Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Answered an ad

The Australian answer to Craigslist seems to be  (We have Craigslist, too -- but Gumtree has a nicer interface, and more people use it, so the selection is better.)  Lately I've been browsing it for used woodworking hand tools -- and today I checked out an ad for five handsaws for ten bucks each (my photo at left).

I checked out the sawblades (or "sawplate", in jargon) for straightness.  The three wooden-handled ones were straight.  The yellowy-handled saw had two kinks in it (which would make it hard to saw straight) -- but the handle was interesting -- kinda Art Deco.  The black-handled one was bent a few inches in from the tip -- although I could possibly cut it off there.  Or, I could try to hammer out the kinks (never tried it; worth a try).  And, as you can see, part of the handle from one (second from the bottom) of the wooden-handled saws was missing.

I pointed out the flaws, said that I'd be willing to take all five anyhow, and asked what they could do for me regarding the price (i.e. less than 5 x $10?).  The guy said "Make an offer", so I offered $40, thinking that it might be a little low.  He accepted.

Here's a closer look at the "Buck Rogers"-looking handle.  Usually I don't like plastic-handled tools -- but this one is sufficiently quirky that I don't mind.  Even if I never manage to straighten the blade, it's still pretty nifty.

For you saw buffs:  That looks like Henry Diston's signature, there -- right above the medallion.

As I was getting ready to go, the seller mentioned that the plastic-handled saws had been his dad's, and the wooden-handled ones had been his granddad.  Neat-o -- a bit of history.  I wrote down the names of the dad and granddad, and added it to my log of tools when I got home.

He also mentioned that he had a box of misc. tools that he was planning on selling -- but just hadn't gone through them yet.  I casually asked if he'd be willing to go through them now:  I was right there, and still had some cash in my pocket...

He brought out a small cardboard box and let me lay out its contents on the patio table.  Some things I chose; some I put back.  I did a quick tally, and offered an intentionally low-ball price, just to start the negotiation:  twenty bucks.  I admitted that it was a bit low -- but also that the tools would definitely be going to a good home.

Surprisingly, he accepted!

So, here's my twenty dollar stash.  Not gloat-able if you're from the New England states -- but around here it's a pretty decent deal:

I took the various wrenches and pliers because I thought they looked interesting.  His dad had been a t.v. and radio repairman -- back in the days when it was actually worth it to get your t.v. repaired.  So a lot of the tools were clearly specialized, or modified for a task.  It also had a nice little wooden-handled trysquare, and a bevel gauge/sliding bevel, which was was pretty sure had belonged to his grandfather.

My favorite portion of this haul is the three matched set of chisels (part of a larger set?) -- 1/2", 3/8", and 1/4" -- with stickers with a picture of a fish, saying "E.A. BERG MFG Co. LTD"  and "ESKILSTUNA  sweden".  Bevel-edged, with remarkably thin blade thicknesses.  Some surface rust, and the blade of the widest one is caked in some kind of putty.  But clean-able.

I also enjoy the Bakelite(?) handle for a keyhole saw.


For you Galoots:  I sighted down the teeth after I got them home -- and all five of them appear to be filed for ripping, not crosscutting.  Given that most handsaws are set up for crosscutting, that's pretty weird.  Over the next few days I kept squinting at the teeth, thinking maybe I'd seen incorrectly -- but nope.  Huh.

TPIs are as follows:  backsaw, 12TPI; black plastic, 9 TPI; yellow plastic, 7TPI; bad handle, 6 TPI; other wooden, 9 TPI.

I tried out the pistol-grip backsaw -- I own a few (inexpensive, used) backsaws, but all are closed-tote.  This one fit my hand marvelously.  The blade needs a clean, though, and a sharpen.

I offered the other two saws with wooden handles to a colleague, Tanay, who is getting started in woodworking.  They're a bit cumbersome to take in to work via the bus, so I'll get them to her eventually.  She doesn't own **any** handsaws -- so I'll suggest she leaves the bad handle (6TPI) as rip, and re-file the 9TPI saw to crosscut.

I also offered her the tools in red rectangles.  She declined the slip-jaw pliers, but accepted the trysquare and sliding bevel:  I charged her $2.50 each.  We checked out the trysquare for squareness, and it is indeed square.  Both have a fair bit of surface rust on the blades -- but she says she like restoring old things (a good Galooty trait).  She'll take some "before" and "after" photos to chart her accomplishment.  :)


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At July 12, 2013 2:11 PM, Anonymous Neil said...

If you take a look at youtube at Paul Sellers on saw sharepening you will get a lot of info on why saws should be sharpened rip.

I have always kept a saw for crosscutting and all my other saws are filed rip

At July 12, 2013 4:07 PM, Blogger Gye Greene said...

I'll take a look at that site!

Yeah, I think it was Tage Frid that said that rip is a good compromise.

All of my saws that I actually use are rip-filed, come to think of it. But I thought that was just **me**... ;)



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