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Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project - Printable Version

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Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project - Axehandle - 03-02-2014

Building up TruOil will stiffen end grain too. A LOT. How else would the makers of fine shotguns with skeleton butt plates or no butt plates altogether be able to make the butt of the stock hold up?

Granted not all makers use TruOil but there are a surprising number who still do so. Rizzini comes to mind.

It takes quite a little while for this method though. You have to wait for the TruOil to dry thoroughly before sanding it back down. Most folks just buff it with steel wool after 24 hours. (not my favorite method as steel wool likes to break down quickly and greatly and can be left on the stock if not very careful)

Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: Sawplate detailing - Blacky's Boy - 03-24-2014

Hi Gang,
Since I was waiting for my buddy to shear up some more saw plates for an upcoming order I decided to work on these saws. Now that the handles are 99% completed I need to start detailing the saw plates. That means:

  • Adding the nib
  • Transferring the holes from the handle to the saw plate and then drilling them
  • Sanding and polishing the saw plates

Back a couple years ago I made a short rip saw from some spare parts I had laying around. Back when I first made the saw plate Bob Rozaieski gave me a great technique for adding the nib. And all you need is a vise and a triangular file (I used a No7 Slim taper)

Below you can see the two saw plates as well as the short rip saw that features the nib. I liked it so much that I decided to use it as a template

So I broke out the black Sharpies and traced it onto the saw plates

The I clamped it in a vise and started filing

Did you guys know that if you hold a saw plate like I show and THEN try to file you make more noise than a 747 taking off?

Because of the noise

I ended up switching to my face vise in lieu of using the metal vise shown in the photos. While I had to bend over more, it went a lot smoother. And QUIETER.

Now that the nibs are done I needed to transfer the holes from the handle to the saw plates. I use the handle as a template and a set of transfer punches. During this process I clamped the saw plate securely. I also had a hold down on the handle but I added that after the photo

Once the holes were located I used a punch to deepen the "dimple" a bit. The dimple really helps to center the bit and positively locate the hole.

At the drill press I used a carbide bit I got from ENCO. And as I have said in the past (and will again now), if you need to drill more than a couple holes in spring steel, BUY A CARBIDE BIT! While they are expensive, you will thank me afterwards.

A sharp carbide bit will go through spring steel with very little effort. Just be sure to use a nice slow speed and some kind of cutting fluid. I used WD-40. And the nice thing is that those carbide bits CAN be sharpened with a Drill Doctor.

Once the holes are done it's now time to start cleaning up the saw plates. As you can see below they are somewhat tarnished from their year(s) languishing in the shop waiting for me to finish this project.

I found that one trick to getting a nice shine on the spring steel is to work on a nice flat surface. I have a piece of MDF that has a cleat added to it so that it can be held in my end vise. The MDF is nice and flat and has been given several coats of Polyurethane.

I started off with 220 grit sandpaper backed up by a wooden block. In order to get the best finish possible, you need to reduce the chance of making more scratches than necessary. You do this by taking nice even FULL LENGTH strokes. That means no changing direction in the middle of a stroke. That will cause little "vee shaped" scratches. You need to sand forward the full length of the saw plate and then come back the full length. I sanded until I ended up with the finish below.

Then I moved up to 400, and then 600 grit.

I'm not really done yet. I wanted to sand up to 800 grit and then polish the saw plates a bit. But it was getting late and I need to call it a night.

To be continued......

Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: Sawplate detailing - Bibliophile 13 - 03-24-2014

Thanks for the tip on shining up the saw plate. It's so obvious now you say it.

Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project - DaveBeauchesne - 03-24-2014

Arlin Eastman said:

Just to let you know. It is not called a slitting shear, but a throatless shear.

And they work like a charm.


Arlin: Yes, a throatless shear, AKA BEVERLY shear.

Dom: Beautiful job! Can't wait to see the finished products.

Dave B

Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: More Sawplate detailing - Blacky's Boy - 03-28-2014

Well,...I learned something new tonight.

After sanding to 800 grit it is NOT a good idea to try to polish the saw plate with AutoSol and Aluminum Foil. You end up with teeny tiny scratches.

I had to go back and sand them all over again. Oh well, it was much easier this time. After sanding them to 800 grit I skipped the Autosol and went to a flannel wheel charged with buffing compound.

Installing the brass hardware is next. But that may take a bit. I still need to send the medallions out to get engraved.

Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: More Sawplate detailing - Window Guy - 03-28-2014

Dom thanks for the additional tutorial, they are looking good.



Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: Assembled Saws - Blacky's Boy - 04-02-2014

Over the past couple days I managed to find some spare time to assemble both of the saws.

Installing the hardware was a bit different from other saw projects because these new style saw nuts have a square boss on the back of the "bolt". It measures about 1/4" so I used the same size chisel to cut the small mortise (square hole?). As you can see from the walnut handle I need to tweak the depth of the mortise just a tad more so that the hardware is flush.

After I got the hardware installed I uninstalled them and removed the handle so I could buff it. Both of these handles got several coats of TruOil and the buffing process really brought them to a nice shine without it being "too much". I was especially pleased with the way that the No7 handle in Jatoba came out.

I still need to send the Medallions out to get engraved but at least now once they're done I can just drop them in place.

I also still need to sharpen both of these. But this may have to wait until I start on my next project. An UBER saw vise.

And no, it's not just a larger version of my other shop built vise. It's going to,.....well.....you'll see.

Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: Assembled Saws - bdog01 - 04-02-2014

Just let me know where to send my money for one of these saws or saw kits!! Outstanding work! I could use another big rip saw

Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: Assembled Saws - Blacky's Boy - 04-02-2014


Re: Big Ripsaw and Crosscut saw project: Assembled Saws - bdog01 - 04-02-2014