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Making and Using Tools - Saws and Saw Tools

  Building a Stair Saw by Dominic Greco

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I just started working on a new project in which I will build a stair saw based on an old Disston Stair saw loaned to me by Buckaroo.

I drew up the profile and made myself a temple of the handle. I also took the time to draw up a profile of the saw plate and get it's measurements down.

I used a caliper to measure the thickness of the sawplate and was sort of surprised to find that it was 0.032" thk.

But I guess this would stand to reason since you would want a stiff saw plate for cuts where it was extended away from the handle.


Dominic Greco

Before really digging into the building process, I like to get all the raw material together and cut to rough size. Tonight I started on the saw plate.

I dug through my pile of spring steel and located some that I had already "de-blued". While it is easy to remove the bluing via a citric acid bath, that's one step I didn't have to do this time.

I coated the steel with some dye chem (notice the protective surface I'm working on?) and then pretty much traced the original saw plate. As far as cutting the spring steel to shape, here's the process I've been describing in my recent write ups.

I realize that there are many ways to accomplish this task. But here's the way I do it.

I use a Dremel equipped with an abrasive disk to cut along the scribed line. I cut along the line, being careful not to linger in one place too long, and not to go all the way through. My goal is to score the surface just enough to enable me to snap it at the cut line.

I then take the work piece and install it in my vise. I clamp it in place so that the scored line is right at the top edge of the vise jaws.

Then it is a simple matter to bend the work piece and the spring steel should break right along that line.

Notice that in this photo I'm doing something rather stupid. I'm NOT wearing gloves! And I wonder why I get metal splinters! In the next cut you'll see that I finally wised up.

Learn how. Discover why. Build better.

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