Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 4, Issue 5
   May 2010
   From the Collection

Docking Saw
Docking saw

The emergence of the electric handsaw in the 1920s reduced the labour in building construction, where previously the cutting of all wood members was done by hand. It has been estimated that this particular technology change reduced the time to build a family residence by two to three working days and ensured more consistent results.

Had Frederick Taylor (author of The Principles of Scientific Management) examined this use of the handsaw in industry, major changes might well have been made much sooner.

  Maker's etch
  Maker's etch on blade.
Offered by Henry Disston & Sons, Inc., the #196 one-man docking handsaw was described as having a tapered crucible steel blade, ground with the thickness running from 18 gauge (.0478") to 21 gauge (.0329"). It was tenon toothed (bevel) at 4 tpi with a malleable iron handle, held by two rivets. This saw was offered by Disston in 24" or 30" lengths. It was described as a saw for light work, most specifically for docking (trimming) the ends of boards prior to piling.

  Close-up of the teeth
  Close-up of the teeth.
Other saw manufacturers, such as Atkins, Simonds and Shurley Dietrich, produced a similar product and had different interpretations as to intended usage. Company catalogs described the saws as useful in shipyards, car shops, lumberyards, farms and mines, and for general contractor work.
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