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The holidays are always a busy time for me. I especially love spending time in my shop when the house is bustling with friends and family. I rarely get to work on projects just for me, but these year I got to make myself a little Christmas present one afternoon.

I made this little compass/keyhole saw out of .042″ scrap from a long saw. I used a leftover DT saw handle blank and a few knife rivets from LV. Little saws like this one are incredibly handy. I had a very old one with a handle that broke almost every time I used it. Its blade was so soft, it bent during use.

I rushed through this job. And when it was done, I sat back to admire my work. But I could see that the bead just behind the bean shaped front part wasn’t nice. I was trying to force the shape I wanted into the stock I had and in retrospect, that was a big mistake. I copied the saw in “Smith’s Key”.

I’m a reluctant tool maker. If I could simply buy everything I wanted, I’d be happy to do that. But I can’t so I make my own tools from time to time. This also allows me to test out different designs.

In tool making, I find everything I love about furniture making. Tool making offers the challenge of representing the sensibilities of the period, the artistic analysis of the curves and shapes, proportions and surface finishes. Like good furniture, tools must also “feel” good, and function practically.

I hope you get a little time just for you in your shop this holiday season. Best wishes for the New Year!


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Showing 7 comments
  • Woodworking Machinery

    Impressive Design Adam! I must agree with innovative design you created! it encourages new wood working technicians to get idea from this creativity

  • Adam Cherubini

    Matt, thanks I miss being there. Hope I get another crack at writing a regular column. It’s hard work to be sure, but it’s also a lot of fun.

    Woodworker, the saw to look at is the one I was copying found in Smith’s Key. Someone may be able to scan that page for you if you don’t have a copy.

    I like little saws like this one. I made a backless cross cut saw for the shop in Pennsbury based on the one shown in Moxon. We call it the "bread knife" It’s really very effective and easy to use.

  • woodworker

    I like the elongated style. I think I may try it. I have been doing a lot of saw handles lately. I really like this one. Anyone that has not made one to fit their hand needs to try it

  • Matt Cianci

    Thanks Adam. I’m very impressed with your work…and I miss you in the pages of PWW…and chance of a return?

  • Adam Cherubini

    Hi Matt,

    No saws for sale at the moment. May return to saw making in the future. But whatever I make will be fairly narrowly focused. What I don’t want to do is compete with other sawmakers.

  • Matt Cianci

    A beautiful saw Adam!

    Are you still making hand saws for sale?

  • Jonas H. Jensen

    That is a good looking saw. A project just for you is like Saturday night candy, apart from the fact that it doesn’t necessarily come once a week.
    Best wishes for the new year from Denmark


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