Help me with birthday hand saw.

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Forum topic by KelleyCrafts posted 09-08-2016 08:54 PM 895 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4240 posts in 1543 days

09-08-2016 08:54 PM

Hey guys, my birthday is actually a couple of months away but the wife asked me for a list so she could budget this I suppose. I have a couple things on the list but at the top I would like to get a couple of saw kits and am curious what you all think.

I am leaning toward the Blackburn saws. An 18” tenon and the 9” dovetail. I have a Veritas crosscut for now and it works fine. I also use the Jap saw I have for dovetails now but would like to experiment with a western dovetail saw.

I know Gramercy sells kits but they are really spendy and I don’t see an advantage over the Blackburn, plus the Blackburn has medallion nuts that are sunken so I can put a logo or something in there. Is there a maker I’m missing that just sells kits. I would like to make my own handles, I think I would enjoy that but I don’t think I would enjoy shaping and stamping teeth in a blade, let alone cutting a groove in the brass back.

All replies are welcome….help spend my wife’s money!

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

8 replies so far

View JayT's profile


6402 posts in 3015 days

#1 posted 09-08-2016 09:06 PM

Bontz Saw Works has kits available, too. They are very similar to the Blackburn ones, so I don’t know if there is any advantage. He will sharpen the plate for you for an additional fee, if you want to go that route instead of having to do all the sharpening yourself.

Two Guys in a Garage don’t have kits, but do have all the parts so that you could create a kit exactly how you want. They also have a very good saw handle template library The biggest advantage they offer over the others is that you can get a traditional folded back instead of a slotted one. Depends on what look you like and how you want to build the saw.

Not sure of any others, but I’ve purchased from both of these in the past and they are great to work with. Ron Bontz used to post on LJ once in a while, but I haven’t seen anything for a while.

-- - In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4240 posts in 1543 days

#2 posted 09-08-2016 09:14 PM

Thanks JayT, I will be looking at them now. I Google searched for kits but didn’t get these two. Blackburn doesn’t have very good pics but have found some build on here. There are pretty plain but that’s what I get if I don’t want to shape the thing myself I suppose.

I don’t mind sharpening. I have some old Disston saws I use pretty often (non-back) and I keep those nice and sharp. I have a saw vice and some files, I just don’t want to cut the teeth and I would prefer a set in it but I could do it myself, just nervous about it. I did turn my No 7 panel into a crosscut for logs and such and it works amazing. I pulled the ugly old thing out to use when my father in law was around and he made fun of the saw (over 100 years old not restored) until he saw how well it cut. He asked to buy it when we finished. I figured I would get a couple more saws and make new handles for these Disstons at the same time.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View Aj2's profile


3178 posts in 2602 days

#3 posted 09-08-2016 09:30 PM

Mike wenzloff used to sell kits.
I have three of his saws.
A 77 tenon saw. A rip tenon saw and a
Dt saw.

His saws are very good users.

-- Aj

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4240 posts in 1543 days

#4 posted 09-08-2016 09:41 PM

Mike Wenzloff had heart surgery or something a few months ago, I’m not sure how active they are at the moment. I have looked while looking at the ones listed in the first post and I didn’t see any kits at that time. Thank Aj.

As for the two JayT sent over. I do like the Bontz saws a lot. It would be more money than Blackburn though. Not sure if there really a difference or not between them. Great looking finished saws though. I also think I liek the slotted back over bent. I like them both just fine but maybe prefer the slotted. I could go either way there. Definitely a fun search though. Keep them coming guys if you know of more. I definitely love learning about these makers if anything.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 2766 days

#5 posted 09-09-2016 12:13 AM

ErikF at Florip Toolworks is a lumberjock selling saws, but I don’t know if he’s doing kits right now. You could ask.

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4240 posts in 1543 days

#6 posted 09-09-2016 12:46 AM

Those are pretty sweet Tim.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View KelleyCrafts's profile


4240 posts in 1543 days

#7 posted 09-15-2016 07:55 PM

Just an update. I’m building out a mobile tool chest/workbench and needed a till for my saws to fit in. So I was searching last night for idea on how to support them in the till section I created for them while in bed on my ipad and the wife looked over and asked what I was looking for so I told her. She found the saw scabbard on the Bontz site and said I should just use something like that. I thought it would be easier but also super handy in more applications so I emailed Ron and had a reply within minutes (last night at 10PM). We emailed back and forth until around 1AM and he had saw scabbards in the mail to me this morning.

That man has earned my business. I let the wife know this morning where to spend the money.

-- Dave - - pen blanks - knife scales - turning tools

View WellExecuted's profile


33 posts in 2117 days

#8 posted 09-16-2016 03:27 PM

Thanks for sharing your experience with Ron! It’s great to hear about great service from these small shops, and I’m sure the praise will help Ron continue his business successfully.


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