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Jan 14

Where’s Waller?

Waller Saw 3
Waller Saw 2
Waller Saw 1

This saw turned up in a recent pile I bought. It’s a mitre saw by ‘Waller’ but I’ve so far been unable to find out much about the company. There’s a conversation on Backsaw.net about ‘Waller & Co’, but straight Waller saws remain an enigma. Was the company Waller in it’s early life, before becoming ‘& Co’ later? It’s a lovely saw anyway.

As a sidenote, I have around 10-15 saws I really would like to get sharpened up. Does anyone know a good service I can use from London, or perhaps even someone still hand-sharpening in the area? I plan to learn myself, but have no workshop as yet to work in.
A couple of the saws need a slight straighten, most are brass-backed tenon saws and one needs taking down an 1/8 and re-toothing.

4 comments

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  1. Kees

    Hello Gary

    Your saw doesn’t look like a mitre saw at all. In fact it looks a lot like a big tenon saw from the early 19th century, and it looks a lot like the kenyon saw in the Seaton Chest book, which is 19″ long. Mitre boxes came much later. it really is a very beautifull saw.

  2. Gary Cook

    Hi Kees

    Thanks so much for this. I knew nothing of the kenyon saws from the Seaton Chest. I do remember Roy Underhill showing off a super-long tenon he had had made by Wenzloff & Sons, but I thought that was just a mad idea he’d dreamed up!
    I’m now looking at lots of pics that are very much like this saw. Very interesting indeed.

    regards
    Gary

  3. Richard

    Hi Gary,
    There used to be a saw sharpening business at the Hackney Downs end of Rendlesham Road E5, but I suspect it may no longer be there. These people used to be, and it seems still are, known as “saw doctors”.

    This post looks pretty helpful:
    http://www.ukworkshop.co.uk/forums/can-anyone-recommend-a-saw-sharpening-service-in-london-t66797.html

    I also found this on the web, which may be of some use (although I suspect most members may only be interested in circular saw blades): http://www.sdauk.co.uk/member-directory.html And, unfortunately there’s no-one listed in London. I guess there’s not much business now, what with throwaway hardpoint saws and saw blades.

    PS. I saw your recent comments on Paul Sellars blog about old hand planes – I’m curious to know whether you have a preferred method for removing rust from tools.

  4. Gary

    Thanks Richard. Some good links on that Uk Workshop page, I’ll give some of them a call.

    Light surface rust usually comes off with one of the finer grades of wet and dry paper. I usually add some oil, which seems to help for some reason, it also leaves a nicer finish. on japanned parts which are grubby or rusty, I usually use oil with a very fine steel wool. I’ve removed worse rust with the Hammerite rust remover. It seems like nothing is happening when you use it, but after a few applications it usually kicks in. It’s very mild and won’t affect anything else but the rust. You can then follow-up with fine wet and dry as before.

    Some people use citric acid. I’ve never tried this, but from what I hear you can damage the patina and finish, turing bright metal very dull. Others have tried electrolysis, bathing the metal in a bath of liquid (not sure what’s in it), with an electrical charge running through it.

    I wouldn’t use either of the latter on decent tools, certainly not on any rare tools!

    best
    Gary

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