Wenzloff Half-Back Advice Needed.
#11
  
I recently came across a New Old Stock Wenzloff Half-Back (cross-cut) for $160 shipped (Lee Valley lists it for $219) that I am considering buying and would like some advice.

I am relatively new to the hand tool world. About 2 years ago I transitions from power tool only to a hybrid woodworking approach using planes. However, I never really incorporated handsaws into my work until recently. 2 months ago I bought a new LV cross cut carcass.  I typically deal with < 6" wide material, but a few times I have wished that the saw was longer. I am also staring an English WW bench build and need to cross cut some much wider material then I usually deal with (2x12 SYP). In comes the Half-back. 

If I bought the half-back would it be able to replace the carcass saw, or would I be advised to stillto keep it? If it can replace it, then it seems like a no brainer.  Despite being filed cross-cut, would it be serviceable for sawing tenon cheeks? What does this saw excel at and would it enable me to do things I cannot do with the LV other then larger capacity? Is it more versatile?

I probably wouldn't consider this saw at its retails price, but for $160, part of me feels like I will be kicking my self someday if I don't buy it.

Edit: I also want to mention that I need to do some long rips for my bench build an made a post in the classified section for a rip saw. Would the half-back be serviceable for a one off job?
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#12
  Re: Wenzloff Half-Back Advice Needed. by agerlach (I recently came acro...)
You're getting into the deep end of the pool.

Saws are pretty specific to their tasks. Rip, then crosscut. Handsaws, panel saw length or full length. Backsaws, rip (tenon saws longer, dovetail saws shorter), cc miter box saws and cc back saws, various lengths. Then, eventually you have to sharpen them, a skill worth learning if you're committed to handsaws.

I can only relate my own experience. I started using handsaws, then backsaws. I taught myself to sharpen saws, to the point that I can have the confidence of selling handsaws that I've sharpened without feeling that I'm shortchanging those purchasing those saws, as I only sell those saws that I would own and use. My saw till is full of both handsaws and backsaws. I don't have a half-back, simply because I have enough handsaws and panel saws to cut anything I might want to cut.

Now, I get it, a halfback is sexy. I almost got one a few years ago. We all know why we like them, so if you can afford it, go for it. Mike is not making many anymore. But it's a crosscut, so you still need a rip. Keep the carcase saw, it has its uses. All in all, its a slippery slope, and frankly I have multiples of saws that I use regularly. But I'm an exception, really. I'm crazy enough to have spent $170 on the TFWW saw vice for my sharpening, I still question my sanity for doing that, but I'll tell you, its one heck of a saw vice.

Sorry for rambling, but the bottom line is if you think the saw is a deal, buy it, and don't sell anything else unless you find out you never use it.
Elvem ipsum etiam vivere
No Evaporust was used on these tools.
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#13
  Re: RE: Wenzloff Half-Back Advice Needed. by Admiral (You're getting into ...)
(06-07-2018, 04:13 PM)Admiral Wrote: You're getting into the deep end of the pool.

Saws are pretty specific to their tasks.  Rip, then crosscut.  Handsaws, panel saw length or full length.  Backsaws, rip (tenon saws longer, dovetail saws shorter), cc miter box saws and cc back saws, various lengths.  Then, eventually you have to sharpen them, a skill worth learning if you're committed to handsaws.

I can only relate my own experience.  I started using handsaws, then backsaws.  I taught myself to sharpen saws, to the point that I can have the confidence of selling handsaws that I've sharpened without feeling that I'm shortchanging those purchasing those saws, as I only sell those saws that I would own and use.  My saw till is full of both handsaws and backsaws.  I don't have a half-back, simply because I have enough handsaws and panel saws to cut anything I might want to cut.  

Now, I get it, a halfback is sexy.  I almost got one a few years ago.  We all know why we like them, so if you can afford it, go for it. Mike is not making many anymore.  But it's a crosscut, so you still need a rip.  Keep the carcase saw, it has its uses.  All in all, its a slippery slope, and frankly I have multiples of saws that I use regularly.  But I'm an exception, really.  I'm crazy enough to have spent $170 on the TFWW saw vice for my sharpening, I still question my sanity for doing that, but I'll tell you, its one heck of a saw vice.

Sorry for rambling, but the bottom line is if you think the saw is a deal, buy it, and don't sell anything else unless you find out you never use it.
I won't go into the long explanation of what makes these saws handy, but if you decide you do not want it, I might be interested in it. Well, just because. :Smile Let me know.
Take care.
BontzSawWorks.net
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#14
  Re: Wenzloff Half-Back Advice Needed. by agerlach (I recently came acro...)
If you're cutting 2 X 12 SYP, a half back saw will do it, but it will take a while and you'll know you've been in a fight when you're done. For that job, I'd use a 6 or 8 point 26" standard crosscut like a Disston D12 or similar. That said, I'd buy the half back saw. They are very cool and you'll find many uses for it. I just don't think you'd enjoy attacking 2 X 12 SYP with it, and you can get a really nice standard Disston or Atkins for a lot less than $130.
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#15
  Re: Wenzloff Half-Back Advice Needed. by agerlach (I recently came acro...)
Great price for the saw! I have two (rip and CC)that Mike made for me years ago, and they're excellent bench saws. What I would suggest is to locate a Stanley 150 miter box, and the CC will really earn its keep for you (IMHO the 150 is one of the handiest miter boxes, and my accummulation of various miter boxes numbers around 18).
Waiting to grow up beyond being just a member
http://www.metaltech-pm.com
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#16
  Re: RE: Wenzloff Half-Back Advice Needed. by Tony Z (Great price for the ...)
(06-08-2018, 11:58 AM)Tony Z Wrote: What I would suggest is to locate a Stanley 150 miter box, and the CC will really earn its keep for you (IMHO the 150 is one of the handiest miter boxes, and my accummulation of various miter boxes numbers around 18).

You are, indeed, a miter box hoarder; but I get it........
Elvem ipsum etiam vivere
No Evaporust was used on these tools.
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#17
  Re: RE: Wenzloff Half-Back Advice Needed. by Admiral ([quote='Tony Z' pid=...)
(06-08-2018, 03:55 PM)Admiral Wrote: You are, indeed, a miter box hoarder; but I get it........

Usually bought for next to nothing. Funniest thing is, there are many Amish in my area, and the last one bought, was at a flea market, with the seller being Amish! A nice MF, but with a mis-matched saw.
Waiting to grow up beyond being just a member
http://www.metaltech-pm.com
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#18
  Re: Wenzloff Half-Back Advice Needed. by agerlach (I recently came acro...)
(06-07-2018, 03:31 PM)agerlach Wrote: I recently came across a New Old Stock Wenzloff Half-Back (cross-cut) for $160 shipped (Lee Valley lists it for $219) that I am considering buying and would like some advice.

I am relatively new to the hand tool world. About 2 years ago I transitions from power tool only to a hybrid woodworking approach using planes. However, I never really incorporated handsaws into my work until recently. 2 months ago I bought a new LV cross cut carcass.  I typically deal with < 6" wide material, but a few times I have wished that the saw was longer. I am also staring an English WW bench build and need to cross cut some much wider material then I usually deal with (2x12 SYP). In comes the Half-back. 

If I bought the half-back would it be able to replace the carcass saw, or would I be advised to stillto keep it? If it can replace it, then it seems like a no brainer.  Despite being filed cross-cut, would it be serviceable for sawing tenon cheeks? What does this saw excel at and would it enable me to do things I cannot do with the LV other then larger capacity? Is it more versatile?

I probably wouldn't consider this saw at its retails price, but for $160, part of me feels like I will be kicking my self someday if I don't buy it.

Edit: I also want to mention that I need to do some long rips for my bench build an made a post in the classified section for a rip saw. Would the half-back be serviceable for a one off job?

The value of a half-back saw is that it is designed to be used at the bench to break down boards. It has a shorter blade than a panel saw, with the plate of the HB being about 16-18", and the typical panel saw around 20-22". 

I have had a Wenzloff half-back from the time Mike began making them. It is a thing of beauty, but does not get a lot of use as I rarely break down boards at the bench. I have a couple of longer panel saws that see use. Think of the hb as being like a large tenon saw in that it comes out occasionally, while 95% of the time one uses a smaller tenon saw. In this case, my HB is 9tpi crosscut, and I prefer to use a smaller and backed saw (such as 11-14") for accurate crosscuts when working at the bench. 

Very old photo ...




Regards from Perth

Derek
Articles on furniture building, shop made tools and tool reviews at http://www.inthewoodshop.com
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#19
  Re: Wenzloff Half-Back Advice Needed. by agerlach (I recently came acro...)
Derek,

The plane in the background is a Blum, correct? Does it get much use? Is the company still around?

T.Z.
Waiting to grow up beyond being just a member
http://www.metaltech-pm.com
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#20
  Re: RE: Wenzloff Half-Back Advice Needed. by Tony Z ([quote='Admiral' pid...)
Thanks for the info. Some folks mentioned things like "we all know why we like them". I guess my problem is I don't know why "we" like them. I know they are unique and sexy, but how useful are they. I only want to buy something if its going to be useful. So, let me rephrase my original question and not tie it to the specific job at hand.

Are halfbacks really the "Jack plane of saws"? I put a premium on versatile tools. I don't get as much time in my shop as I would like and feel that the less tools that I have, then the more time I spend using the tools vs. maintaining them. I can live with the tool not being the optimal for a job, but it still needs to be good at it. What operations is this saw be good at? Shannon Rogers makes it out like it good at about everything (link)


Thanks again!
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