16 Inch Large Tenon Back Saw

Bad Axe Tool Works 16" Large Tenon Saw: The Jack Saw $275
(Delivery: 5-7 weeks)

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Type Filing
Desired Pitch
Sawback Preference
Handle Species
Hand Size (how to measure)
Preferred Fasteners
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Nicknames are assigned, not self-promoted, and Tom Fidgen calls this my 'Jack Saw.' This saw features a 4" deep x 16" long premium-grade Swedish spring steel sawplate, a firearms-grade, hot-blued carbon steel or optional stainless steel back, cherry or optional walnut handle, and standard brass slotted fasteners or an array of optional slotted and split nut fasteners in three alloys: brass, gunsmith-blued steel and stainless steel. Standard filing suitable for most purposes are 11 ppi rip and 12 ppi x-cut. Be sure to check out my bench hooks to accessorize this great tool if you'd like it filed in crosscut mode.

What's unique about this saw: Hands-down, the Jack Saw is my best seller. While my 18" saw (The Beast) with its thicker plate remains the top choice for a dedicated rip saw, you just can't go wrong with the Jack Saw for crosscuts if you are relatively new to hand tools, and are just now building your nest of saws. My advice to newcomers is to start out with this guy in 11 or 12 ppi filed x-cut or hybrid cut, and when you're ready to purchase a dedicated ripping saw, consider the Jack saw in 11 ppi rip or the 18" Beast in 10 ppi rip. The key thing is to tell me about your upcoming project, the most prevelant wood species you intend to use, and typical cut dimensions you think you'll encounter. That way, I can custom-file your saw to best suit your needs, given the way I employ my saw sharpening techniques. Customer-Supplied Wood - add $30

dropThe story behind our new shock-resistant handles. About once or twice a month, one of my customers will call in seeking a replacement handle after having accidentally swept their Bad Axe from benchtop to floor. We have now fielded shock-resistant handles in response to that scenario for those who use their tools hard, but don't want to compromise the natural beauty of a solid hardwood handle. Our new laminate handles fuse a top-quality 13-ply hardwood laminate with a genuine hardwood outer sheath. The 3/4" thick, 13-ply laminate is formed in perpendicular layers, resulting in a VERY tough and stable inner core with an attractive edge. We sheath the core with hardwood to enhance visual appeal. As for its durability? Frankly, a resin or plastic handle is tougher--but who wants a synthetic handle? Our laminate handle will dent slightly when dropped horns-first onto a concrete floor from a height of six feet, but that's about it. The horns sure as heck won't snap off, and the body won't check. Click onto my YouTube video on the left to see how this handle reacts to a 6' drop onto my workshop floor, and judge for yourself.

Hand Measurement
Sizing Handles: Here's my hand: it measures about 3 3/4" across. That's what I'm calling regular, and it will work with a range from 3 5/8" and start getting tight at 3 7/8." Bigger hands just under 4" up to 4 1/8" spans will require the size Large handle, and 4 1/4 to 4 3/8 will want an Extra Large. Going the opposite direction, if the span of your hand measures in the 3 ΒΌ up to 3 1/2" range, then we're looking at a size small handle.
(return to sizing menu)

Which filing is best for me?: Bad Axe offers three filings you can designate with your order: rip-cut, hybrid-cut and x-cut. What's hybrid-cut? You may have heard that my x-cut saws can rip, and that my rip saws can x-cut. I've decided to let you decide whether you want a dedicated rip or x-cut saw, which has mostly to do with the angle of rake and fleam I put on the tooth.

Many people just starting out in the world of hand tools (read--free-falling down the slippery slope of hand tools) prefer my hybrid-cut, which gives you the quality of a dedicated rip or x-cut saw, but enables you to switch modes on the fly. What's the cost? About a 10% loss in speed when ripping. For instance, with this 16" tenon saw, I'd recommend filing it 11 ppi dedicated rip, 12 ppi hybrid, or 12 ppi dedicated x-cut. Those of you who want a super-fine x-cut finish for more delicate furniture-quality work may elect the 13 ppi dedicated x-cut.

That said, I believe the 12 ppi hybrid hits that sweet spot in the middle that will give you a fantastic x-cut finish with about a 10% slowdown when in rip mode. Is this a problem? Absolutely not--no one's running a race (unless you're competing at the WIA Hand Tool Olympics). But the hybrid-cut is a great choice for those of you just starting out in hand tools, and want the most flexible saw for your buck before adding more Bad Axe weaponry to your arsenal.

For more info on sawfiling angles and how that coupled with plate gauge optimizes the kind of saw best suited for your woodworking method, be sure to read Albert Einstein's treatise on sawplate physics.

New for 2013 is the counterpoint to the black pearl nickel-plated finish we introduced in 2011--now we offer a bright-silver nickel-plated finish, available for the sawback--and it looks great on the darker-toned wood. Nickel-plating is particularly durable, on par with stainless steel in its ability to withstand the corrosive nature of humidity and coastal air on carbon steel. You'll find this finish on high-end firearms, and on other applications where form and substance converge. And on that note, it looks just great--the deep black pearl or bright silver lustre of this finish on carbon steel polished at 240 grit not only looks fabulous, but serves a completly practical role in scratch and corrosion resistance. With proper care, this saw will look just as good a century from now as it does today.

Right now, I'm running a 4 week backlog with orders, so the best way to lock your place in the queue is to select your options now and click through the PayPal process on the right to make a deposit. After paying the deposit, you will populate my queue, and I will advise you of the delivery date in my follow-up email. Hate making you wait, but this winds up being an easy, two-part transaction that won't drain your wallet up front while you're waiting for your saw.

And on a final note: if you change your mind about the options you select today when making your deposit, don't sweat it. I will shoot you an email the week before I'm ready to build your saw to solicit any changes you wish to make at that time, and there will be no penalty for changing those options around.

16 Inch Large Tenon Back Saw

All Bad Axe Tool Works Saws Feature the Following:

  • Custom filing available at same price per request
  • Highly-figured 19th-century patterned cherry handles
  • Flush-face slotted or split-nuts sawbolts/nuts in three alloys and four finishes with a 13/16" deep-dish decorative medallion
  • Firearms-quality hot-blued finish on traditionally-folded steel back
  • Optional bright-polished stainless steel back
  • Premium-grade Swedish Spring Steel, RC50-52
  • I personally guarantee that these saws are SHARP out of the box, with appropriate joint, set and rake. Every tooth does its duty. I fully guarantee this saw for one year after purchase.

Learn more about my material choices and rationale.

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