Ok so we’ve established I look at a good deal of saws and I must enjoy working on them. Mix that with my love for details, interest in history, and tools of all kind and you begin to see my neuroses.
Check out the chisel marks left when cutting the inlet for the back on this Spears & Jackson back saw. I’ve been working on dating it but it’s safe to say it was made in Sheffield England around 1850.
Let’s think about that. These delicate flakes of English beach were made about 162 years ago. True English beach these days is all but gone. Considering the tight and straight grain and the price of a saw like this when made new. The wood used would be both, quality and well seasoned. It could easily have come from a tree 300 years old, and sprouted from the earth around 1550. That puts the wood at 462 years old!
Are we stoked yet?
That’s over 300 years before electricity was common place and the common working conditions would included daily contact with diseases like Smallpox, Cholera, Typhoid, and TB to name a few.
Whooph! that’s a lot of math and hopefully illustrates some of the fun history that goes along with these crazy old saws not to mention owners marks and other mysteries you find on handles, backs, and plates. It’s a treasure trove for a procrastinator like myself.
Not to leave commerce out of this post; after all this little beauty will be for sale once restored. To get a price I asked a friend and fellow saw lover, Andy aka Brit from the LumberJocks board for a guestimate on price. He loosely figured the price to about half a joiner / cabinet makers weekly wage or 3 shillings. . . .quite an investment by today’s standards.
Ok, back to work.
Bubble gun historian