Chris Schwarz's Blog

Andrew Lunn Exits the Sawmaking Business

Andrew Lunn, who made the finest backsaws I’ve ever used, has decided to stop making saws, though he is not hanging up his shop apron entirely.

Lunn made the announcement to his customers today and has offered to transfer all open orders to Ed Paik, an excellent custom sawmaker at Medallion Toolworks.

That’s the news. The rest that follows is going to be heavily flavored by my opinion. So if you are a grumpy individual who thought Andrew charged too much for his saws, I suggest that you turn to this heartwarming story about a crow that became a mother to a stray kitten and fed it worms. Maybe that will soothe you.

I own two of Lunn’s saws that he made before he became a full-time sawmaker. I paid full retail for them (his prices have gone up since then, I know). I bought them with my own money. I also had a tenon saw on order with him. I think Andrew’s saws are worth every penny he was asking for them. If you disagree and want to sell me one of your saws from Andrew, drop me a line.

In 2009 I wrote an article about Andrew Lunn and his one-man enterprise, Eccentric Toolworks, for the Fine Tool Journal. You can read my unedited manuscript of that article by clicking here.

Since I first met Andrew at the first Woodworking in America conference, we’ve become friends, so I can’t really write about him in a dispassionate way any more. In fact writing about him is difficult because any time his name comes up, there are a number of people who will take shots at the guy. This is a weird thing because Andrew is the opposite of a firebrand. He’s quiet, thoughtful, and reserved to the point of seeming shy.

I plan to interview Andrew this week and do a follow-up on why he’s leaving sawmaking and what he has planned next. I suspect we’ll see some tools or hardware or perhaps even a book (he started his career as a writer and editor).

I’ll also be writing about Ed Paik at Medallion. I have an interview with him in the can for a future article to sort through and think he’s a worthy successor if you are looking for a custom saw.

In any case, look back here later this week. Or, if you are a quart high on bile, watch this video instead.

— Christopher Schwarz

19 thoughts on “Andrew Lunn Exits the Sawmaking Business

  1. fussy

    Chris,

    I enjoy your rye humor. I’m sorry he’s leaving the business, sorrier still that NOW I really can’t afford one of his saws, Thumbs, you’re supposed to be watching the video.

    Steve

  2. Eric R

    Mike, lay off the caffeine dude.

    And Chris, nice going. Now that you’ve “Schwarz effected” Andrews saws, I won’t be able to find one anywhere !

    (His stuff is awesome, and I think he’ll come out with something else just as cool.)

  3. Jason

    Chris,

    It would absolutely (to borrow your word…) be a shame for you to curb your proclivity for injecting humor into an oftentimes dry subject. Your sense of the absurd is one of the qualities that makes this blog part of my daily reading, and your writing has always reminded me of a less-acerbic/crotchety David E. Petzal. And yes, that’s a good thing.

  4. 7-Thumbs

    I don’t know Andrew, his saws, the price he charges for them or the reason he decided to close shop. However, it does appear that you are a closed minded arrogant @#$. Why do you have to get into “So if you are a grumpy individual who thought Andrew charged too much for his saws, I suggest that you turn to this heartwarming story about a crow that became a mother to a stray kitten and fed it worms. Maybe that will soothe you.” What is wrong with someone having a different opinion than you or perspective on how much a tool, any tool, is worth to them? Maybe the next thing you’ll be up to is cancelling the subscriptions and online memberships of all those that disagree with you or don’t share your interests. Your comment is offense and way below what I thought you where like. Very disappointing.

    Mike

      1. DonP

        I promised myself that I would stop responding to blogs unless I hade a question or could provide an ASKED for solution. This will be the second time in two days I have broken it. I am sorry already.

        Chris:
        Pleas keep it up with the jokes. Yes there are some who don’t “understand” but they will as they grow to love you like we do. It’s the blog format they can not see the twinkle in your eye. I hade a friend from England who would stamp her foot first so everyone would know it was a joke.

        Mike:
        like chill dude. Save it for the real evil in this world.

        To think I could not get to sleep last night worrying I hade been horrible to Ajax yesterday.

        My grandmother always told me “A workman is worthy of his hire”. It’s a truth that cuts both ways.

        1. Fred West

          Chris, I could not agree with Don and the rest more. Please keep the humor flowing as it is the second best part of your reviews. :o

          As far as Andrew stopping I must admit that I feel great sorrow for our field as he is just so very good at making his saws. The good news is that Ed is a very worthy replacement and though his saws are a bit different they are still great saws in their own right. Fred

  5. Niels

    I’m really sorry to hear that Andrew is leaving the business. I have never met him, but his saws and story have been very inspirational to me as someone who is very interest in giving it a go at toolmaking. I can also sympathize very deeply with the problematic nature of trying to make what you love doing and how you support yourself the same thing. It’s something that I struggle with everyday and will continue to challenge me for the rest of my life. I think any person committed to any craft has had the same experience.

    I wish Andrew all the best in his future endeavors. I am sure that whatever he chooses to pursue, he will pursue it with the same diligence and passion which he approached toolmaking. I would like to thank him for his contributions to this craft we all regard so highly.

    Cheers,
    Niels

  6. watermantra

    I’m sorry to hear of Andrew leaving the business, as well. I certainly appreciate your frustration with woodworking misers, too, Chris. Of the fine tools I’ve purchased over the years, I have never, ever regretted the money spent. However, the same can’t be said for the cheap tools I’ve bought over the years. A tool that is cheap but never used is not a cheap tool at all.

    A friend of mine who is a likable woodworking miser (is there such a thing?) has slowly come over to my way of thinking about this. He’ll phone me up with a tale of woe over a bargain plane or rasp or chisel, I’ll bring over a good, “expensive” plane or rasp or chisel, and within two days he’s ordered the very same tool I loaned him. He sent me a message yesterday…”I give up. Whenever you get a new tool, get two and I’ll eventually buy the other one.” Yet somehow, Harbor Freight still calls to him. Some things are hard to give up, I suppose.

  7. djgaloot

    Andrew was a real contributor to the toolmaking community and will be missed. His saws are beautiful. Toolmaking for a living is tough and he brought a refreshing approach to valuing his work. There are always those who feel that prices are way out of line but there are others that appreciate the unique aspects of owning tools handcrafted or from a small manufacturer. I am looking forward to reading your interview.

  8. George West

    I would think the price of Lunn saws just went up again, rather steeply perhaps as they have just become collectibles.

    That heartwarming story is going to end poorly, cats like to eat birdies.

  9. Jim Shaver

    I am sorry to read that Andrew is leaving, but, I know Ed (we both live in Oakville Ont) and have some of his early saws. I have been using them for a few years and enjoy them, I even took them with me to Michigan a number of years ago when I took a sawing class with Chris. Do remember trying them out then Chris? They are really nice and Ed will be able to stand up to the standards Andrew set as well, two fine makers.

    Take care,
    Jim

  10. Fishy

    I am sorry to hear that Andrew is not making anymore saws but glad to hear that Ed is going to fulfill his outstanding orders in his usual excellent manner. Thank goodness he didnt pass them to Mike Wenzloff who for now nearly two years has been fobbing me off with all sorts of excuses as to why he hasnt delivered the saws which he was making using my own very rare plank 4ft x 6 inch x 2 inch English boxwood which I transported from here in England back in June 2009 and despite my many phone calls and email nothing for at least 8 months. Sorry to go on !!
    Good luck for the future to Andrew and continued success to Ed

  11. esincox

    You can’t knock a man for paying himself a proper wage for his time and labour. Well… I can’t, anyway. If you’ve ever had to put a fair price on something of quality you’ve made, then you know what I mean.

    I just lament the fact that I won’t ever have a chance to own an Andrew Lunn saw! (Unless, of course, you give me a call the next time you clean out your tool collection, Chris…)

    I look forward to hearing about Andrew’s new endeavors! Do keep us informed.

    (Oh, and awesome story about the crow and the cat. Loved the part that showed them playing together.)

    Ethan

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