In Tricks of the Trade

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Whenever I work on a project, I end up with my handsaws scattered about the shop. I thought about storing them under my bench, but my bad back keeps me from being able to easily bend down, so it was sometimes difficult to tell which saw I was grabbing. Putting the saw back into my tool chest after each use was time-consuming because my chest is not near my bench.

I thought it would be good to have the saws within reach, if I could design something to hold them that didn’t take up too much space – and the idea of a portable saw till just came to me (we woodworkers mustn’t think too much; we should just do).

Only six or seven of my saws see regular use, so I took the length of the longest (a 26″ ripsaw) and based the design around it. I cut several long slots into a makeshift top, and arranged the slots so the saws don’t touch while stored. The long slots allow flexibility in where I place my saws.

I added a Shaker-style trestle base for stability (I’m often inspired by Shaker work) and fit a stretcher, with through mortise-and-tenon joinery, between the legs. A set of casters made the till movable.

It is a very simple piece to make (it took me only three hours) and is stable, sturdy and easy to move (I can move mine with just one finger).

With my saw till nearby (and easily moved out of my way as needed), I never have to search the shop for my handsaws because they are always organized and convenient. -Jan Ham, Nijkerk, Netherlands


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