Some tools mean more to me than others. I do like real brass, folded backs on tenon saws and dovetail saws over steel and none-folded brass backs, composite handles and backs and so on. They pinch the steel plate, you see, and allow 95% resolution to the out-of-straightness issues in a bent and buckled plate. Other plates in milled and punched backs cannot be straightened, but then again, of course, they may never buckle. Buckling is usually caused by pinched-back saws. So, my conclusion is that I like folded backs because they have weight, solidity and substance. Unlike planes, saws with backs benefit from weight and stiffness. These two saws are highly refined and rested designs perfected individually by master tool designers and makers 250 years earlier. They evolved if you will in and through the only pinnacle period of fine woodworking when the very finest tools were made. That doesn’t mean these saws were the best saws ever made. They weren’t. Better saws were made a hundred years before these came into being. But they are nice saws. – working class!
This is a chisel I bought and almost discarded. It cost me 30 pence and the handle was split. It’s boxwood, the most premium of all chisel woods bar none, I think. The ferrule is brass and the chisel forged steel. These ingredients make perfect chisels. I have been testing chisels from four countries and three continents. Those at the highest end have had flaws I cannot work with. They defy remedial work because either the designs are flawed or the materials are flawed. Buying this low-cost chisel proved a good buy, but why is that so. Well, it didn’t look good at first. The back, the large flat face, had pitting in it, which can be difficult to get through. Over the years the ferrule loosened. I waited and when the wood was thoroughly dried down in my shop, removed the ferrule, which slipped from the wood nicely. I used West systems epoxy inside the ferrule to bridge the gap twixt brass and wood. Rock-solidity resulted. The thinness of the steel makes the chisel a remarkable work piece to work with. I never used a 1 1/4, bevel-edged chisel so finely made. Never would I have realized that I would reach for this chisel when I bought it but I wouldn’t trade it for any other. Not one of them could come close, I don’t think.