Homemade Tenon/Carcass saws - Router Forums
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 12-12-2010, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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Default Homemade Tenon/Carcass saws

A while back I ran across an article on making your own handsaws. A little more research revealed that making everything from (western style) quality panel saws down to fine dovetail saws is quite doable. Intrigued by the thought, I began looking into what it would take. As it turned out, as with most things, you get what you pay for. Quality materials and craftsmanship would yield a quality saw. I've gotten quite a few emails requesting information so I hope this helps.

Cost of materials were surprisingly affordable.

sawplate: sheared from 1095 Blue Polished Spring Steel
hardness of Rc48-52
thickness of .025
teeth stamped for (1) 12 tpi crosscut and (1) 14ppi rip
$18.00 ea.
Link: (pm for details)

Sawback: slotted brass
$18.00 ea.
Link: Slotted Brass Backs

saw nuts and medallions: $11.00 for a pair
Link: Nuts and Bolts

The wood used can be anything from scraps to highly figured material.
The material, thickness and hardness of the sawplate will vary by supplier. As will the cost. You can purchase flat steel without the teeth being stamped and do that yourself, but that is an acquired skill involving ALOT of patience and practice.

The geometry of the stamping determines the style of cut, cross cut or rip, and the PPI (Points per inch or teeth per inch) The more points per inch the finer the cut, typically a rip cut. Fewer teeth for a more aggressive cross cut.

Setting of the teeth and filing are two more procedures that if you dont' have the tools you're better off either having it done by the supplier or farming it out. Both are critical to the fluid functioning of the saw as it passes thru the wood. Setting of the teeth is accomplished with a saw-set. Basically it "bends" the tooth outwards from the blade a very small amount. Filing determines how the sawtooth contacts the wood. If you decide to acquire a saw-set and file, make sure that the saw-set is made for the TIP you have chosen. I've seen essentially two kinds of saw-sets. One for finer teeth and one for coarser teeth. Each provide for a range of PPI. Triangular files are the files of choice for filing the teeth. One this saw, I need a "5 inch, double extra slim tapper. I picked it up from Lie Nielsen for about 10 bucks including shipping. Saw-sets I picked up from "Tools for working wood" for about 40 bucks shipped.

here's a couple links:

saw-sets: Saw Sets at Tools for Working Wood

saw files: Lie-Nielsen Toolworks USA | Triangular Files

The only other tool that you may need is a saw vise. Used to hold the saw in place while setting the teeth or filing, its quite a handy device. However not "required" I don't think. I picked up one on ebay for 30 bucks a few weeks ago, so they can be had for an affordable price. I've also ran across several home made vises that I am sure would work quite well and serve the purpose just as well as a store bought unit.

as with everything, price and availability will vary, blah, blah, blah,, shop around and do your homework...its well worth it....

The tote (handle) is perhaps the standout portion of the project. A good looking handle will make an average looking saw shine. Style, wood choice and mounting hardware are all a matter of personal preference. Of course, some tote designs are considered a more "traditional" look for a particular style of saw. I relied heavily on the Gramercy website for tote design and templates.

if you decided to give this a go, please, do a little research first. There is a ton of online material available that gives ya the do's and dont's. Several of the websites have "how to, tutorials" available.

here are just a couple:

Welcome to Vintage Saw's Saw Filing Treatise


The saw is a work in progress, but here is where we stand so far...I"m by no stretch of the imagination a 'sawyer', but if ya got any questions, I'll be glad to help if I can..or at least point ya in the right direction...otherwise, keep in mind, this is my "first" attempt as well...so enjoy


onto a bunch of pics...
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Stick486 likes this.

"..... limited only by imagination"

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Skipper the Penguin

Last edited by TwoSkies57; 12-12-2010 at 11:14 AM.
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