What is It?

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In some cases, the tool is associated with a discontinued work method because a newer, faster (not necessarily cheaper) way of doing something has evolved. Sometimes you find such an object because the previous owner had an inquisitive nature and just had to keep it to find an answer at some point. The owner might even have used it to dazzle and puzzle one’s friends at the inevitable table discussion. The final reason is that there was simply no longer a need for the object so it got stuffed in a corner of a chest or box. I suspect that some of these items have been passed on for many generations without resolution as to their uses.

What is It?

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As artifacts show, handsaws or any toothed cutters have had the same style of construction (tooth profile) as early Roman tools, and today’s modern handsaws continue that tradition. Until the emergence of the power saw, using the handsaw to work wood was preferred on the job site. Eventually teeth got dull or broken and required sharpening. One either did this oneself or brought the saw to a specialty shop. Sadly, many of those small shops have disappeared. With the resurgence of the use of hand tools, one is either left with the option of learning the craft of sharpening or sending the tool to the specialist, if one can be found.

What is It?

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This tool is a saw set, of which there are five major types. This one falls into the hammer-type category. One uses a hammer and a punch-shaped tool on an adjustable, enclosed anvil to set the teeth. As with all Preston tools, it has an elegant design. Not only is the tool’s appearance most pleasing, it also has a high “gizmocity” factor. Meant to be placed on a flat surface with the arms unfolded, there is support for up to a 12” blade. The striker punch is guided by a robust housing, and there are adjustments for setting the size and set of the teeth. The manufacturer, Edward Preston & Sons (1825 – 1930), always took the extra step with its tools and designs by including distinctive embellishments that enhance the item’s attractiveness. The company’s patented designs live on and in some cases are still manufactured and copied by other companies today. This tool was cast steel; however, it was colored bronze to elevate its appearance and make it stand out on the bench or in the toolbox.

D. S. Orr

D.S. Orr has been a collector, user and student of woodworking and metalworking tools and practices for more than 40 years.


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