HAND SAWS.The Hand Saw goes through quite a number of processes in the course of manufacture. Some of these, like the shearing of plates, punching of teeth, etc., are simple details. The important and essential features consist of the following operations, which are usually proceeded with in the order named : Tempering, Smithing or Hammering, Grinding, Polishing, Filing and Setting, Etching, Handling, Blocking.
Editors Note: As you read this 100 year old article about hand saws keep in mind there were no hand held power tools then, so everything was done by hand. That means quality hand tools were critical for every carpenter or woodworker.
Hand saws for sale now on Ebay. More old tools text follows.
In taking up this matter, it will be understood that what we have to say relates only to the higher grades of Hand Saws. Common and cheap saws we do not handle, and do not believe the reader of this hook, our customers or ourselves, have any interest in them.
AS TO STEEL —In times gone by, the best Hand Saws were made from English plates, but for a number of years the American steel makers have produced saw plates, in some respects better, and in all respects equal to the best English, and very few —if any— Hand Saws are now made of imported steel.
AS TO TEMPER —The same amount of skill and care is required in tempering a Hand Saw properly, as for any edge tool, perhaps even more, on account of there being so much surface. Tho temper should be as hard as is consistent, without losing the quality of toughness. A saw that is soft and has to be filed every hour or two is a great nuisance. Our own brand of Saws (Figs. 3510 to 3513) are tempered a little harder than the average —just as hard as we dare have them tempered in order that they may be set properly without breaking the teeth.
AS TO SMITHING AND HAMMERING —After Tempering comes the "Smithing" or Hammering operation, for the purpose of making the plate perfectly level, condensing and toughening the steel. This operation calls for considerable skill.
AS TO GRINDING —This is perhaps the most important feature, as ease and rapidity in working depend more upon grinding than on any other single item. The first operations in grinding are done by automatic machinery, which grinds the plates to an even thickness, and this is all the grinding that the cheaper grades of saws get. The better class of medium grade saws, such as are ordinarily sold at retail, at from $1.00 to $1.25, are ground from two to three gauges thinner on the back.
All high grade Saws are ground by hand and require expert workmen. They are not only ground four or five gauges thinner on the back than on the cut, but are also taper ground from handle to end. The sketches and descriptions on page 727 give an idea of Saws that are properly —and improperly —ground. In preparing the data for this article, the Saws were carefully measured by a Micrometer caliper especially adapted to this work, and by which we obtain measurements to one ten-thousandth part of an inch, although the measurements indicated on sketches by figures are given in thousandths of an inch, this being considered close enough. With the exception of Fig. 3500, these measurements were taken from Saws in our possession.
Fig. 3500 shows a Saw perfect in proportion. It is ideal, but not possible to realize in common practice. If Saws ground in this way were demanded, it is likely that they could not he produced for less than $10.00 each. In this Saw it will be noticed that at the cutting edge line " A," it is of uniform thickness. As we go back it grows thinner, and at line " D " or top part of blade, it averages about three-quarters of the thickness of cutting edge.
Taking the other direction, we find that at line " H " the Saw is considerably thicker than at line "E." It is found in practice that the taper grinding adds strength and stiffness.
Fig. 3501 shows a well ground Saw. These measurements were taken from a firstclass Saw, and the proportions are no better than any high grade Saw should show. We will guarantee all of our own brand of Saws to measure up as well as this.
Fig. 3502 shows a poorly ground Saw. These measurements were taken from a "Special brand" Saw claimed to be firstclass. While this Saw is somewhat thinner on the back than on the face, the grinding is very irregular, some portions of the Saw being left
FIG. 3500. IDEAL GRINDING (Very uncommon).
FIG. 3503. GOOD GRINDING. The dimensions are of a Disston's No, 120 Saw. Cut shows a Straight-back, while the No. 120 is a Skew or hollow back Saw.
FIG. 3501. FIRST-CLASS GRINDING (No better than high-grade Saws should show).
FIG. 3502. VERY POOR GRINDING (Saws ground in this way are very plentiful).