It doesn’t rain, it pours. It’s been just over two years since I started looking out for old saws, and in all that time I have only found one decent backsaw-a beautiful Vickers carcase with a brass back. This is my 3rd backsaw, a Disston from the early 1940’s. I cleaned & finished the handle using the same method as the Charlesworth saw. With the saw plate however, I took a short cut, using a powered palm sander through the various grits. I never noticed an appreciable difference from the sander working in a random orbital direction as opposed the the hand method of working with the grain, but the condition of the plate was not great. I suppose discretion is required-with a saw in a good condition, I would not risk using the sander.
It took me about two hours which included stopping periodically to watch Glen Huey’s DVD “Cheating at Hand Cut Dovetails.” This project is belated because of a number of reasons, not excluding a paralysing fear to actually make start. I read a number of books & articles on the subject and found them all equally confusing. Glen’s DVD is the only one that made sense to me. I know that Pine is more difficult when you are starting out, but that’s all I had. My approach was to study the DVD a number of times instead of diving right in. This method of learning works for me because after the 1st attempt, I retained most of the information.
My pins are recessed instead of standing proud, the tails have chipped out in places, the fit is too tight and the overall joint is not neat. All these will improve with practice. Will I try a tails-first approach to compare? Not sure right now as there are many other more pressing projects waiting, one being to cut more dovetails. Much, much more. Thank you Glen.