Fitting saw handle to blade

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    I am replacing the handle on this saw.

    In the pic, the blade is lined up with the screw holes.

    I’ve read that I can use the saw’s blade to cut the kerf/recess in the new handle.

    The rear of the blade, where the handle attaches, is convex. How do I make room for the convex part in the handle after I’ve cut the kerf?

    Henry van den Top

    I would probably just draw a straight line connecting the two semicircles (if that makes sense). Then saw to that line to make the kerf for the blade.
    TGIAG Toolworks has handle templates to reference from(
    This template for a Disston D7 panel saw shows a dotted line to cut to: . The dotted line shows the end of the blade.

    People that know more about saws than me may have a better solution, but this is probably the most straightforward.

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    If you consider it, a saw’s set on its teeth is intended to provide clearance for its plate. Therefore using the saw blade itself to cut its own slot will result in a loose fit; not what you want at all.
    There’s no short cut to this:
    Either measure the plate thickness with a micrometer and select another saw where its set equals the original saw plate – tight fit.. or hammer the teeth flat, sharpen the original saw then cut the slot before you add the new set..

    There’s nothing that you can do about the curves on the plate – you just need to ensure that the new holes align exactly or drill new ones through the handle, plate and all. But, if that plate is worth anything, it will be very hard to drill.

    Good luck

    Larry Geib


    Good saw plates aren’t all that hard to drill with high speed steel bits. The saw plate is tempered so you can file it. If you can file it, you can drill it.

    I haven’t come across even the top line Disston, (D12, D16, D-23) that I had any problem with. Dimple the plate with a set, them lubricate.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by Larry Geib.
    Dave Ring

    True, it can be done. I’ve only done this once, fitting an old Warranted Superior handle to a modern English plate. It was slow going and I ruined 3 or 4 bits.



    I think we got it resolved. We measured and sawed the kerf a bit deeper than original, just about 3/16″ shy of breaking out of the front of the handle part. This means the kerf shows a bit farther than the end of the blade, but the fit seems tight. My son and I will probably work on shaping and finishing the handle this weekend.


    Just showing the finished product. My son and I worked on it together.

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