Tuesday, May 24, 2011

To the Teeth...

5 1/2 rip tooth on the left and an 8 point x-cut on the right. The Disston D-8 duet.
This week I’m shipping saws and receiving saws, some for review and some for wood class work and student aids. I’ve been teaching sawing techniques this week and last, ( thanks again Dave ), reading about saw design through history and into more recent years, speaking at lengths on saw design with actual hand tool manufacturers and if that wasn’t enough I’m working out details on some new hand sawing ‘items‘... ( more on that over the summer )
You could say I’m up ‘to the teeth’ and enjoying every minute of it.
The shipping portion of my week involves panel saws destined for Southwestern Wisconsin.
I did an over haul on these two beauties last week and thought I’d share it with you. After putting in the elbow grease I’ve decided their worth sending out to get ‘dressed by a professional’.
I do enjoy ‘putting the file to the plate’ and sharpening my own hand saws when they need it. My rip saws aren’t too bad ..??.. but cross cut tooth geometry is a little more complicated and I’m the first to admit my saw sharpening isn’t my strongest point.
It’s something I practice but felt these two worth the extra effort.
They’re antique Disston D-8′s and both family saws. They had fallen into that dark place under the stairs and in bad need of some work.  They’ve been on my to-do list for years and years and I’m happy to finally see them again and anxious to get them back to work. I’ve held onto them as ‘family heirlooms’ but never took the time to set them up. That changed.
Disston D-8 after 3 decades unused. Rusted and tarnished but lots of life left in it.
The 5 1/2 ppi rip saw was my Uncle Johnny’s. John Pier who lived on Keltic Dr. in Sydney River, Nova Scotia. He was a WWII veteran and growing up we were very close to him and his wife, ‘Aunt Ivy‘. When I was young my father and I would visit Uncle Johnny’s basement work shop and now thinking back you could have filmed horror movies down there!
The low ceiling clinging cob webs on bent nails, a few bare light bulbs to accent the jars of food preserves, empty and now recycled into storage containers nailed to the floor joists above holding ‘sets’ or ‘collections’ of nails, fasteners and other unimagined horrors. Uncle Johnny and Aunt Ivy both died during my first year of middle school. Johnny died one night while I was at a ‘social event’ on Argyle st. in the Ship yard area of Sydney. It was Grade 7, I still remember that night like it was yesterday.
He used to wear a Tartan vest, a nice old guy with a big belly and big smile to go with it.
Funny, I had a Tartan vest for a few years…

The second hand saw is also a vintage D-8 but filed at 8 ppi, It’s a bit of a mystery in that it either belonged to my Grand Uncle, Stan Wadden from Matilda St. in Whitney Pier, or it came from my wife’s side of the family who also had Wadden’s. I don’t remember when or where I got this one. The initials almost look like FW. ?
A second Disston D-8 from a family member. I'm a lucky man indeed.
Nelson Wadden, ( my son’s namesake) was my wife’s grand Uncle from Wadden’s Cove on Cape Breton Island. This was where a couple of my old hand tools came from. He was a fiddle player and lobster fisherman. I got to meet him a couple of years before he passed away in his little work shop in the back yard next to the vegetable garden. You can see the initials end in W but I’m not sure about the first. Looks like an F but still need to figure out the origins.
Interesting that Johnny’s was made at Disston Canada and the other in Philadelphia, USA.
That is what’s leading me to think my wife’s side of the family due to her connections in Massachusetts. The mystery will continue for now.

Here’s a photo journal from last week. I’ll call this bit, 
‘How to prepare an old hand saw for another generation of work.’
Isn’t that just the best feeling in the world?
; )
A hand saw resurrection.

Rust Never Sleeps while I'm confident the 'green slime' took a few years off of my life, it did a wonderful job at removing the rust and wear from the saw plate.
Creeping along through the green and the grey.
Shining like a new dime.

5 1/2
Close to home.
8 ppi
Brotherly love.
The toxic avenger.
Made in the USA
After a little brushing and sanding I trace my fingers to fine tune the fit for my hand.
Both sides.
Lest we forget. I carefully deepen the initials using an awl before the final finishing.
ACHTUNG ! Purists close your eyes-; )
One for Uncle Johnny
Working through the oil and wax.
Ready for sharpening.
The resurrection.
Still there after the rusty vinegar bath.
Ready for another generation working wood.