Shaping the Handle

I kinda like the closed handles better than the “pistol grip”, the handle can have a much more “delicate” form because the grip isn’t cantilevered. Plus more wood gives more room for artistic expression. And the “lambs tongue” is just wonderful. “Horns” are pretty cool too. Here is a No 77 Disston panel saw with a lambs tongue and a Disston No 0 pistol grip back saw

no77saw1911illus 1932catdavis
Check out the The Disstonian Institute for tons of info on Disston saws.
Also, given my dexterity, the closed handle protects my fingers from being smashed into the board being sawn. On the minus side, you do loose some depth of cut. You can really see that on the saw I have.

So, here are the goals for this handle: gain back some depth of cut, lambs tongue, Prominent horn. Remove lots of wood. No sharp edges (aside, I think sharp edges in wood equates to dented/chipped wood. Besides, curves flow and are more “organic”). The handle is actually pretty comfortable so I don’t have to worry about that.

shapingHow to: Get pencil, scribble on handle (shoulda got pics), bandsaw, file. Go “hmmmm, that doesn’t look right”. Scratch head. Grab gouges, do some carving. Ick. Ignore and work on the other end. Scribble some more, tweak with bandsaw (removing wood in front of tongue). Better. Go to town with files to thin and refine the tongue. Sand frickin forever. One thing I learned is these are a pain in the arse to hold. I used my bench vise, clamps and bits of wood (as stops) to hold it vertically or horizontally. Then stood on my head or knees to get at the area that needed work. My back was very unhappy, might have to get a carvers vise.

reshapedI take back some of the comments I made about sharp edges – the pointy horn just looked right.

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