Spear & Jackson tenon saw refurb

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Bluekingfisher

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The "modern" Spear & Jackson tenon saws could never be described as pleasing to the eye nor the hand. So, After many years promising myself to make a new handle for the old S&P I bought for 20p at a boot sale around 15 years ago I finally got around to making at least part of the promise to myself..
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Not too pretty and despite being a little neglected and grubby looking it was reasonably sound. Tight handle straight plate, teeth in reasonable shape.

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I had never refurbished one of these saws before and it wasn't until I tried to remove the handle I realised the saw nuts are of the riveted variety. My initial attempt at cutting a saws kerf in the head proved fruitless until I established they are fixed for life and removal can only be done by obliterating the "nuts" no bad thing really as I had some traditional replacement nuts to hand, besides they look better and can be adjusted according to seasonal movement of the wood.

My cache' of nuts

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Drilling and punching the rivet out was my solution.

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As the handle was in good shape and I didn't have a suitable timber blank to hand I reformed the original handle. I wanted to create a pattern similar to the saws of the 19th century. However there was not enough "meat" on the existing handle to form the shape I wanted. So, I added a piece. I cut the rounded top off and planed it flat providing plenty of glue surface.

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As it turned out, I didn't have a large enough piece of beech to make the repair. The block I used was salvaged from my bench hook, note the two holes either side which were used to attach the block to the hook. Just enough clearance for the basic shape.

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The next photo is of the handle with the outline cut at the band saw. Followed by a little reshaping of the handle. This went surprising quickly, 20/25 mins.

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The handle after some further sanding. As the original finish was a hearing aid beige colour I thought the best option would be to remove all and restrain later.

Having problems attaching more images so I will return later with a further update.

Thanks for looking so far.

David
 

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Bluekingfisher

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The photos are a little out of cink, probably down to me. I am only allowed to attach 10 images it seems. So if anyone is interested perhaps they can let me know how to continue (tomorrow) on this thread or if need she complete with more images on a seperate post?

Cheers

David
 

Dovetaildave

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Excellent, truly excellent, I applaud your effort and outcome.

It looks good, I presume it feels good in your hand?
 

AndyT

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Just carry on "replying" adding up to 10 photos at a time.

Assuming you have finished and put the saw to use, how do you find it? I have a very similar one but much prefer a Disston with a nice heavy brass back - like the one visible in your seventh photo!
 

CStanford

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I've always like the original shape of the handle, and have the same saw rivets and all. They got a touch loose once and I just squeezed them in a vise. Never have loosened again. That said, you've done a fine job of doing what you set out to do.
 

G S Haydon

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Nice. It had never occured to me to join an extra section of wood to allow a more pleasing shape.
 

Bluekingfisher

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Thank you for the kind words gents, much appreciated.

Yes, I have had used the saw (completed it a couple of months ago I suppose) the benefit of shaping the handle is of course test fitting until it feels comfortable in the hand. I have a large hand so taking more away from the horns allowed for more room. I have found I also prefer more material taken away around the area where the web between forefinger and thumb sits. So, now it feels good and has the look of the 19th century to it.

Anyway, now that the handle was shaped I needed to drill out the plate to allow for the larger saw nuts. The originals were around half the diameter. A trip to the pillar drill made light work of that job.

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I should also mention I had to enlarge the holes in the handle too to allow for the nut heads, again the pillar drill was my friend.

I am getting ahead of myself. Before I drill out the plate I removed the spline, tapping it off with hammer and drift. I wanted to clean the plate and polish it. I accomplished this with ever decreasing grits of wet and dry paper, finally buffing it with anpolishing mop and green compound ( Silverline from Tool station ) have found it to be very effective on all metals. And best of all it's less than £4 a block

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Removing thenspline is simple enough, however attention must be given when re assembling, otherwise the plate bows significantly, just something to be aware of if you decide to remove a back saw spline. I would recommend (from bitter experience) to replace and adjust the spline prior to sharpening/setting the teeth. Best get all the tapping and fiddling done, otherwise you are likely to undo all your file work..

Thebteeth on this saw I doubt had ever been sharpened, therefore despite being dull were in good enough condition to gently joint and sharpen. The photo below highlights a fairly even flat spotting of the teeth with only a couple of swipes of the file.

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It has been a few weeks since I worked on this saw, however I believe the teeth were filed for cross cut?? With ailing eye sight it isn't easier to file for rip cut. I think I filed with a 5 degree rake, with the first few teeth relaxed a little more to reduce the " grabbing" which can occur with aggressively filed teeth. I can't say I have noticed any speed through the cut with less aggressive teeth patterns, perhaps an extra stroke or two which could prove decisive if I were using it all day long. As it is I have plenty of time and the smoothness make it all the more pleasurable.

The image shows the teeth part way filed.

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Finally all I had to do was set the teeth ( I apply very little set) I don't do a lot of deep cutting so minimal set was fine for this saw. A quick clean up of the layout fluid and stoning the teeth and then ready for assembly.

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Well, here is the saw reassembled ready for work. I know some do not care for shiny tools, and on vintage or valuable tools I agree with that. However, I like my tools "blingy" perhaps the lambs tongue is a little too pronounced , maybe I will get used to it.

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It cuts well enough in both soft and hardwood, so I am pleased enough.

Thanks for looking in.

David
 

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Bluekingfisher

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For some reason the last couple of images did not upload??

So, here are the final two images.

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AndyT

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A silk purse indeed!
I'd never have thought that you could turn that dull, ordinary saw into something so nice looking. Well done!
 

Bluekingfisher

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The following are just some snaps of a few other back saws I have cleaned up and sold on. Not all that profitable, although every one of them were purchased by overseas buyers. I was very pleased to read all of the customers were delighted with their saws. I am really pleased about that.

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Honest John

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What a wonderful job. A while ago I bought 4 hand saws (3 of which were S&J just like yours) from a reseller of school kit. They all made very good users after fettling, recutting and sharpening. All I did to the handles was to remove the paint, sand and oil. Different classes apparently had different painted handles! Your handle remake looks wonderful, and I’m definitely going to have a go at some5hing similar that will fit me better......just as soon as I can round to it :oops:
 

nabs

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I always feel a bit of a philistine for admitting this, but I actually find the 'modern' handle on my S&J panel saw more comfortable than my other fancy 19C handles.

I find the opposite is true with backsaws, though (not sure why - something to do with the shape of the 'horns' I expect!) so I think your upgrade is really interesting. Hats off for doing an excellent job on it, too!
 

Rorschach

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What a transformation!

I often see old saws at the car boot, never bought any as I don't have much use for them. Maybe next time I see a promising one though I'll have a go at this just for fun.
 

ED65

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Cracking refurb David!

I too like to reprofile the grips of old saw handles and now consider it a must-do for any keeper. Even the oldest saw I've worked on, a Disston backsaw, benefited from a bit of rounding of the grip.
 

Bluekingfisher

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Thanks for the comments and kind words folks, very much appreciated.

I have since completed several other saw refurbs with several still more to complete.

I'll post some pics of the other already completed projects.

Thanks again.

David
 
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