A Backsaw From Scratch: The Ingredients

OK, I’ve built all the parts of a backsaw, now for an original recipe, cooked from scratch.

Here are what I think I’ll need:

  • A plan. A 10” x 3” saw [plate]. I was originally going to go for 8” but I stuck some tape on my 10”saw to mark 8”, tried some cuts and peeled the tape off. So I like saw longer than 8”.  Still haven’t figured out the top of the handle but I know the hang and how the blade is mounted so I can get started.
  • A theme: Silver. Since I’m going with a steel spine, I’ll make just go with steel everywhere. I bought some Disston Aluminum saw nuts & medallions, I’ll use one of those. I’ll make the spine nut out of Aluminum rod. & 10-24 screw. I’ve since scored some brass on ebay, so the  next saw theme will be yellow.
  • Saw plateplate. 1095 spring steel is what the good saws use, that is good enough for me. 0.020” thick. That’s five sheets of paper or the thickness of the 0.5mm lead in your mechanical pencil. The saws I have (5) range from 0.025” to 0.030” and they all seem just fine so this should be OK (again, the zoot saws are this thin or thinner). I bought 2 sheets of 6” x 24” for ~$30.
  • Spine. I’m going with a steel 3/4” x 1/4” sandwich (two 1/8” plates clamping the blade). The handle is going to be clamping the spine so I want the spine to have parallel sides (which you don’t get with a folded back). I thought about a slotted back (I have the tooling) but you have to glue the plate in or bend the spine to clamp the plate, neither of which I want to do (I want to be able to easily dissemble/repair the saw). 1018 low carbon cold rolled steel, easy to machine and cheap.
  • Wood. The Jatoba I made the other handle out of looks really nice, so I’m going do that route again (I have lots).
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