My on-line diary began in the 1990's from my studio in the North of England. After a lapse of ten years, I resumed posting from my present studio on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

From the far beginning, the intention has been to give an insight into my working methods, and to share the triumphs, trials and tribulations of work-in-progress.

My diary pages are followed by thousands of artists, art students and art lovers in over 50 countries.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The saws in my life…

Here’s the collection of panel saws, hand saws, rip saws and tenon saws that have served me well for over half a century.  They have built boats, made furniture and restored buildings.

Two of them (5 & 6 counting from left to right) date back to the 1930’s and were handed down to me a few years ago. 

The second saw from the left was one that I bought out my pocket money while still at school.  It is still in daily use.  

Number 4 and the tenon saw on the far right been around almost as long.  They have weathered two Atlantic crossings, made repairs after numerous storms at sea and three hurricanes on land. 

Saws 3 and 7 date from the 1970’s and were bought to ease the work load of some of the older members of my crew - although the old timers are still going strong.

Most recent, is the tenon saw on the left that I ordered from Spear & Jackson just before leaving England.  It was reputed to be the finest in their range.  But when it arrived, my heart sank.  Its clumsy handle was that of a log saw rather than that of a saw intended for the most delicate and precise work.  When I questioned this, the makers told me that EU regulations stipulate that the users of all saws must wear work gloves!  The handle you see in the picture is one that I made – to fit the bare palm of my hand.

Most saws made today are throwaway things.  So as you might guess, I’m keeping a tight hold my mine…we still have a lot to work to do.


  1. I am sure, by rights, I should have inherited some of them. The problem is, I am not sure what you do with them!

  2. Alan - You build boats, make furniture and restore buildings :)