Hand Tools Archive

Subject:
saw grinding...

David Weaver
it would seem that nobody else would've been able to quickly thickness saw blades, and this solves a mystery of how that could've been done. It would've been pretty miserable, far less healthful and more dangerous with a 6 foot silica wheel.

When I brought up the style of the round over that seems to always be present on i.sorby and ward chisels (but doesn't appear neatly on any marples), the folks on the UK forum reminded me that up to a point, all hand ground chisels would've been glazed on a leather wheel with loose grit (I thought the marks on the I. sorby chisels showed something other than a hard silicon carbide wheel - they do - but I didn't account for the fact that no matter what the base wheel was, until the budget for work was really tight, all of the chisels would've been glazed after grinding).

I still think the round over is factory, but there's never going to be definitive information about it. The arrangements in this video make me wonder if sorby and others (ward) did their grinding and glazing, or if it would've been jobbed out.

The names of the workers in the videos make it easy to search for them - it's clear that the penknife maker worked very late into life (and may still be working as the last reference to him said basically that even after most things on that sheffield island went fallow, he had gone upmarket and was making knives two days a week).

Some of those videos are from the 60s, some are from 1993. It's clear in 1993 that a lot of the workers are doing several roles compared to what was done earlier (the cutler at a now-closed knife company pretty much makes and finishes the entire knife after receiving the roughed blanks from the grinder. No separate handle makers, etc - he moves from area to area working).

I doubt that tooltique (where one of those I. sorby chisels was shown) has the means or skill to use high speed glazing tools shown in the videos - my 7 year old son was asking how the guy never grinds the tips of his fingers off. The 24 inch wheels that rafael linked to say they're good to a little more than 1350 rpm - at 60 grit, they would remove fingerprints.

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