Saturday, June 4, 2011

Razor Saw Holder

For years, the only razor saws available to me were the ones made by X-Acto. They were OK to use, along with their aluminum miter box, but I always felt they were flimsy. It seemed like the front or back 2 or 3 teeth were always getting bent. I could never keep a saw blade that was straight from front to back. And what was the deal with the angled tang that went into the handle? They deliberately engineered a weak point in their tool. I couldn't tell you the number of times I'd be sawing furiously, only to have the bent front teeth 'grab' the styrene causing me to bend the handle up. It got so bad I usually didn't use the handle, just holding the spine when I cut.

One day I was in a really well-stocked hobby shop (Colonial Photo and Hobby in Orlando), and I saw  some Zona razor saws. They did not have interchangeable blades for a single handle, each saw had its own large wooden handle that came straight back off the blade. So I picked up a couple along with their much larger (and much nicer) aluminum miter box. It didn't take long to know I would probably never use an X-Acto saw again. The Zona blades are much stiffer, and while I must admit I did eventually bend the front teeth of one, I must also admit I was abusing the hell out of it at the time. Used sensibly, they should last for years. The large wooden handles are comfortable in the palm, and give you plenty of control with tricky cuts.

In the past I always stored them on the pegboard in front of me. My new workbench doesn't have room for hanging tools in front of me, so I made this holder that fits in the tool tray.

I have four saws now, the large one on the right fits their miter box,plus I have one each for plastic, metal, and wood.

It was trial and error to get the spacing right. The idea of the tool tray was to be able to access any tool quickly, and return it just as quickly. The space between the handles are sized for my fingers to do just that. Also notice the slots that hold the blades are angled back to the left. This allows the blades to leave and re-enter the slot without 'grabbing' the rack.

The green material is a hobby foam you find in the craft section of stores like Micheals. It is easy to  cut and has a soft, smooth surface. This piece is 1/4" thick. The slots in the plastic are cut about a 1/16" lower so the blade is actually resting on the foam.

That's my saw story, I hope you got something from it.


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