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Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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I decided to make a joinery saw as a break from cutting what seems like an endless procession of dovetails for the chests I have been building for some months. This has been on my list of saws to make for a while. It compliments the carcase saw I built recently. There is a family resemblance in the designs of the two saws. More on that later.

The plan was for a 9" long plate with 1 1/2" of cutting area and 16 ppi crosscut. The carcase saw is essentially a larger version, with a 14" long plate, 2 1/4" cutting area and 14 ppi crosscut.

The joinery plate is also a slimmer 0.018" thick.

The build was not uneventful. Don't you hate it when this happens ...



That was Padauk, from a chunk that was a Christmas present. It was always a borderline choice as it felt soft and brittle. Then I was not careful enough when chiseling the mortices for the screws. Live and learn ...

In the end I used the same Jarrah board that I had for the carcase saw.

Here is the joinery saw (apologies for the pictures which do not do justice to the grain) ...









Klaus (Two Lawyers Toolworks) asked me a question anout the handles of these saws ..

Hi Derek,

... One thing: the rear line of both of the grips is nearly straight. Maybe you feel that to be comfortable. Then all is good. Perhaps you should try to make a handle in your own shape which has a hump at the rear side of the grip just to compare the comfort. I'm pretty sure that you' d like the different feeling.

Regards
Klaus


Klaus' question reminded me of the one of the design features of the saws, something that I have failed to emphasize, and one which I would enjoy hearing comments about.

What I have here for handles is something a little different from those (with the "hump") that I have made in the past. I suspect that others, such as Andrew Lunn (ex-Eccentric Toolworks), have done similar, although their reasoning may be different from mine (and perhaps it is the same ...?).

Here is one of Andrew's dovetail saws ...



My aim is to not only have a comfortable handle, but also to create a controlled grip. The comfort comes from sizing the handle to my palm, and including enough of a "bump" to fit into the palm. It is there but disguised by the second factor, which goes to control.

The second feature is that the handle is triangulated. That is, it is thicker at the base. What this does is support the underside of the hand, and lift it up, where it snuggles into the underside of the horn. The underside of the horn is where I believe the control lies.

Here is a picture of Ernest Joyce using a tenon saw. Note how he uses his thumb on the upper horn to lighten the weight on the saw ...



A while back Chris Schwarz posted something similar. In his case he used the lower horns to do the same thing.

Link: http://lostartpress.wordpress.com/2011/ ... ower-horn/

That's my theory anyway. I do find the saws very comfortable to use.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

matthewwh

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Beautiful workmanship as always Derek, I'm particularly taken with the art nouveau touch on the closed handle.

For me the straight vs bump thing comes down to the transfer from establishing the cut (grip focussed at the top so you can steer the saw) to continuing the cut once the kerf is established (a little more squeeze at the bottom of the handle so that you don't inadvertantly steer the saw off line).

With fine saws like these where the cut is almost over by the time the kerf is established I don't think you'd miss the bump. When making deeper cuts where there is a longer stage of letting the set of the teeth do the steering, perhaps you might find it advantageous.
 

pedder

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Hi Derek,

That is a well made and nice saw, though I liked your earlier design more. Why?

A hand can grip many different shapes, that is why you can tell only after a few hours if a handle is comfy. When I understand the ergonomic designers correctly the shape of an olive is the best general shape for a handle. That is why I don't like the shape of lower part. It is too wide for the pinky (the small finger, the fourth) to grip comfortable. If I add at the rear part of the handle I have to take away at the front part. But that would alter the hang of the saw. IMHO, to lift the saw it is better to lower the hang angle as it is done on closed handles. Ian from ubeaut woodwork forum makes handles with a very upright handle.

If the saw is too aggressiv, you can allway take a lighter spine. That changes the habbits of the saw dramatically. We've been there and done that.

The last but easiest option is to change the rake. I use microbevels for that. Pretty easy done within a few minutes.

Cheers
Pedder
 

jimi43

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Derek my dear friend...another beautiful tool from the antipodes!! =D>

I suppose you know that I would say that you should have used my favourite wood in the first place!! :wink:

I never thought I would become a fan of nice saws...but I think that Pedder has shown me the light on that one...

I don't see a prototype in my range of tools any time soon as I think that it will be one step beyond for me but you never know..I might get the bug one day. But I am fascinated by the handle shapes and Pedder's comments are enlightening...I like the olive analogy...

Well done again mate..I bet you are happy.

Jimi
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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Hi Matthew and Jimi

Many thanks for the kind words, both of you.

Jimi, you are most welcome to come and raid my stash of Jarrah - mostly vintage Jarrah - with the condition that (a) you collect in person, and (b) you pay the overweight charges at the airport :)

Pedder my friend

The area of ergonomics is a particular interest of mine. I know very little about it, but I know what I like. There are so many ways to do things, and complicating this (I believe) is that aesthetics can also distract. Getting both together at the same time is a real challenge ...

... for example ...



Link: http://www.inthewoodshop.com/ToolReviews/Father and Son Independence Tools and LieNielsen saws.html

I have both the Independence Tools dovetail saw (the one that started the boutique market), on the left, as well as the LN Independece dovetail saw that continued (on the right). The designs are the same but the IT handle is slimmer (or the LN is fatter) with rounded edges, which is really more aesthetic as I cannot tell that the LN's edges are more angular. I prefer the LN (I have a broadish hand, 4" across the palm against the thumb). Both these saws handles have a pronounced bump. I chose to concentrate on a thicker handle, one that encouraged the use of the underside of the upper horn but supported the lower side of the hand through the combination of thickness and taper. Time will tell ...

The upright handles of the LV bevel up planes is another case in point. Hardly anyone likes their looks. Many modify them to resemble the traditional Stanley/LN profile, which is angled forward more. I did the same on a few planes (namely the BU Jointer and the BU Smoother). After a year I returned to the original totes and have never wanted to change again. They just work better. Hang the looks!



The marking knife I designed and built (now manufactured by Chris Vesper, incidentally) was designed purely on ergonomic lines. There are prettier knives around. Some I have tried and they are uncomfortable to hold and lack a sense of control. The Blue Spruce is one that is similar in concept but prettier to boot :lol:



I am sure you could come up with plenty of examples of your own.

Regards from Perth

Derek
 
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