The American Kid
Bad Axe Tool Works 'American Kid' Back Saw: $175
(Delivery: 6-8 weeks)
Tired of hovering over your kids when they're in the shop out of fear that they'll drop one of your high-end saws and break the handle?
Join the club. If your kids are anything like mine (7-year old girl & 9-year old boy), and if you're anything like me (helicopter Dad, sure, I'll admit it), it's really hard to just let them be after you've gifted them a saw for Christmas and shown them how to use it, right? After all--a child won't adopt your interest in woodworking or even hang out in the shop with you if you're constantly telling them: "Watch where you put that saw!" afraid that they'll knock it off the bench or step on it. After all--children act just like little kids, don't they?
So give them a tougher saw. Something that won't break if it's dropped onto the floor, and with a slightly more durable plate with a filing that makes it easy to work with smaller physiques and hands.
Give them an American Kid.
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XX-Small, X-Small, Small and Regular sized handles available for your child's hand.
I will replace the handle with the next larger size as your child grows older, for a nominal fee of $25 (includes resharpening and adjustments as necessary).
Open or closed Wheeler Madden Clemson pattern standard shock-resistant Bad Axe CherryShock handles.
.02-gauge plate filed 14 ppi hybrid-cut for maximum flexibility in cutting, with relaxed rake at the toe end of the toothline for ease in starting.
Available in 8-inch, 10-inch, and 12-inch toothlines.
Other alloys/finishes and wood species available per customer-selected option.
The 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.
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 1/2 will want an Extra Large. Going the opposite direction, if the span of your hand measures in the 3 ¼ up to 3 1/2" range, then we're looking at a size small handle. Smaller hands from 2 7/8 up to 3 1/8 should warrant an XS handle. (return to sizing menu)
Henry Disston established a historical precedent for this kind of saw. Problem was, old Henry didn't have any daughters. See the ad on the left from 1923? The Disston family marketed childen's saws too, only these were called 'American Boy' saws. You can still find them on eBay. I bought one myself a few years ago for my son's 6th birthday. I knew then and there I was going to follow Henry's example. Particularly since my daughter seemed to demonstrate more interest in the shop than her brother. So initially, I was going to field a child's saw with genderized etches: 'American Boy' and 'American Girl.' But then I realized that between Tom Petty and the American Girl doll series, I might have a legal problem on my hands, so decided to opt for the gender-neutral 'American Kid.'
So--here's the answer to those of you with kids who tend to act like Curious George in the workshop. Channel that energy and fan their burgeoning interest in woodworking by giving them a real tool that fits, will withstand a little abuse, and works for smaller physiques; a tool they'll cherish, and will want to pass on down to their children someday.
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The American Kid from Bad Axe: It's a great alternative to X-Box.
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 black nickel carbon steel, brass, copper and bronze backs
- 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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