Making a dovetail saw from spare parts


I had intended fixing up an old Disston saw but the plate was damaged beyond repair, the saw nuts were mangled. So, I thought of making a dovetail saw with the parts.

A cheap Buck Bros saw from the BORG was used as the saw plate. It has teeth stamped in at 16ppi, but it would be a good user I think. I cut the donor blade to length and width using a hacksaw.


I roughed out the shape of a handle in pine and practiced cutting the mortise for the spine and cutting out for the plate.

Test fit with the practice handle, blade, and spine.


Marking out for the new handle from a block of Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba) that was a left over from a flooring project


Roughing out with holes cut on the drill press. The wood just laughed at the augur bits.


After cutting with the bandsaw.


Chiseling in the mortise for the spine. Followed up with cutting the slot for the blade.


I found the stock was too wide for the saw-nuts to close. So, I had to scrub plane it down to thickness.


I cut the spine to length and filed off the rough corners. Here is a test fit before I went too far with the shaping. I cut it so that the logo would be halfway along the visible length.

At this point it is a serviceable tool.


Rasping, rasping, and more rasping. This took a LOOONNGGG time. This is the point you start to question your sanity.


After rasping and filing the lump of wood now looks like a handle.

Next test fit with the spine and blade. A bit of water added to see the color of the handle.


A couple of coats of shellac with sanding between them.


Test fit of the saw nuts again after polishing them up. I thought they were a bit too fat, or that I had filed the edge back to close.


So, I filed them down to reduce the diameter. I also drilled out the handle more so they would sit in deeper.


I then filed the bolt and nut flush with the surface.


After some final sanding and a wax applied with steel wool it looks the part. Cuts well too after I sharpened some proper teeth into it.




All in all this exceeded my expectation. I would highly recommend taking a rasp to a piece of wood and seeing what you can make.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s