Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 5, Issue 1
   September 2010
   Featured Patents

Richardson Saw

  2009 Woodworking Tools Catalog
Technically not a collage, but nonetheless an interesting assembly of tools with a theme, the 2009 Woodworking Tools Catalog cover (shown at right) elicited many responses from customers and tool aficionados as to the authenticity and practicality of some of the saws shown. The tool described today, along with another that we will talk about in a future newsletter, has been the source of numerous requests for more information.

On April 14, 1885, Christopher Richardson of Newark, New Jersey, was granted patent #315,663, in which he sought to change the plate construction of the common handsaw. The inclusion of a three-sided opening from the handle to the middle of the blade was the basis of the patent claim. However, the improvements he couldn't patent were the resulting reduced friction and the requirement of less set in the saw-plate teeth. He also claimed that although material had been removed from the plate, there was no appreciable loss in its strength; thus, there was no increased kinking or binding during use. Richardson described the improvement in manufacture, claiming the removal of the blade metal (the triangular cutout) allowed for faster tempering (between two metal plates) and subsequent hammering done to correct any deficiencies. It should be noted that the patent description and drawing illustrate a slot cut in the saw plate running from the triangle cutout to the rear edge of the blade; this would be hidden by the handle. The saw shown here does not have this particular feature. It's unknown if such a saw was ever manufactured, as no original model was provided to the patent office.

Richardson Saw
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