’s an interesting tool. I’ve always wondered what special purpose it was made for. I haven’t taken it apart or cleaned it up in any way yet, but I could find no maker’s mark anywhere on the blade or the handle.

The broken handle was repaired by someone in a very crude way and leaves to question what the handle might have looked like originally.

The blade has an interesting leading end design with two cutout patterns about 7 1/4” apart with a straight edge between them. Any leads or information anyone can give me would be very much appreciated.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

15 comments so far

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4658 days

#1 posted 01-02-2012 09:33 PM

I have seen these before I think its for cutting bone.

View chrisstef's profile


18092 posts in 3740 days

#2 posted 01-02-2012 09:34 PM

Ya got me … my first thought was heyhole saw but its too big.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3731 days

#3 posted 01-02-2012 11:56 PM

Used for ceiling tiles. The bumps are called “NUBS”, on Hand Saws they are really just for decoration. Yours might be for a coomon measurement used in cutting the tiles, perhaps the border started with this size ?
This is my BEST GUESS.

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 4025 days

#4 posted 01-03-2012 12:03 AM

Is the handle repair also broken, or did the repairer leave it short? If the latter, he may have needed it that way so he could cut flush with some surface.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View Praki's profile


203 posts in 4730 days

#5 posted 01-03-2012 03:04 AM

I watched a Roy Underhill TV episode where he made a Roubo book stand. He used a saw similar to what you have to cut a knuckle joint. Basically to cut a slit in the middle of the board. I don’t have a link handy and forgot what he called it. Google should be of help in finding the episode and more info on your saw.

-- Praki, Aspiring Woodworker

View bent's profile


311 posts in 4403 days

#6 posted 01-03-2012 03:12 AM

reminds me of a jab saw. i use one at work for cutting electrical boxes into drywall (or ceiling tiles like canadianchips said).

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4068 days

#7 posted 01-03-2012 03:49 PM

Hi Ken, I haven’t a clue about it’s use, but the saw handle looks as though it was made to be hung up conveniently, maybe to use another tool during the work. I wonder if the nubs were used to score the work with the top side of the blade before sawing.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View BigTiny's profile


1676 posts in 3622 days

#8 posted 01-03-2012 06:14 PM

Might be used to cut into the old lath and plaster walls for installing smaller items like those new fangled electrical thingamajiggers.


-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View mafe's profile


12580 posts in 3823 days

#9 posted 01-03-2012 09:58 PM

That is a intersting little fellow, never seen one like that before.
Look forward to hear if a answer shows up here.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View horologist's profile


105 posts in 4473 days

#10 posted 01-04-2012 03:57 AM

It looks like a keyhole saw with a shapely handle that has unfortunately lost the bottom portion. As I understand it the nibs are decorative and an indicator of age. No doubt it will look cool on the wall of your shop. It might be possible to make it functional without too much alteration. A choice between conservation and function.

I have a small collection of Lancashire pattern saws only a few of which have blades that are readily replaceable. After talking with a number of people at the WIA conference I have decided to try my hand at saw sharpening. It would be great to make at least a few of them useful once again. No doubt there are a few tool collectors who will cringe but I see little value in preserving dull saw teeth and will not be otherwise altering the saws.

-- Troy in Melrose, Florida

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4068 days

#11 posted 01-04-2012 01:57 PM

Maybe I am way off base here, but I find it hard to believe those nubs are decorative. They don’t really add anything aesthetically to my mind. I just can’t see a tool maker taking the time and effort required to make a couple of nubs on the blade that don’t have any practical purpose. Decoration is normally limited to the wooden handles which are relatively easy to do some fancy work on.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3731 days

#12 posted 01-06-2012 03:57 PM

You may be correct !
I keep reading about the nubs being decorative. I have 2 hand saws that have these. The only useful thing I can think of, if the saw is turned up side down, the nubs could be used to scribe a line. Similar to using a marking guage. Cutting on the edge of a scribe line may prevent a little tearout ?

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4068 days

#13 posted 01-06-2012 05:04 PM

I just can’t believe that the “nib” as it is called by handsaw aficionados is not or was not at some time used for a practical purpose. That said, after some research from a past LJ post on this subject and the reference “expert” post I have found that the water is getting too deep for me.

Please read the posts and make up your own mind. It seems to me that one opinion is as good as another on this subject. It has been fun though to guess at it. I hope someone eventually finds the definitive answer. Good luck and Gods speed.

Oh, and one thing I forgot. After looking at other handsaw handles, it appears that the top horn and the bottom was just broken off of a conventional handle instead of it being formed for hanging it up (my earlier theory).

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View canadianchips's profile


2632 posts in 3731 days

#14 posted 01-06-2012 06:13 PM

Now all I have to do is figure out if I had a typing error “NUBS” or they really are “Nibs” . ON MY KEYBOARD the letters “U” & “I” are side by side ?
When you type with 2 fingers it could happen !!!!!!! LOL

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View WVTODD's profile


120 posts in 3278 days

#15 posted 01-06-2012 09:43 PM

How about a ice saw????

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