Full Chisel Blog

March 15, 2009

New Tools

Filed under: Historical Material,Of Interest,Proper Tools,Sawing,Uncategorized — Stephen Shepherd @ 4:17 pm

I just picked up this Meat Saw at the Swap Meet.  I am not sure why, but I have always wanted to own one and now I do.  It is one of those saws on my list, now for a good tooth pattern ice saw and that list will get shorter.  The small boy attending the space where I bought this said it was $5.00, I said $4.00, he looked around for an adult then nodded yes.  I felt ashamed for an appropriate amount of time, then picked up a small rusty float for 25 cents.  It was a good day.

Meat Saw

The back is bent, it was originally straight, the wing-nut has been replaced, the blade has alternately set teeth and sharpened crosscut.  There is also residue of flesh and bone near the blade at the tensioning nut.  The eye for the tension bolt is forge welded.  The end slot appears hand cut as it is just slightly off center.


I presume the 2 stands for 2 feet as it is that long.  Beech handle and saw bolts and caps.  Warranted Cast Steel, made in Philada USA by Henry Disston & Sons.  I hope some Disston collector must have it and I want more than I paid.

This last week I was in need of a small semi-diameter (Moxon influence) scraper to remove any risings left by the gouge.  This is for the fine hollow thread grooves in tatting shuttles.  I then shaped up a set as I still had some saw blade left over from the tenon saw project.  I cut them up with metal snips and shaped them on the grind stone.  I then whet the sides and draw-filed the radius’.  I then turned burrs on the convex edges.

Tombstone Scrapers & Wallet

I made a wallet of of hair cell pigskin, sewn with waxed linen thread.  The flap is to protect the burrs turned on the convex edge, on both sides.  I still need to make a secure strap or button to hold it closed.  It will keep the small scrapers in one place and protect their cutting edges.

I am sure these will get used and they were easy to make.



  1. I saw the title and was left rubbing my eyes for a few minutes. I couldn’t believe it. No, it couldn’t be… Bevel up or bevel down….

    Now, I see. It’s just new to you.

    Have a good day!

    Comment by Luke Townsley — March 15, 2009 @ 7:28 pm

  2. Hi Stephen,

    I like the wallet idea. Use scrapers quite often myself, though turned just on one side. Easy to make in many different sizes and shapes. Also easy to slip a nice little slice into your fingertip! The wallet is a good idea for transporting, which I need to do from time to time.

    Here’s one of my scrapers in this photo —




    Comment by Ken Pollard — March 15, 2009 @ 8:57 pm

  3. Luke,

    Sorry I used that slug, didn’t mean to upset you, yes new tools to me.


    Why don’t you turn two burrs on the end of your scrapers, is it a luthier thing? Because the scrapers are so small I am sure I would loose them if they weren’t in a wallet.


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — March 16, 2009 @ 8:48 am

  4. Don’t know if it’s a luthier thing or not. But, we make them with a 45-degree bevel, not a square edge, sharpened to a very sharp edge.. Then very lightly turnover with a burnisher. For varnish scraping, touch-up — no burnishing, just the sharp edge.

    My old furniture scraper, a French curve shape, has a square edge, which is nice for cleaning off old hide glue and such.


    Comment by Ken Pollard — March 16, 2009 @ 3:47 pm

  5. Ken,

    Cabinet scrapers, those mounted in winged holders with blade flexing abilities, are ground with a 45 bevel and a burr turned on one edge only. The cabinet scrapers holds the blade at about 5 degrees and the blade can be flexed in the body of the cabinet scraper.

    Moxon mentions using a broken knife blade for a scraper, (no mention of a burr) I guess old saws weren’t readily available in the 17th century.


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — March 16, 2009 @ 5:24 pm

  6. The old legends have violin makers picking up broken sword blades for scrapers. They seem to stiff, thick, etc, but the knife edge idea is there.

    Don’t know if I told you of this one before or not, and there’s an even chance you’ve forgotten if I did! 🙂 One of the good things about getting older. You can rent the same movie twice, and enjoy it both times. Anyway, this fellow down in your neck of the woods has a page of photos from the Stradivari museum. Yes we did talk about it, but regarding thumb planes. So, he has a photo on the scrapers as well.



    Comment by Ken Pollard — March 17, 2009 @ 7:06 am

  7. Ken,

    Well those scrapers look like knife blades or broken sword tips to me. You can also hide your own Easter eggs.


    Comment by Stephen Shepherd — March 17, 2009 @ 7:50 am

  8. […] reeds.  I used carving gouges to shape the fluted transition to the round handle.  I also used my tombstone scrapers for the final […]

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