Are there any woods that you guys prefer for handsaw handles? I got a great big
two-man crosscut (logging) saw, and I need to replace the rear handle.
Appearence isn't important. Oak seems cheap and hard.
That'd be striking and prying tools where long grain gives resilience.
For crosscut handles you just want something that wears evenly and won't
splinter. Makes short grain stuff like maple and beech about ideal. Up our
neck of the woods yellow birch or hop-hornbeam seem to be the choices for
I think beech was used more often than those three.
Because a saw tote in use will put a bending moment accross the short
grain it is traditional to use a wood that has an interlocking grain
or at least resists splitting fairly well.
Applewood, which I have read was actually hawthorne (crabapple) was
preferred early in the 19th century. Hawthorne doesn't get very
big, so I suspect the switch to beech was motivated by an inadequate
supply. I think real applewood is fine too, however.
The Independence Tool Company used curly maple. Rosewood has
also been used on high-end saws--don't drop one on a cement floor!
OH! I just remembered, you are talking about a two-man crosscut
saw, right? SO the handle will be be staight piece without any
serious short grain problems.
Thanks to everyone for suggestions. I'll see what looks good locally.
For Fred: This is a two-man saw, but it's the kind with a little helper handle
on the end. Same general design as your average hand saw.
I'm sure beech is real fine wood, but that's not found in
our area(SE N.C.) Most tool companies in our area have used
ash for many years as the preferred handle.
I think this whole thing is strickly regional. They used what
Fred the Red Shirt wrote:
Oak splits too easily. Ash and hickory were the preferred although
they did use willow in the old scythes. I had some elm onetime that
had dried and I couldn't split it. it was the only thing I couldn't
On 14 Oct 2003 04:47:17 GMT, email@example.com (GTO69RA4) wrote:
On Tue, 14 Oct 2003 10:48:08 -0500, Lawrence A. Ramsey
Elm is the nearest thing to tropical interlocked grain that you get in
a temperate tree. As a large beam, oak is stronger. But for small
areas, nothing touches elm. It was used for Windsor chair bases
because other timbers would split out on the short grain areas around
the leg mortices.
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