My name is Pierre Rousseau, and woodworking is my greatest passion. I founded Great Lakes Toolworks after retiring from a 27-year career as a combat engineer in the Canadian Armed Forces.
I am an avid user of fine hand tools and my training as a machinist combined with my knowledge and experience with wood enables me to produce these well constructed, shared and highly tuned saws. They are a joy to use.
Great Lakes Toolworks saws are fabricated in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada. They are crafted entirely by hand in a small, family operated workshop. Meticulously hand-filed and set for a fast yet smooth cutting operation, these saws are a must-have for the discriminating craftsman.
The spine is made of brass. The blade is made of 1095 spring steel. The hand shaped totes are typically made from locally grown Apple Wood however custom orders are available. Totes available in three sizes to fit every hand.
If you are right-handed, stand with your left foot forward and your feet shoulder-width apart; keep your knees slightly bent. Your body should be at a slight angle (20º) in relation to the bench so that the saw, your right hand, forearm and shoulder are in line.
STARTING THE KERF
Because rip teeth are usually filed at a 90º angle to the plate, if the toe is too heavy, it is difficult to start the cut. The Great Lakes Toolworks saw has a light toe, which moves the centre of gravity towards the tote. This results in a well-balanced tool. Start by adopting a comfortable stance, lightly grasping the tote. Apply very little downward pressure while cutting.
It is best to start the cut using the toe of the saw as it is the lightest part of the tool. Start by taking 3 or 4 short, rapid strokes followed by long strokes using the full length of the blade. When you are getting close to the baseline, revert to taking shorter strokes ensuring you don’t cut past baseline. The blade is canted, which helps prevent cutting past the baseline on the far side.
The teeth on your Great Lakes Toolworks saw will stay sharp for a long time; nonetheless, at some point, you will have to resharpen it. When you feel that you are taking more strokes than usual to cut to a given depth, it is probably time to sharpen your saw. A light sharpening - one or two light strokes with a 4” double extra slim 3 square file to each tooth - should suffice.
In order to keep rust at bay, it is a good idea to keep the saw-wrapped in the rust inhibiting paper that it comes in, and/or apply a light film of machine oil to the blade and back periodically. A little bees wax on the tote will keep it clean.
At Great Lakes Toolworks we want you to have the perfect saw for you. We have three different tote sizes and a variety of woods to choose from!
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We love our customers, so feel free to give us a call or send us a message. Tell us about all the things you have created using our handmade saws and handmade tools for the discriminating craftsman.
122 449 Grey Rd 5, Owen Sound, ON N4K 5N5