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Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: The handles - mongo - 04-06-2012

Blacky's Boy said:

Well, the inevitable happened tonight.

I ruined both handles whole cutting the slot for the saw plate.

Good thing I milled up enough stock for several handles.

I'm thinking of changing my tactic here. I may try using a circular slitting saw on my drill press. I just need to get one of these bearings to use to take some of three load off Tue drill press quill.

drum sander bearing from LV

Then I'll need to find the appropriate slitting saws.

Anyone done something like this before?

Danger will Robinson. If that slitting blade catches at all it will take all the kings hourses and all the kings men to sew your fingers back off.

Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: The handles - Brian K - 04-06-2012

Couldn't the same be said of a tablesaw blade? What would make the slitting blade operation less safe? I'd imagine if you fed at an crazy slow rate, and let the blade just "nibble" away at the wood, you would be ok?

Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: The handles - KlausK. - 04-07-2012

Sorry to hear that, Dom! I know this situation and hate it.

I don't think that a circular blade in a drilling machine needs more support than to be fixed in a mandrel. You might consider to find a way to fix the machine horizontally. That enables you to fix the handle blank on a cross table about like this:

The advantage is the easy and quick way to adjust the blank.

Keep in mind that those very thin circular blades are designed to cut metal so they don't have any set. That doesn't allow any deep cuts in wood. But if there's installed a initial slot with the depth of about 5 mm around the cheek, the rest of the slot can be cut by hand without a problem.

The methodology has 2 benefits. The blade slot will be straight and it will have very clean edges.

At the 2nd pic you probably will note my elegant grip to hold the saw. The tip of the bottom horn pressing into the palm, a dream... That was the reason to rehandle the bladeslot saw with a steep angeled handle

Not to mention the safety shoes. They aren't designed to catch a falling down chisel with, DAMHIKIT.


Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: The handles - Tony Z - 04-07-2012


After "marking" the slot, do you use the same positioning (change of cutter, of course) to cut the mortise for the spine?

Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: The handles - KlausK. - 04-07-2012

You've caught me, Tony

Yes, the sides of the mortise will be cut as far as it gets with this set up as well. Due to the curve of the circled blade, it can't be done the whole length and depth. But it helps to speed up the making.


Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: The handles - Window Guy - 04-07-2012

That is a very interesting looking set up and can see the benefits to help cut the slots.

Thanks for sharing !


Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: The handles - Isaac S - 04-07-2012


Thank you for sharing your setup. I think that is the best way to cut the slots that I have yet seen.

Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: The handles - MarvW - 04-07-2012


Sorry to see that you have a problem with the slotting of your handles. Following are a few thoughts on the issue.

Klause demonstrates an a well thought out set up for doing that most important part of making a handle. Notice how every part of his machine is solidly put together. He allows zero movement of any part of the machine while the cut is being done. And he has designed in for all adjustments required for making the slitting blade cut exactly where he wants it to be. He has complete precision control. He is working wood just like a machinist would work metal.

What he is doing could be done on a regular drill press, but you must keep in mind that a drill press is designed only for vertical machining. The arbor that holds the chuck to the quill is very short and if not firmly in place, it can wiggle loose if lateral pressure is applied. However, if you use a relatively small slitting blade, no bigger than say 3" in diameter, you will minimize the lateral torque on the chuck and the short arbor that holds it in the quill. Take shallow cuts and clear the blade of sawdust often and don't allow the blade to heat up. If you have compressed air, it would be a good idea to blow the kerf out as the saw is cutting. Don't depend on the slitting saw to cut the full depth needed. Only use the slitting saw to cut about 3/4" deep or less to give your backs or backless saw a guide to follow while you finish the slot to it's proper depth. Remember, you are cutting end grain and will need a rip tooth profile. I would go with not bigger than about 14PPI rip teeth with only a couple thousands of set on each side.

If you decide to use your drill press, make sure to set it up so the handle you are slitting has something to bear against on the left side as you feed the wood into the saw. The speed of the saw can be quite high, especially if you are blowing the sawdust out of the kerf with compressed air. The up and down adjustment can be locked in place using the quill lock and the depth stop that is on most all drill presses.

If you intend to do a lot of handles in the future, you might consider buying a "Drill-Mill". It has all the features of a drill press but is designed for both vertical and lateral machining and uses collets for holding your cutting tools such as a slitting saw. The Drill-Mill can also mill the mortise in a backsaw handle and do it to an exact dimension.

Of course all of this can be done by hand using only hand tools. But, as we know, depending on our hands and body, it is easy to be less than precision. I think we can be assured that the people who made millions of saw handles at Disston didn't do it by hand.

On a large regular saw handle, I have cut the slot by hand using a rip saw with close to zero set. I first marked two thin pencil lines around the perimeter where I wanted to cut. The distance between the lines was the width of the kerf I needed to cut. All I did was make sure I stayed between the lines as I sawed about 1/2" deep all the way around. Sometimes turning the handle around in the vise and sawing the opposite direction. I got a small amount of deviation, but not so much as to be be too noticeable once the blade was inserted.

Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: The handles - mbole - 03-06-2013

It's a bit old topic, but...

I'm thinking about another way to slot a handle. Actually, it's another approach at all.

Let's make handle as two half's, and insert thin piece of veneer between them. Veneer can be shaped exactly as back side of the blade, so it fit perfectly to any shape (flat, curved...)

Also you can easily fit thickness of veneer to be exactly as thickness of the blade.

Something like this:

or this

You can also combine wood of different color if you prefer that kind of look.

First, cut both half's of the handle to rough shape, and drill holes in it. Then cut veneer to rough size, transfer shape of back side of the blade to veneer, cut it, and fine fit veneer to back side of the blade.
Now, temporary screw blade to one half of the handle, align veneer to blade and glue it in place. Veneer should be bit ticker than a blade.
After glue dries, you can machine the veneer to exact thickness of the blade, with plane, or something like this

Now, glue another half, aligning it with the screws.

BTW what you think of this kind of screws, with two holes for tightening, something like spanner on angle grinder? It can be fairly easily made on small lathe and drill press.

Another aproach

Another approach for cutting slot is to shim hand saw so it's exactly at the half of thickness of the handle, fix the saw and then cut slot by moving handle on top of the bench. Of course it wouldn't work for blades that have curved back. I find this trick on some other site, but can't remember where.

Sory for my "Tarzan" English, it's not my native language.

Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: The handles - Tony Z - 03-06-2013

Great idea using veneer! Also, welcome to the forum!