Friday, May 6, 2016

New Scrapers and Fixed Pax Rip Saw Handle

Another item on my "to-do" list was to make some new scrapers from the blade of a horribly crappy Craftsman dovetail saw that I had gotten some years ago.  I had taken the saw apart a few months ago and it has been sitting in a drawer since then.
Dovetail saw parts
I filed off the teeth with the saw tooth jointing jig, holding the blade in the vise.
Filing off the teeth
After measuring about halfway along the length and marking a line, I sandwiched the blade between two pieces of scrap wood and used a hacksaw to cut it in two.

Sawing the blade in two
After that I cleaned up the edges with files and sharpened as I would any scraper.  I didn't have high hopes about this steel and how good of a scraper it would make, but I got a decent edge and some nice shavings.
Using the new scraper
Time will tell whether these scrapers hold up.  Maybe I'll shape them further and used them for curved work.

Last Friday I wrote about the loose handle of my Pax 26" rip saw.  "Loose" is a bit unclear - it took some force to move it, but it would move in use, which was quite annoying.  Here's the problem: the holes in the plate are 5/16" diameter, the holes in the handle are just under that at 19/64" and the saw bolts thread major diameter is 3/16".  So there is almost 1/16" play between the bolts and the holes in all directions.
Wanted to shim the bolts to fit the holes better
I ended up getting some nylon spacers from McMaster-Carr that were 5/16" OD, 3/16" ID and 1 3/16" long.  Each piece could make two shims.
Nylon spacer
I knew when I got these that they would fit the saw plate holes and that the bolts would fit in the ID (and they did), but I also knew they would not quite fit the handle holes.  So I had to modify the OD slightly and I did this using the scrapers I had just made.  I have a fixture with a V-groove that I use when planing square stock into round stock and that worked well to hold the spacer while scraping.
Scraping the spacer to reduce the outer diameter
Once the diameter was reduced enough, I fit the spacers into the handle holes.
Four of five spacers fit into the holes
Realistically, two or three well-placed shims would have been enough, but I decided to go for all five.  Knowing that today's saws are produced with CNC mills, I was sure the handle holes and plate holes would line up perfectly.  If not, it might have been more challenging to put the saw back together with all five holes shimmed.
Putting it back together
All that was left was to screw the handle back on.  One thing I know for sure, now - that handle is not going to move at all ever again!


  1. I have an old saw plate or two that are slated to become scrapers too. Nice work.
    Very good solution on the saw handle fix. I'll bet it is solid as a rock and will stay that way.

    1. Thanks Greg. You got that right about the saw - no way that thing is moving again. A few generations from now someone will have reason to take it apart and get a laugh when they see the fix.

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  2. Hi Matt,
    I was thinking about were to got some scraper material for a scratch stock. Now I know. A similar saw is in one of my spare boxes which I've packed during the workshop make over.
    Good solution.

    1. Hi Stefan. I've looked into scratch stocks and didn't know if the thickness of steel is the same as that of scrapers or if it should be thicker. I'd really like to make a scratch stock or two some day soon.

      Sorry for the delay - just back from vacation.

  3. Great work! I love the way you have present this so beautifully! keep writing..Marvellous post by the author..
    Using best scrapers

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