Atkins Backsaw

Simonds Saws


Tools and Woods with Bob Smalser

  Shop-made Joiner and Boatwright Tools 1 of 3  


A small sample of tools I’ve made over the decades from hardwood scraps from joiner and boatbuilding projects. 

My family’s background is Mennonite... and frugal, and I always made a practice of not moving on to the next project until all the wood was used to best advantage from the previous one. 

Lotsa fun, too...

I post this to give y'all some ideas on how to use up your scraps and free time between major projects. 

My mentors were Dad and three childless Uncles… one built commercial waterman’s boats, one spec houses, and the remainder were frugal farmers who hired out almost no work… we did it all, often by hand.

The frame resaw is H. Mahogany with B. Walnut stretcher and handles, assembled with bridle joint and threaded rod/wing nut bearing on washers.  The blade was a coarse crosscut blade from Garret Wade I refilled into a 4 TPI rip blade, it is held in slots by steel pins made from drill rod stock.

The Tage Frid-pattern Danish Bowsaw is identical in construction to the resaw above.  Highland Hardware has the blades.  The remainder of the bowsaws have string tension adjustment with loose M/T stretchers.  The handles are turned and fitted with brass-pipe ferrules with a quarter-inch bronze rod inset in epoxy and slotted to receive sawblade and pin.  The ferrules bear on bronze washers inset into blind holes in the frame.  This bowsaw is mahogany and walnut.

The fret saw is B. Cherry and walnut with Cocobolo handles.  The small coping saw is B. Rosewood with checkering as a decoration.  When I make the next coping saw from rosewood, I will use smaller scantlings to save weight – this one is unnecessarily strong.

The mallets are a simple pattern that uses small glued scraps, handles are wedged and glued and wrapped with cotton twine.  They live a hard life and are expendable.  The trammel points on the cherry bar were turned from rosewood with brass lamp finials turned to a round tenon and pointed, inset in epoxy. 

The small walnut keysaw was turned in walnut with brass ferrule and blade mount… the blades came from Garret Wade and are mounted with a simple bronze wing nut.  The boatbuilder’s planking divider is brass sheet with silver-brazed steel tip set mounted in rosewood hollowed to receive a pencil, which is help with a spring hose clamp.  These dividers are used to “spile” or to transfer shapes from the boat to planking stock.

1 of 3  

Dovetail Saws

Saw Set


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