New Classes for 2015

bench work 004 (2)

I promised myself I was going to keep my teaching schedule light this year so that I could focus on the book…but I have scheduled two really cool classes for later in the year.

First, I’ll be up in Maine at Lie-Nielsen doing a weekend workshop on saw sharpening on May 2nd and 3rd. How could I pass up an invite like this, right? Details here…

I’ll also be teaching my ‘Build A Backsaw’ class at Connecticut Valley School of Woodworking on August 15th and 16th. This class is back by popular demand…we’ve got access to amazing saw kits with traditional folded brass backs and I’m looking forward to this one with great anticipation. I’m even making a nest of three new saws to demo for the class. Details here…

See you there.



TheSawBlog lives on…

old saw pic

Sometimes I like to read posts from years back that I wrote on my old blog… (don’t bother searching for it…its in internet limbo rotting away somewhere I am told). Its nice to see where I’ve been and how I’ve changed in the past five years. Thankfully my friend Wiktor Kuc has taken many of those old posts and fancied them up and put them on his site at Wiktor’s taken some of the good stuff I wrote (what little there was!) and made it look not half bad. Some of my favorites from over the years…

Decoding Smith’s ‘Key’

How I File A Saw

How to Pick a Vintage Handsaw

The Big Tillotson

I Slope, You Slope, We all Slope Gullets

Dovetails ala Underhill

Filing a Lamb’s Tongue

There are a ton more there as well, along with some of the best investigative historical articles I’ve ever seen. Happy New Year. ๐Ÿ™‚

The AxeWright?

Some years back I built a mammoth saw bench for my shop. Iย called it my Super Saw Bench because it was made of old white oak 6×8 timbers salvaged from an old house. I ripped the old timbers down and processed all the wood by hand to give birth to this…

Saw bench rip 001

I love reading old posts like this…it reminds me of where I’ve been and where I might be going…

But my shop is now a quarter of the size it used to be and my super saw bench took up residency out in the yard where I do most of my green woodworking nowadays. I used it for a couple years as a workbench, chopping block and so on but it is not ideal for that function. So I finally scrounged up a proper truck section of a big oak tree for a chopping block. But it was too low for axe work…so I improvised some legs…

dec.5.2014 012 (2)

The funny thing is that I don’t do as much ripping with a handsaw as I used to. If I need to reduce a board in width, I’m more apt to split it or hew it down with an axe. In fact, I’m wondering if I could do without rip saws in general?

Ever since I started using axes a couple years ago, I find myself reaching less and less often for a saw. I wonder were I will be in a few years….who knows?


Brilliant or Bull-shxx?

When I first jointed this saw and looked at the previous filer’s geometry, I didn’t know if I should be impressed or horrified…

crazy tooth 006 (3)

All of the bevels on these teeth are parallel and facing the same direction…which strains the credulity of the filer at best.

But what if, instead of not knowing what he was doing, this guy was in fact on to some crazy advanced (for the early 20th century) tooth form that created a flat topped but skewed point on each tooth?

Ya….I quickly came to my senses as well. Clearly, this guy was filing at an angle to the saw blade on every tooth, one after the next, instead of filing straight across.

But it does make me wonder sometimes when I come across weird geometries like these…how many wonderful techniques have we lost that will never be known again? And if we did re-discover them, would they only appear ridiculous to our 21st century sensibilities?


Saw geeks rejoice…

barley 003

Simon’s new book arrived a couple weeks ago…to say it was worth the wait would be the most incredible understatement. How saws were made, how handles evolved, the history, the marks, the references….its all there. Oh praise be!

I asked Simon how people can purchase it and he said that he prefers people contact him directly to order a copy. Email him at For $70.00 USD he’ll ship you a copy anywhere in the world.

You’re welcome. ๐Ÿ™‚


New Blog for The SawWright

My blog is having issues and I grow impatient, so its time to start fresh. I’ve wanted to make some changes anyway.

My new blog will be here at and linked through my site of course. New posts will be cleaner, more streamlined, less text, less preaching. And no more comments on posts as well…you’ll have to send questions to my email address.

I’ll try to figure out a way for TheSawBlog to be hosted somewhere permanently…but I don’t think I’ll be posting there anymore. We’ll see.

Stay tuned and thanks to all the concerned readers who’ve emailed while the blog has been done. More to come. ๐Ÿ™‚ And please help spread the word.