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 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 replies on “Where’s Waller?”

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.

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.


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:

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): 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.

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!


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