Refurb 2 no dovetail saws

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Project by bluekingfisher posted 12-20-2015 09:59 PM 1886 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Uploading on the iPad is a nightmare so I will keep it short folks.

I recently won an eBay auction for 3 old open tote back saws. Two of which I refurbished and sharpened this afternoon. These two are unbranded with steel backs, 14 points per inch (PPI) one is 9” long the other 10” long.

Both were originally filed for cross cut, hopefully you can see initial reshaping of the teeth. The teeth on the left are being filed for rip cut. The original teeth pattern are on the right side of the image (photo 5).

I also re shaped the handles a little at the horns where the original handle felt a little awkward and clunky in the hand. By removing the wood at these points gives my hand a little more room, besides I think it looks a little more traditional too.

The original saw nuts were shot, so I had to drill both the tote and the plate (photo 4) to allow for the thicker replacement nuts (which came with the saws) to pass through. No big deal however care needs to be taken so it all alignes when the saw is reassembled. A point worth noting, don’t rely on cranking down the nuts to hold the plate tight and firm. For the plate to remain tight and not slop around you have to ensure the end of the spline sits at the back of the mortice against the tote, so drill the holes in the plate slightly over size, this allows for some movement aft in the mortice.

The last photo shows the saw kerf in a piece of pine. More importantly, the saws starts the cut smoothly, tracks true without wandering ( set even on both sides of the plate) and cuts very quickly, infact I have a LN DT saw, this one cuts faster with a thinner kerf. What does LN know Lol.

Overall , a couple cheap and cheerful saws with a new lease of life.

I wish I could upload more photos but trying to upload from photobucket on the iPad is sooooooo frustrating.

Thanks for looking.


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

10 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18703 posts in 4213 days

#1 posted 12-20-2015 10:25 PM

Nice job David. Opening up the tote looks like a good idea to me. What size files do you use? Where did you find files that are good quality these days?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Don W's profile

Don W

19366 posts in 3105 days

#2 posted 12-20-2015 10:40 PM

Super nice job!

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View tyvekboy's profile


1930 posts in 3550 days

#3 posted 12-21-2015 12:35 AM

Nice refurbish job. Have a Merry Christmas.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Dullchisel's profile


38 posts in 1526 days

#4 posted 12-21-2015 02:18 AM

I was wondering what kind of screws you used. I have a saw pretty much identical that I need to put back together. It had rivets in it but the fell apart. My saw says kensa Sheffield 481 on it..

View bluekingfisher's profile


1333 posts in 3517 days

#5 posted 12-21-2015 08:57 AM

Bob – A 4” or 5” XX slim file would suit a a 14ppi set. There are plenty of references on the net for which file is suited to each number of teeth.

I use Vallorbe files from Classic Hand tools. They are not too expensive around 3 – 4 quid each. A file would sharpen 3 or 4 saws easily but if the saw teeth require a lot of shaping before a final sharpen then the file may only last for the one saw.

or Axminster tools.

Don – Thanks pal, glad you liked it.

tyvekboy – Thanks buddy, a happy Christmas to you and yours when it comes.

Dullchisel – The two saw both had those nasty stamped in rivets which I replaced with the ones which came as part of the deal with the saws.

A buff at the polishing mop brought them back to life. I know some guys prefer the worn patinad look. However it will all dull down through time.

However, they can be purchased from Workshop Heaven (brass) for £2.50 or brass plate for a little less.

They are of course a UK based company but I’m sure they would ship to the US if you can’t come across them your side?

I had a look for you saw but could not find it on the British saw makers checklist

Checklist British saw makers link

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1097 posts in 2849 days

#6 posted 12-21-2015 09:44 AM

Hi David
Nicely done on both of them. I did a similar refreshment on an old (1870?) Buck saw that cost me £4.00. I had it professionally sharpened and it now cuts beautifully.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View bluekingfisher's profile


1333 posts in 3517 days

#7 posted 12-21-2015 09:55 AM

Hi Jim,

Good to hear of your good result with the vintage Buck.

I had a couple sent off for sharpening a few years back, unfortunately the results were not fantastic, hence the reason I to learned to sharpen my saws.

Every cloud and all that!


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View bluekingfisher's profile


1333 posts in 3517 days

#8 posted 12-21-2015 11:14 AM

Should I uploaded these earlier, anyway, these are the three saws I won on the eBay auction, along with the screw nuts.

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View Belg1960's profile


1090 posts in 3602 days

#9 posted 12-23-2015 12:49 PM

Nice job David, when you do your sharpening does that include any setting of the teeth? If so what tool do you have for such small teeth?

-- ***Pat*** Rookie woodworker looking for an education!!!

View Roger's profile


21013 posts in 3341 days

#10 posted 12-27-2015 02:02 PM

Get er done David

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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