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Any opinions on Pax, Victor saws by Thos. Flinn, Sheffield?

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carpenteire2009

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Hi all
I recently purchased two saws originating from the Thos. Flinn company in Sheffield, firstly a 26" "Victor" ripsaw, purchased directly from Axminster. I've found this to be a great rip saw, with breasted toothline, skew back and taper ground- all the features you'd expect on a proper saw. The only let down was the chunky handle, so I spent a bit of time with some rasps, files and sandpaper and tried to refinish/ match the existing finish best I could. I also polished the blade with some rubbing compound to get rid of that awful "protective" varnish they tend to coat steel tools with in the factory. I was pretty happy with the end product as it was far more comfortable to hold and use. Great value for money in my opinion.

Fuelled by this new found enthusiasm for proper saws I hoped to add a 22" panel saw to my collection and I was lucky to find a "Pax" 22" 12 TPI saw for sale in a local tool merchants shop. It looked like it had been hanging up on the shops display for some time, it was the only one left) so I haggled and managed to get it for €65- again a fair price for a quality saw I think. Same quality and features as the "Victor" branded saw, although I suppose the handle "looks" prettier, but it's just as chunky and not so comfortable to use.

I had been looking for info online regarding the PAX range of saws as they do seem to be very pricey from some suppliers (and the retail prices if bought direct from Flinn's are just nuts).

In the ideal world I'd love to be able to pick up some old Disstons or S&J for next to nothing at a bootsale but I've yet to see any decent examples on sale here in Ireland. Most ones I've seen have been badly sharpened with little life left in them, so I'll be sticking with new saws and modding the handles as required.
 

bugbear

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carpenteire2009":2o4hnbss said:
Hi all
I recently purchased two saws originating from the Thos. Flinn company in Sheffield, firstly a 26" "Victor" ripsaw, purchased directly from Axminster. I've found this to be a great rip saw, with breasted toothline, skew back and taper ground- all the features you'd expect on a proper saw. The only let down was the chunky handle, so I spent a bit of time with some rasps, files and sandpaper and tried to refinish/ match the existing finish best I could. I also polished the blade with some rubbing compound to get rid of that awful "protective" varnish they tend to coat steel tools with in the factory. I was pretty happy with the end product as it was far more comfortable to hold and use. Great value for money in my opinion.

Fuelled by this new found enthusiasm for proper saws I hoped to add a 22" panel saw to my collection and I was lucky to find a "Pax" 22" 12 TPI saw for sale in a local tool merchants shop. It looked like it had been hanging up on the shops display for some time, it was the only one left) so I haggled and managed to get it for €65- again a fair price for a quality saw I think. Same quality and features as the "Victor" branded saw, although I suppose the handle "looks" prettier, but it's just as chunky and not so comfortable to use.

I had been looking for info online regarding the PAX range of saws as they do seem to be very pricey from some suppliers (and the retail prices if bought direct from Flinn's are just nuts).

In the ideal world I'd love to be able to pick up some old Disstons or S&J for next to nothing at a bootsale but I've yet to see any decent examples on sale here in Ireland. Most ones I've seen have been badly sharpened with little life left in them, so I'll be sticking with new saws and modding the handles as required.
At the prices you're talking about there may be a third way; buying a "certified" second hand Disston/S & J from a reputable vintage tool specialist.

Not "next to nothing" at a boot sale, for not €65 for a saw with an uncomfortable handle either.

Alf has (and maintains,I hope!) a list of UK tool dealers

http://www.cornishworkshop.co.uk/tooldealers.html

e.g.

http://www.oldtools.co.uk/tools/Panel__ ... _Saws.html

Beware of postage costs. I sent a very beautiful S&J saw to a friend in Holland, in return for a favour. The purchase cost was low, and my labour and skill in restoring and tuning it freely given.

But the postage was hellish!

BugBear
 

jimi43

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bugbear":zwkv0wva said:
.................Not "next to nothing" at a boot sale, for not €65 for a saw with an uncomfortable handle either.

BugBear
Whilst I would agree that the "safer" bet is often with dealers...it will be the more expensive route.

Speaking as someone who occasionally frequents bootfairs :mrgreen: and who has personally found bargain saws for a few quid...and had them sharpened...I would say that this route should not be ruled out....





You just need to know what you are looking for...and be patient...

The added bonus is that if you can fettle and perhaps sharpen your own saws...you can make a serious profit...enough buy a great saw...there are some nice custom made ones out there! :wink:

Jimi
 

bugbear

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jimi43":2e50gdro said:
bugbear":2e50gdro said:
.................Not "next to nothing" at a boot sale, for not €65 for a saw with an uncomfortable handle either.

BugBear
Whilst I would agree that the "safer" bet is often with dealers...it will be the more expensive route.

Speaking as someone who occasionally frequents bootfairs :mrgreen: and who has personally found bargain saws for a few quid...and had them sharpened...I would say that this route should not be ruled out....
The OP did say:

In the ideal world I'd love to be able to pick up some old Disstons or S&J for next to nothing at a bootsale but I've yet to see any decent examples on sale here in Ireland.

so I can only assume he's looked.

And, yes, I too have bought saws at car boot, and I've even sharpened them myself - no need to pay someone else to have the fun!

Do you prefer found in great condition:



Or bought a bit ratty and carefully restored?



BugBear
 

jimi43

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bugbear":1j7qzqsv said:
............. - no need to pay someone else to have the fun!
I am more than happy to try anything where I think that I might do a reasonable job but for dear Robert (above...) I felt that he deserved the very best...hence getting Pedder to do the job.

I could spend ten hours a day...every day until the next millennium and still never ever achieve the superb results that he can achieve. :shock:

He is the Harry Potter of sawsmiths.....I am convinced he must have a wand hidden somewhere deep in the Black Mountains!

As for the choice of saws...I think a basketcase on FleaBay would be the best bet...one that has even teeth though blunt...with a bit of surface rust, no pitting.....but sharpened with a bit of practice.

Jim
 

LuptonM

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I don't think you should rule out second hand modern saws from high end manufacturers. I think if you'll going to invest money in getting it sharpened then you might as well buy a saw in good condition
 

Sawyer

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I bought a Victor panel saw and thought it great value for money, although the handle needed some work. Any of the Thos. Flinn saws should be good.

The trouble with buying saws on Fleabay is that you can't see how straight they are. Badly sharpened or uneven teeth, you can sort out yourself, provided you are a reasonably confident saw sharpener. But if it is kinked #-o That's a real saw doctor's job. It can (apparently) by done by hammering, but I'm blowed if I've ever managed it successully.
 

LuptonM

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With high priced saws, the owners are more likely to look after them and they are more likely to have come from cabinet makers than some guy who uses a saw to cut breezer blocks

I found a vintage panel saw like this one http://www.oldtools.co.uk/tools/Disston ... l_Saw.html for 50p at a carboot. Seems to be fairly modern and the handle nuts are made of cheese
 

carpenteire2009

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Thanks for the replies; I'll certainly check out those vintage tool dealers- I hadn't considered it before, although I expect postage will be high. I cannot understand why Flinn would fit such poorly shaped handles to their saws- I'd much rather buy the saw with an unfinished handle and shape and finish it myself to suit.
 

carpenteire2009

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Well based on the good advice here I took the plunge and ordered a couple of old saws from one of the established vintage tool dealers in the UK. My order arrived this morning. I wasn't disappointed- I now have a nice Disston D7 26" 6tpi crosscut and a 12" Spear and Jackson tenon saw (with "unbreakable" handle). Both are in nice condition and will make great users after a little cleaning and some sharpening (I've been studying some of the excellent online tutorials on this subject). I know this topic has been well covered elsewhere but could I ask for some simple pointers on cleaning up both saws.

There is very light staining and very minor pitting on the saw plates, not enough to warrant disassembly and abrasive sanding etc. I'm thinking of just rubbing down gently with paste wax and rubbing compound to polish the plates. I think this will be sufficient for the steel elements. How about the handles? The original lacquer is crackled, missing in parts but there is a nice colour and "patina" to the handles as a result. How would I gently clean and condition the wood here? I was thinking of cleaning with white spirit before rubbing down gently with steel wool and a little paste wax. These are good user tools, I want to freshen them up a little but I don't want to spend too much time on "refinishing". I want to focus instead on sharpening. Any practical advice or pointers appreciated.
 
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