Well, things have been so wet here lately that
I bagged the idea of mowing the lawn or trimming trees today (despite no
rain and sunny skies since sunrise, the lawn still glistens with raindrops
Instead, I spent the afternoon in the shop with some
18-20 saws that have been patiently awaiting my attention. I 'd already
sharpened a few of them some time ago, but the greater portion had been
lying inside a wooden toolbox, out of the light and untouched since I
acquired them at various times over the last few years. The guilt just
became overwhelming, and I couldn't shut out their whining little voices
anymore. Today was primarily a blade de-rusting, handle cleanup and
determine-what-was-needed-next type of effort.
Sharpening comes later. The group included 4-5
Atkins saws that I hadn't spent any time on to identify, and which provided
some pleasant surprises.
First up for your viewing pleasure is the
handle off a former Atkins mystery saw. First impression was that it
was in decent shape but needed some TLC. Cleaning the blade revealed
that the etch was worn off or a victim of light rust, or both, and the
shallow depth of the blade at first suggested this one had been resharpened
many times, although the apple handle was in pretty good shape for such an
indication of heavy use. The medallion was clearly an Atkins, however. Then
the stamped '9' came up on the heel, and I realized this one hadn't been
sharpened often at all.
Drag out "The Handsaw Catalog Collection", and
focus on the carving detail in the handle that I knew was a bit special
(looks tropical!). Quickly narrow it down to one model because of the
skewback blade - a 9 pt crosscut 24" ship carpenter saw. Might be a
little rare, as it was the most expensive model with this particular carved
This one should sharpen up nicely, although the
blade was a bit dark and took some extended elbow grease. The little
Atkins group proved to have a couple more oddities, at least with my limited
experience with Atkins saws:
one is a 22" No 70 panel saw, with an unusual second etch - "Unous"
in large script written above the bordered / boxed name of "HP Davidson
Co." I'm guessing this indicated a saw sold through a hardware
store, and while my four years of Latin back in near-prehistoric times
is rustier than the worst of these saws, I'm guessing "Unous" signified
some form of partnership with Davidson even though this spelling doesn't
fit the declensions I barely remember.
another 20" panel saw that has a partially salvaged etch reading "EC
Atkins & Co.", then below that is perhaps "Buckeye" above the model
number -- and the model number was of course perfectly targeted by a
small blotch of rust. Definitely 7x, with my best guess of the x digit
being a 3. But the available catalog shows only the model 71 straight
bladed saw being a match for the handle, yet this is a skewback blade as
offered as the 70 but with a different handle (matching the handle of
the No 70 described previously). Off to the right of the normal
etch is a secondary etch again, partially complete, showing the word "Phenix"
(interesting spelling). Any Atkins experts out there (Erv, are you
online?) that can confirm whether Atkins changed handle styles on their
71 over time, whether what certainly reads as "Buck+something 3-4
letters" could actually be "Bucking", or whether this is a model that
appears only earlier or later than the 1919 Atkins catalog?
Next up is a KeenKutter No 88 acquired from a fellow Galoot a few
years back. That one had been sharpened and usable, but I decided
to clean up the blade some more after first disassembling it, at which
point I noticed that three of the four sawscrews (not the medallion)
seemed to be on backwards. Disassembly proved me wrong, I think.
I don't believe this saw has ever been apart before, and the clearance
holes for the saw nuts are in the opposite side of the handle from what
is normal for nearly every other saw in good condition that I've ever
As I've only ever seen a few examples of KeenKutter saws and never
noticed this detail, and this is the only one I've taken apart, is this
'normal' for KeenKutter?