Monday 30 August 2010

One More Bench And I'll Scream...

When Christopher Schwarz started to build his recent Roubo workbench, I thought he was nuts. I appreciated it, because I have been mulling over the bench I want to build for a couple of years now, but I still thought he was nuts. Realistically, the guy has enough workbenches to fill a barn, yet here he was, building yet another one.

What didn't dawn on me at the time, but has caught up with me since, is the fact that Chris has a sixth sense when it comes to the average woodworking hobbyist's quest for knowledge. If you think this is a bit of an overstatement, check out the flood of new posts on the web about benches, many added since Chris started his latest example. It is what I call, "the Schwarz bench tsunami".

Could I read one more post about the world's most perfect workbench?

Absolutely not!

Could I write one?

You bet!

Here's the thing, my shooting board is coming together nicely. I have almost completed the prototype for the fence adjustment which I think is pretty cool, and it should be in the mail to DAEDWoRKs sometime this week. I have asked Raney to turn the final version for me, although I think he is a little skeptical that it will work. Now that I have a working model to prove he won't be wasting his time, I am hoping we can come to an agreement for its creation. Raney does amazing work with metal, his planes being what I consider to be hands above many of the others. If I can get him to agree to build it, I know his contribution to the board will make it incredibly special.

As I now have a handle on the project at hand, I can now start to think about the next one. I have chosen to build a workbench for three reasons. The first is the most obvious, you can only work without one for so long before you start to go batty. The second reason is because of the current project. This shooting board will probably become my most used tool, but with an overall size of 30" wide by 38" deep, it is a huge sucker. It is designed to mount on its own stand, but until residences change, room for that to happen will have to wait so it, at least, needs a bench to sit on. Finally, I have been going through the processes of what I want in a workbench for at least three years now, so it is about time.

The result of all of this is...

If working on a folding WorkMate these past few years has taught me nothing, at least I have learned that no matter what, a bench needs weight. My planes and I have chased that little sucker around the room long enough, thank you very much. But how do you add weight when you don't want a huge bench? Not to mention not wanting to break the bank?

My first idea was to add storage for tools under the bench. I would think that is the quickest and most economical way to add some serious weight to anything; fill it up with what you already have. I threw this idea out the window in a heartbeat, mainly because of a bench my old man and I built years ago.

The old man got this brainwave that searching for fasteners was a waste of time, especially if you could have them right were you need them - at the bench. He came up with this design for a bunch of bins along the bench front, and when we were done building it, we had a bench with three rows of eight bins, each of which tipped out to reveal what they contained. Needed a #8 by 1 1/2 screw? No problem; middle row, forth bin from the left. It really was an ingenious system, except for one thing; every time you reached in one of those bins for a screw, nail or dowel, you came up with a hand full of sawdust and shavings. Because the bins didn't seal, every bit of trash produced on top of the bench ended up in them.

I learned very quickly to hate any bench that wasn't open to the floor as you just couldn't keep them clean. My old shop had two benches and not only were both open to the floor, but their stretchers were placed a foot off the floor so I could get the ShopVac head in to clean underneath them properly. There is nothing worse than dust-catchers in a shop.

After selling the house and moving on the boat, I inherited a whopping big bench that someone had left in the yard years earlier and it had the same arrangement; a top, four legs and four stretchers. It was a great big old thing that had sat out in that yard for years and was so full of moisture that it would never dry out, but man, it weighed a ton.

I then ended up sharing a shop with a friend. He had built his benches with a shelf under each to store everything from tools to garden paraphernalia. What a mess. You just couldn't keep anything clean, no to mention find anything.

Hence, storage under a bench was definitely out, or was it?

A month or so ago I was doing some cooking in the kitchen and grabbed a knife from the drawer. When I hit the drawer face with my hip to close it, the nickel dropped.

When I put this kitchen together, I used self-closing slides for all the drawers. Checking out the Valley site, I discovered that they sold dampeners for spring loaded doors as well. If the drawers and doors can't stay open, and they have a relatively good seal when closed, I can store tools under a bench and not have to worry about the drawers and cupboards filling up with bench top waste.

Sounds like a plan to me.



Sunday 15 August 2010

Beating Up An Eggbeater...

A while ago I posted about my search for an eggbeater drill. To date, I now have three.

At the beginning of last month, while away on a weekend getaway with my wife, I came across a Miller Falls in an antique store. It was a pretty rough looking old tool, but the clincher was the fact that it had an egg-shaped side handle, making me think it was slightly more rare than the usual Miller Falls examples. Missing its cap and a tooth in the main pinion, I still grabbed it for thirty bucks.

Having researched this drill since, it turns out I was right about the side handle. It is a Type K4, manufactured around 1885. I believe it is from a very early run as there are no markings on the tool anywhere, not even on the chuck, which is the three-jaw variety introduced with this model. All three handles are rosewood, but as the main handle’s threads for the cap are pretty thin, it will have to be replaced. It is a pretty looking tool and much larger than I expected it to be, this being the first example I have held.

Since getting it home I have tried to source a new handle, cap and pinion, but without success. As a result, I have emailed  Wiktor Kuc at in Albuquerque, New Mexico to see if he could work it into his schedule for restoration.

Another reason I scooped this Miller Falls is superstition. I want a Stanley No.624, but nothing was turning up anywhere and I honestly believe that the minute you buy an alternative, something you would rather not have, exactly what you want will show up out of nowhere. Well, sure enough, I bought this Miller Falls piece and within two weeks Jim, at jimbodetools,com, gave me a buzz to tell me he had a line on a Stanley No.624. I answered “Sold” without any questions and within two weeks, the drill was delivered to my door.

Sadly, I should have asked one pertinent question, “When was it made?” As it turned out, it was indeed a Stanley No.624 and it was just as Jim said, a little rough around the edges but complete and working. The problem, however, is that it is too new, being a solid main gear example while I want the older spoke type. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, but it will end up on eBay soon.

Here’s the thing. I’m trying to keep my collection within a specific timeframe; 1880 to 1910, something that is turning out to be harder than one would think. I have purchased more Stanley planes over the past few weeks, all are either Type 8 or Type 9’s placing their manufactured date between 1899 and 1907. All of my saws run from 1888 to 1915 and because I try to purchase only E.H. Mitchell wooden molding planes, most of them are produced after 1875. While I do have the odd, odds and sods kicking around which fall out of this timeframe on one side or the other, the vast majority are within it and that is were I would like to stay.

Just as an aside to the H. E. Mitchell planes, God help me for saying this and not to start another controversy, but I think W.L. Goodman might be wrong about this maker in his "British Planemakers from 1700", second edition. Researching Henry Mitchell, I did find a toolmaker who was born in London, England, not far from my grandfather's home, as a matter of fact. This H. E. Mitchell had a father who became a saw sharpener after retiring from the army, ran a "Jointer's Tool Shop" in Brighton after marrying a local woman and lived at 3 North Road Brighton, according to the appropriate census information. Most of the planes that I have from this maker have his address marked as 4 North Road, Brighton, so I think I can be fairly confident that these two H. E. Mitchell's are one in the same. The thing is, if this Henry Mitchell set up shop in the year W. L Goodman stated, 1855, he would have been twelve at the time, and in fact, at that age, he was still living in London. Hence, it is my belief that H. E. Mitchell produced his tool line starting in 1863, not 1855 as Mr. Goodman states in his listings, and operated until he retired in 1897, when he moved to a small town north of Brighton where he died in 1908. While there is a huge margin of error following the British census as it was taken only every ten years, the similarities between the two are too close to ignore.

Back to relating my eggbeater story...

Disappointed with the Stanley, I returned to eBay’s drill listings and kept up the search. Within a few days, a listing from England caught my eye. After the trim saw fiasco, trying to determine its original use and being stymied left, right and centre by trying to find proper translations from French to English, I passed on the few French drills listed, but I had no qualms about clicking on this English one to see what it was about.

While pretty lean on descriptions, stating only “Hand drill with wooden handles, early 19th century, good condition”, the pictures stated a lot more. This was probably the most robust eggbeater I had ever seen and I thought it would be a good one to have. As it turned out, my wife hauled me away from my computer when the auction was ending so I couldn’t do my usual “snipe”. For this purchase, I used my iPhone to do the deed, my first and last time for using it for this purpose. While the Apple "cult" likes to rave about this phone, it is as slow as molasses in January when it comes to working the web. To be sure I would win it, I had to overbid a few minutes before the auction ended, and, of course, everyone interested in it worked like mad to have it, but it only resulted in the price going sky high for me. I ended up winning it for $112 Canadian, which actually was only one cent short of my maximum bid.

Just before the end of that auction, I noticed one for a brace that had a very similar wooden handle as the eggbeater. The eggbeater’s listing didn’t have a manufacturer’s name, but the brace was listed as being made by E. W. Jung & Co. The web turned up nothing on this company so the only thing I could do was try to find some similarities in the images.  I screen captured every image of both and ran them all through Photoshop, enhancing whatever I could to determine any similarities. There were a number, but all were common to many different brace manufacturers’ of the time, so I had to take a chance, but given I won the brace for ten bucks,  it wasn’t much of a leap.

My reason for being so enamored with this brace is not for the brace itself, as the images showed it was shot and just junk, but because along with the brace came a small chuck, something that was missing with the eggbeater. As it turned out, the two are a close match, and I have ended up with a complete and workable eggbeater, but the two are not a true match, only a workable one.

So I’ll keep my search up for the Stanley, I’ll sell the No.624 that I have, but as for the other two, their keepers, so the worse thing that will happen when it comes time to drill a hole, I’ll have a choice of what to use. It is highly doubtful, though, that I will stop reaching for either my Ryobi 18V or my Delta Mini Drill Press as those are the two power tools that I will never give up, even with a gun to my head. In truth, I am not jumping through all these hoops to purchase a workable drill. I did all this simply because I like the look of these things.

Yes, your right. I'm nuts.



Tuesday 10 August 2010

Some things call for an apology...

I received a response from D.S. Orr yesterday regarding his inclusion in my posts about "The Saw That Never Was". In it, he made some very good points regarding his belief the saw's primary usage is a flooring saw. Whether or not he swayed me to his way of thinking is a topic for my next post as this one is dedicated to apologizing to him for my rather disrespectful wording in the previous posts.

In retrospect, the wording I used regarding Mr. Orr was very disrespectful and the fact that I got so wound up in my quest to find the use the saw was originally designed for is no excuse for doing so. I was focused on the statements Mr. Orr made regarding the saw as they related to the discussion at hand and did not consider at all the person who made them. Having reread what I wrote, I realized that I had committed a common error in judgement that I have often criticized others for.

As it turns out, Mr. Orr is both male, and someone whose opinions and thoughts about all things to do with vintage tools is highly regarding in collectors and dealer circles alike.

I would like to sincerely apologize to Mr. Orr and assure him that I meant no disrespect. Realizing now how quickly words can become ill-mannered, especially when written unintentionally, has raised my guard to try and not commit a similar infraction in the future.

I also need to apologize to Lee Valley Tools as, because Google did not come back with any hits under Mr. Orr's name, I thought their article could quite possibly be written by one of their employees using a pseudonym, a questionable practice, ethics wise, that I have seen other companies do with this sort of thing in the past. I should have known that if any company was held to the highest of business ethics, it would be Lee Valley Tools.

Again, my sincerest apologies to Mr. Orr and Lee Valley Tools.



Thursday 5 August 2010

An Early Update Regarding The Saw That Never Was...

When I posted the previous article entitled, "The Saw That Never Was" last night, I notified Mr. Edwards it was there and asked for his approval on its content (God, can you image the poor guy having to slug through all the additional nonsense in that post just to get to what he said?)

This morning, I received a reply from him which stated the following:

The "scies a moulures, pour scier sur les boltes a recaler"  is directly translated as "saw for moulding, for sawing on the mitre jack"  There is no direct word for word translation of the tool name, as it is specific to the trade of menusierie.

Of course, for me, this brought up the question of what a "menusierie" is, so it was back to Google Translate again, only to get a translation for "menusierie" as "Menusierie".

Always one to push my luck, I sent off a quick email Mr. Edwards to see if he would offer up a translation.

I didn't get what I was looking for, but I did get something better. What Mr. Edwards said was, basically, to explain what a Menusierie is, he would have to explain to me 300 years of French history. Even though his reply stated that he was "not being rude or short", my first reaction to it was, "Yes you are". Taking a few moments to investigate the translation further, though, and I quickly discovered that he is absolutely correct and truly wasn't being rude or short, but instead, actually being a good teacher.

One translation for "Menusierie" is "Carpenter", but that didn't end up making much sense to me because doing more research into the word resulted in information on plumbers, mill wrights and aluminum fabrication, just to name a few.

At this point, I still can't give an accurate translation for the word "Menusierie", but researching it has opened my eyes to the fact that in France, craftsmen are treated far differently than they are in the Anglo world. Categorization and recognition for the different crafts have been something the French government started to nurture and develop over three hundred years ago and still deals with today.

As it turns out, one little French saw has given me a great deal of joy and knowledge, and the reality is, I haven't even cut through a piece of wood with it yet. But it has also taught me my limitations. I'm the guy who has trouble ordering an omelet in a French restaurant. At my age, taking on the task of understanding the history of French woodworking is beyond my capabilities. Hell, I have enough trouble trying to figure out the Stanley plane timeline from the last century and a half.

As it stands, this is my very first purchase of a vintage French tool. It will be, I'm sad to say, also my very last.

My thanks to Mr. Edwards and Mr. Shepherd for making this such an enjoyable experience for me.



Wednesday 4 August 2010

The Saw That Never Was...

You really do have to love the power of the web. You really do.

On Monday, I was the proud owner of a very rare saw, one which was my only tool that originated in France, one made by an old and respected French company, one that was tuned and ready for a very specific use. Monday, I was the proud owner of a Française scie à bois de placage – a French veneer saw.

Two days later, through the power of the Internet, I now own a Française scie a recaler.

How did all this come about? Through the interaction and sharing of information on the web.

I posted an article on this blog on Monday that discussed a new purchase, one that I thought was a vintage French veneer saw. It was sold to me as a veneer saw and I accepted that this was its intended use as I had seen a few of these saws around the web and they were all labeled as veneer saws.

In the post I gave a link to an article written by D.S. Orr, which claimed this saw wasn’t a veneer saw at all, but a stair, tenon or molding saw. Having never learned to not argue with someone with more knowledge than I own, I gave arguments why I didn't agree with him.

Enter Stephen Shepherd: Tuesday morning, Stephen, from the Full Chisel blog, left a comment on this post stating he had seen the saw in a French tool catalogue and it was listed as a “scies a moulures, pour scier sur les boltes a recaler”. Stephen surmised that he thought this meant that it is probably a tenon saw used in a tenon clamp for making tenon ends of chair parts.

Stephen has a post about this type of clamp that he made, as well as one for the saw he created to go with it.

I have mentioned Stephen Shepherd often in these posts, so it is no surprise that I hold his expertise in all things to do with historical processes in woodworking in the highest regard. The man is a walking encyclopedia on the subject, so I was thrilled to finally have someone I know who is an authority on these things tell me the veneer deal with the saw is all wet.

My next order of business was to get an good translation of the French listing Stephen quoted from the catalogue.

Enter Google: To say my French is non-existent is putting things mildly. I am lucky *Canada is bilingual; otherwise I wouldn’t know that “champignons” stood for mushrooms, rather than an Olympic Gold Medal winner; a bit of French that I learned off a can of them.

Heading to Google Translate, I found it a little lacking as well. While trying, it came up with the English translation for, “scies a moulures, pour scier sur les boltes a recaler” as, “trim saws, for cutting on a Boltes readjust”. Ok, “Trim saw” I get, “for cutting on a” I also understand, I also can relate to the word, “readjust”, but what the hell is a “Boltes”? So I ask Google Translate to translate that single word as it is the most important word in the whole lot of them and it came back with, “Boltes” as…wait for it…”Boltes”.

Then turning to the all-encompassing and entering this single word resulted in hits for Jill Bolte, Henry Bolte, Fredrik Boltes, Frank Boltes…you get the picture.

Reenter Stephen: Asking Stephen what a “Boltes readjust” is, he really wasn’t sure as his French, it seems, isn’t much better than mine, but I give him credit as he is doing well for someone who doesn’t live in a *bilingual country where he can learn a second language off a soup can.

Enter W. Patrick Edwards: As the use of this saw has now been reduced to determining what two words in French mean in English, something I wasn’t able to determine through the usual routes, I sat here thinking of what to do. It suddenly dawned on me that some recent posts on WoodTreks about Hammer Veneering and Hide Glues, stuff I had read so much about on Stephen’s Blog, was actually the catalyst that caused me to buy this damn saw in the first place. The reason for this was that the craftsman that Keith Cruickshank filmed doing these demonstrations had an authority about him that wasn’t cocky or anything, it was just...well… authoritative. I was so impressed, actually, that I searched out information about him on the web and even spoke to Keith about him. It didn’t take long to discover that the W. Patrick Edwards that was demonstrating how to lay down veneer on a scrap of wood in these movies was actually a rather well known and respected historical furniture restorer and conversationalist who is also renowned in these circles for his veneered creations.

Doing more research on Mr. Edwards now resulted in a conviction on my part that this was the man for the job at hand; someone to tell me, and the rest of the vintage tool world, exactly what the hell this saw really is.

I started to write out Mr. Edwards résumé here, which would not only substantiate my position that he is an authority, but also be self-explanatory as to why I call this man “Mr. Edwards”, but the reality is, this blog isn’t long enough. Just to give you some highlights, Mr. Edwards studied under Dr. Ramond at the ecole Boulle in Paris where he earned his Accreditation. His “atelier” (Google Translate states this means “workshop”) in San Diego is also accredited by ecole Boulle, a rare honour anywhere outside of France. He is also the head of the American School of French Marquetry and an affiliate of The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. If you ever bought a jar of “Old Brown Glue” (animal protein glue), he was the one that developed it. His opinions have been published in multiple magazines and he has appeared on many television programs. If you subscribe to Lee Valley's Newsletters, you might remember Mr. Edward's name from the article from the May, 2010 edition entitled; "A Return to Tradition: the Marquetry Chevalet".

The kicker for me, though, was discovering that, as part of his studies to earn his accreditation, Mr. Edwards had to learn enough French, particularly in the area of marquetry and veneering, to appease his master.

If you are still not convinced that I should take this man’s word as gospel when it comes to what this saw is, here is a picture of his latest work…

These two examples are some of Mr. Edward's latest creations,
the original table, built in 1834, was owned by Louise-Marie,
the eldest daughter of King Louis-Phillippe of France

Ok, now that any questions about his credentials are out of the way, the question now is, would this man take the time to answer my question about this saw? Simply – Yes!

Here is exactly what came back to me from Mr. Edwards about an hour after I sent off my request:


I am glad you asked. I have the same tool, which I got in Paris. I believe it is not found in English or American workshops. It is called a "scie a recaler" and used with a "boite a recaler". In English this would be a mitre saw used with a mitre jack. The mitre jack was placed in the workbench to hold the molding or wood so that a perfect 45 degree angle could be sawn. The mitre saw has no set so that it is flush on the back surface and does not saw into the face of the jack. The jack has a 45 degree surface and a 90 degree surface on the opposite side. Either side is functional. The saw is worked back and forth, set with a crosscut tooth. After the saw is used a mitre plane is worked across the surface on the face of the jack to smooth the joint properly. So, you need a mitre jack, mitre saw and mitre plane for the complete set.

This is not a veneer saw in any case.

On top of this complete answer, Mr. Edwards even attached images of his saw being demonstrated by Patrice, Mr. Edwards' business partner:

While Mr. Edward's definition is not exactly the same as Mr. Shepherd's, they both share the common element of the saw being designed for trimming using a jack of one type or another; Mr. Edwards stating a Mitre Jack, while Mr. Shepherd states a Flush Jack.

So, Monday I owned a “Français du bois de placage de scie” and today, I own a “Français Boite a recaler, scie a recaler”. Go figure.

My saw will now head back to Daryl to be reconfigured so it is proper for the job it was intended for; a crosscut configuration for cutting angles in a jack.



Note: If any French-speaking individual finds my poor attempts at dealing with the French language insulting, I truly apologize. Any comments that I made regarding my attempts at translations were solely directed towards my own incompetency, and in no way reflect upon the French language.

*How Canadian Bilingual Laws Saved My Bacon (actually, eggs)…

My wife and I were on a Caribbean cruise and after a week of rich and heavy food, we were seriously fed up with it. On this particular day, we got off the ship in St. Maarten with the plans to spend the day wandering. While it didn't take long for ether of us to realize everyone around us was speaking French, because I didn’t have to communicate with any of them, I really didn’t give it much thought.

Come lunch, we headed to a beautiful French Bistro. Seated, with the waiter standing at our table ready to take our order, I finally clued in to the fact that we were in trouble as I did not speak a word of French. As it turned out, the waiter and I were even, because he, it seems, never spoke a word of English, either.

Thankfully, Canada is a bilingual country, our food labels listed, by law, in both French and English.

Visualizing a can of mushrooms, I remembered the French label stating it was “champignons”, my mind holding it simply because it looks so much like “champion”, something an idiot like me can remember. Racing around inside my mind for an image of a package of cheese, I finally remembered, “Fromage”. Where I ran into real trouble was that omelets, at that time, were not pre-packaged, so I had to settle for the two out of three.

With great gusto and trying to act the world traveler, I looked at our kind waiter and said, “Champignons uh, fromage, aww ohmalet”, and added, “deuo Coca cola, mercy”.

We did have the best lunch we had had in a long time, whatever the country, but I am sure that waiter turned to the chef after we left and said, “Jezzez, Fred, I thought I was going to bust a gut when I heard that idiot trying to speak French?”


Monday 2 August 2010

Trempé Coulaux & Co Veneer Saw...

While I was yacking a while back in one of these posts I mentioned that I had purchased a new veneer saw that I hadn't seen yet. Well now the thing is sitting on a shelf right over my main computer station so I can sit back and look at it occasionally. I get a fair buzz out it, I have to tell you.

This isn't a veneer saw for the weak at heart. The thing is 20" long and 5" wide. The mahogany handle runs its full length and shows all the dings, dents and divots of having seen some serious use over its lifetime.

From the latter part of the 19th century, it was produced by Trempé Coulaux & Co. This meant nothing to me until I researched the company. As it turned out, this is the offshoot of the company that used to make Napoleon's swords. I do not hold Napoleon with anywhere near the high regard that many do, but I will acknowledge that the man knew quality when he saw it.

After purchasing it from Jim Bode Tools, I had him ship it to Woodnut4 so he could work his magic on it. A previous owner had tried to change the teeth to a rip configuration and had done a very poor job of it, so Daryl's first order of business was to joint the teeth, which served to display some very real problems.

The main problem was some missing teeth. According to Daryl, the steel is seriously hard, so when whoever tried to set the teeth, some simply snapped off. This resulted in Daryl jointing the teeth down to nothing and starting again.

With the blade off the handle, some other issues arose with the saw. Someone had added a shim between the blade and the handle, cocking the top of the blade away from it, I assume to give a more comfortable grip. What it also did was helped to throw the blade out of true, so I had Daryl dump it.

Next was a serious crack in the handle. To me, this is not a big deal. I mean, lets face it, if we don't have a crack or two somewhere when we are a hundred plus years old, it will be a miracle.

Daryl glued the crack up using CA glue.

Once the handle was secure, he jointed it with his Stanley No.10. Nice looking plane, by the way.

With the handle back to true, it was ready to accept the blade again, this time holding it true which I believe is the purpose of this type of full length handle.

As this is a French made saw, we decided to file the new teeth in the traditional French manner. There isn't a set to these teeth, each one filed like a "Peg Tooth", with equal rake front and back. The teeth configuration is so the blade can butt up against a guide and not have to worry about damaging them in the process. Completely done by hand, as you can see, Daryl has a very good eye for this sort of thing.

Assembled, the saw is now ready to ship to me so I can finally take a gander at it.

It was quite a coincidence that the Lee Valley Newsletter that arrived around the same time as the saw had the following image displayed in its, "What Is It" column. In it, D.S. Orr, a well respected authority on vintage tools, states that he believes the saw is not a veneer saw at all, but instead, suggests that it is either a dedicated tenon saw used by furniture makers or a molding trimming saw or even a stair saw. He does not think it is a veneer saw at all.

Hey, far be it from me to differ with an authority in tools, but...

I do not think that you can go by what teeth a vintage saw has as teeth configuration change over time.

Mr. Orr suggests, because Lee Valley's example has the secondary plate on top of the blade, it was used to rest on the floor, the secondary plate keeping the teeth from dragging on the floor while it was used to trim baseboards. If this is its intentional use, why is that plate so far back from the teeth? 

Mr. Orr also suggests that the handle was created for a two-handed grip. Maybe, but I don't have to stretch my imagination too far to quickly come up with a more comfortable tote arrangement that would be a hell of a lot more comfortable while cutting a baseboard on my knees. And while we are on the discussion of cutting baseboards on your knees, I would certainly want a saw with more aggressive teeth while doing it.

The article also suggests that chair makers and furniture makers might have used this saw from trimming tenons and such on partially assembled pieces. My saw is 5" wide. I haven't built much furniture with hand tools, but the little I have resulted in using a much, much smaller and narrower saw when fine-tuning joints.

If you look at any example of a currently produced French veneer saw, while much shorter, coming in on average at about 5 inches, you will instantly see similarities in design. They still use the same style of handle, the handle still runs the full length of the saw, and the saw has the same teeth configuration as Daryl laid on mine. This configuration matches other examples of this same saw that I have seen in the past.

My final argument against Mr. Orr's suggested uses for this saw is simple - both Lee Valley's and mine, along with every other example of these long versions that I have seen, come with a hanger ring on one end. To me, this makes it a shop tool, something that is hung on the wall or in a large cabinet. If it was intended to cut baseboards, molding or stairs, that ring wouldn't exist because the saw would normally be stored in a chest, and chests are not high enough to hang a 20" saw from a hook.

For me, this is a veneer saw produced to cut very large sheets of veneer. Right or wrong, that is what it is configured for now and that is what its future use will be for as long as I own it.

Veneer, stair, molding or tenon saw, it is still one very cool looking saw.