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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not sure what to do. I've done a big of reading in Hand Tool Essentials this week. I am really thinking hard about ditching my Delta Model 10 contractor saw for a workbench and hand saws. Now, all I have right now is a Veritas dovetail saw. I know I'll need a rip saw, crosscut saw, and tenon saw. I don't have the cash for Rob Cosmans saws. I've thought about eBay, but as always that can be tricky. I know the Lynx saws from woodcraft get good reviews, but an old Disston on eBay is 1/3 if the price. What advice or experience do you have about your saw buying new, used, and restoration? Was it worth it to restore an antique?
 

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I'm not sure what to do. I've done a big of reading in Hand Tool Essentials this week. I am really thinking hard about ditching my Delta Model 10 contractor saw for a workbench and hand saws. Now, all I have right now is a Veritas dovetail saw. I know I'll need a rip saw, crosscut saw, and tenon saw. I don't have the cash for Rob Cosmans saws. I've thought about eBay, but as always that can be tricky. I know the Lynx saws from woodcraft get good reviews, but an old Disston on eBay is 1/3 if the price. What advice or experience do you have about your saw buying new, used, and restoration? Was it worth it to restore an antique?
I think you should be leary of buying any "projects". I'm way guilty of this myself - buying junk because it is cheap, spending a ton of time and shop consumables fixing it before I can even use it. Gently used is a whole other story. I'd just recommend you be very realistic with your goals and skill set.

There are some reasonable tool deals to be found on ebay. I've seen guys selling refurbed hand saws on ebay which I thought looked to be a very good deal. They weren't the sexy disstons with the thumbhole but they were sharp, straight, fair priced users.
 

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Here is an example of what looks like a fair deal to me;

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Clean-1950-...115?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4d161157bb

as compared to;

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2000844/18355/Lynx-WCLH26-Hand-SawCrosscut-Saw-26-x-8-TPI.aspx


You could perhaps find that same Disston on craigslist or elsewhere for cheaper and hopefully it is straight. Either through purchasing the tools to tune it or having someone else do it, plan on spending $20+ dollars.

Or you could buy one tuned from someone who knows that they are doing and spend that time building your work bench or actually woodworking.

This coming from a guy with three Disston projects saws who participated in the recent lynx group buy largely to get a saw to fix the handle on one of his Disston project saws. I'm a moron.
 

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It depends on if you can sharpen one or not. I can sharpen saws, so I just can't bring myself to spend $175 and up on a backsaw. the picture in the link is one I got off ebay for 25 bucks plus whatever shipping was. I didn't spend much time restoring it.

It cut okay like it was, but was slow. The 2-1/4" long tenon in the picture took around 14 strokes (had a couple of hundred to do) like it came, and after I sharpened it, stroke count dropped to around 6.

Most of the new ones have some sort of gimmick to make them easy to start-not too sharp, smaller teeth on the end, less rake (which makes it cut slower). Chances are, if you can sharpen one, you can also start one okay, so the easy starting gimmicks aren't important.

Easy to start may be a good thing to start with, but it seems to me that it also may make it seem like you are dependent on it.

I have one that I bought new in the '70s, but the other 5 in the box came off of ebay, or out of junk stores. I wouldn't bother with one that is rusted enough to have pitting on the blade, a crook in it, or a handle that is too beat up.

Even though I had intentions of restoring the ones I've bought, I never got around to it. You can see in the picture that this one has paint splattered on it. Those usually go for less money.

http://www.historic-house-restoration.com/images/windows3_003.JPG

I was assuming this was about backsaws, but I have other opinions on regular handsaws too, which are a little different. I like Sandvik series 270 through 288 for those-best steel that you can get sharper and they stay sharp longer, even though I do have some others too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I will say, I have not tried to sharpen a saw yet, but I am an aircraft mechanic by trade. I am pretty used to working with files to do precision fitting. I'm probably better at sharpening a saw than driving it :)

So, I picked up that you're not impressed by the Lynx saw. What was it you didn't like about it?
 

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I'm sure anyone with an A&P license can learn to sharpen a handsaw! Operating a file seems to be the hardest thing for people trying to learn to pick up.

I hadn't looked at that Lynx saw. I just did, and I was surprised to see that there is a manufacturer still using taper ground blades. Most of the smaller companies, that sell saws for twice that price don't.

The price is not bad on it either. They stopped making the Sandvik saws 30 or 40 years ago that I like, but they can still be found, sometimes new in the sleeve.

That Lynx looks like a decent deal to me. Coat it with CRC 3.36 if you get it, and every time after you use it, and it will stay looking nice.

That and a D8 rip saw would be a good set to start with for sizing boards. The thumbhole on the D8 comes in handy for the other hand when you start to get an arm pump ripping a board.

I thought the discussion was about backsaws to start with. I have 18 different regular handsaws- some sharpened with different tooth geometry for different purposes and woods.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tom King said:
I'm sure anyone with an A&P license can learn to sharpen a handsaw! Operating a file seems to be the hardest thing for people trying to learn to pick up. I hadn't looked at that Lynx saw. I just did, and I was surprised to see that there is a manufacturer still using taper ground blades. Most of the smaller companies, that sell saws for twice that price don't. The price is not bad on it either. They stopped making the Sandvik saws 30 or 40 years ago that I like, but they can still be found, sometimes new in the sleeve. That Lynx looks like a decent deal to me. Coat it with CRC 3.36 if you get it, and every time after you use it, and it will stay looking nice. That and a D8 rip saw would be a good set to start with for sizing boards. The thumbhole on the D8 comes in handy for the other hand when you start to get an arm pump ripping a board. I thought the discussion was about backsaws to start with. I have 18 different regular handsaws- some sharpened with different tooth geometry for different purposes and woods.
Backsaws, western saws, any saws. I wish we had more antique tools here. If I lived back in the Northeast it wouldn't be so bad. I haven't seen much here in Dallas, though that's not to say thee isn't a place here I've missed. I just like to look at tools and handle them before buying them. That's what scares me a little bit with eBay.
 

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I have bought old and new. My new saws are all Veritas saws. I have their dovetail, crosscut carsass and tomorrow the two new tenon saws arrive. They are on special intro price, $175 for the rip and crosscut until Dec 26th. I have old ones too, disston, Geo. Bishop, and they work great when sharpened. A straight plate is very important and often hard to tell on Ebay unless the seller includes a pic of the plate line.
 

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I had a similar dilemma when I decided to get into hand work. New (premium) saws are out of my reach. I started finding saws at junk shops (not antique stores). You have to watch for the kind of places that have tons of rusty stuff out front. You'll have to cull through a lot of dogs to find ones worth fixin. But there is a lot out there.

Musical instrument Organ pipe Wood Furniture Book

I've acquired these over about a year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ACP said:
I have bought old and new. My new saws are all Veritas saws. I have their dovetail, crosscut carsass and tomorrow the two new tenon saws arrive. They are on special intro price, $175 for the rip and crosscut until Dec 26th. I have old ones too, disston, Geo. Bishop, and they work great when sharpened. A straight plate is very important and often hard to tell on Ebay unless the seller includes a pic of the plate line.
I was wondering why Veritas only has joinery saws. I think they'd sell plenty if saws if they also manufactured western saws.
 

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I had a similar dilemma when I decided to get into hand work. New (premium) saws are out of my reach. I started finding saws at junk shops (not antique stores). You have to watch for the kind of places that have tons of rusty stuff out front. You'll have to cull through a lot of dogs to find ones worth fixin. But there is a lot out there. I've acquired these over about a year.
I also scrounge junk stores for usable saws. I'm not into restoring tools, but look for ones that are easy to put into service. I have three saws that I use for stock preparation. One 5 1/2 point, one 10 point and one 12 point. All are sharpened as rip saws. With the well dried hardwoods that I use, a rip profile crosscuts without issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
EastexToolJunky said:
I had a similar dilemma when I decided to get into hand work. New (premium) saws are out of my reach. I started finding saws at junk shops (not antique stores). You have to watch for the kind of places that have tons of rusty stuff out front. You'll have to cull through a lot of dogs to find ones worth fixin. But there is a lot out there. I've acquired these over about a year.
That is an impressive collection!
 

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Thank you. The OP was wanting advice on buying new or restoring. IMHO hand tool work is a lot about self reliance. I get a lot of satisfaction in putting a tool back in use that seemed doomed to the rust pile. Learning to restore these tools and sharpen them, gives me a lot more respect for the craft than buying off the shelf. My .02¢.
 

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I was wondering why Veritas only has joinery saws. I think they'd sell plenty if saws if they also manufactured western saws.
Thier joinery saws are western style, as they cut on the push stroke. On another site, the owner Rob Lee said they have reached the limit of their design with these new tenon saws and they have no plans for panel or larger style saws. The un-backed saws, if you will. All my non-joinery hand saws are oldies. They are easier, IMHO, to sharpen because of the larger teeth. I think the finest tooth I've rehab'd is 14 tpi or so. I have every intention of sharpening all my blades when they need it though, and that goes as low as 20 tpi.

It's early, I am not sure what I am rambling about. I think vintage or new, either way you win. I'd get a mix of both if you can. Rehabing the oldies will teach so much about the small things with saws. Rake, fleam, how does this fleam work with this wood, how does this rake work with this wood, do I like more or less rake, do I like rehabing saws? Plus the more of us that save oldies from some "artists" brush, the better.
 

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I have several saws but my favorite ended up being a cheap Irwin pull saw (dozuki style). I normally try to purchase as good of tools as I can and this was an early purchase but I find myself repeatedly reaching for it, or wishing my other saws were as sharp and easy to use. I spent a bit of money on a dovetail saw and now I wish I hadn't since I never use it. I wouldn't think you can go wrong buying new or used as long as you find something that works for you, just might take some trial and error getting there.
 

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I'm not sure what to do. I've done a big of reading in Hand Tool Essentials this week. I am really thinking hard about ditching my Delta Model 10 contractor saw for a workbench and hand saws. Now, all I have right now is a Veritas dovetail saw. I know I'll need a rip saw, crosscut saw, and tenon saw. I don't have the cash for Rob Cosmans saws. I've thought about eBay, but as always that can be tricky. I know the Lynx saws from woodcraft get good reviews, but an old Disston on eBay is 1/3 if the price. What advice or experience do you have about your saw buying new, used, and restoration? Was it worth it to restore an antique?

Three comments:

First: keep your table saw for a while. I don't have one, and I'm happy that way, but I also have a high-quality extruded straight-edge and a good circular saw. I use those for long rip cuts and breaking down sheet goods. Ripping a 2x4 by hand is easy: I'm not entirely certain I'd be willing to rip an 8' piece of 8/4 hardwood by hand. At least, not more than once.

Second: I've been quite happy with my restored saws, but I'm not picky about appearance. If it's smooth enough to cut cleanly, it's smooth enough, and if the teeth are even enough to cut well, it's jointed enough. I have two saws that I use most. The first is a roughly 6 TPI Disston rip saw, the second is around 10TPI filed crosscut, and is either Disston or Atkins (I'm blanking on which saw is which right now). I don't think I paid over $15 for either one. I also have a brand new Veritas Carcasse saw, because I got impatient waiting for a good one on eBay. It's a fantastic saw, and I don't regret it a bit.

Third: If you're going to use handsaws for breaking down stock, do yourself a favor and build a sawbench, or maybe two. I finally built one late this summer, and it was the best thing I did for my sawing skills since I sharpened that rip saw. A decent saw set (for setting teeth) is also a wise investment: I have an old Welliver 1700, given to me by a friend, and it works fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
He said he is asking $35 for a Disston D8. Looking at ebay that seems like a fair price. Hopefully it's not all bent up and pitted. I'll let you guys know this weekend. Once again, thanks to everyone for your opinions.
 

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If the Disston is in good shape, ready to go (or at least ready to sharpen) that's not a bad price. I'd pay it happily, but then, I don't obsess about getting the lowest possible price.

I like the design of the sawbench you posted, but I feel like the one I have was simpler to build. I need a second one, so as soon as I can get into a shop again (mine is snowed in for the winter... no heat, no lights, and no electricity to get either) I'll do a build thread.
 
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