A Carnival of Sorts

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This crazy-looking saw till was on sale at the American College of the Building Arts yesterday, and I really want to build one without the wild paint job.

The tool dealer who was selling the till said he found it in Kentucky. The sides of the case tops are made from old cheese boxes. The back, he said, might have been salvaged from some leftover circus or carnival scrap, which could explain the paint.

The functional aspect of the till is an old idea: You slide the toe of the sawblade into the slot. A rubber-covered ring gets pushed to the side. As you let go of the saw, the ring drops down and wedges the saw plate in place. To remove the saw you push the blade up and pull it toward you. Nifty.

— Christopher Schwarz

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About Chris Schwarz

Publisher of woodworking books and DVDs specializing in hand tool techniques.
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9 Responses to A Carnival of Sorts

  1. Probably was from the circus. Juggling saw holder from the pre-chainsaw days.

  2. Roger Benton says:

    Very cool. I can see a version using large skateboard wheels or hockey pucks.

  3. Niels Cosman says:

    That’s pretty slick…er… grabby.

  4. That’s a brilliant idea. A saw till is on my short build list, but I’ll probably keep it simple. Any chance the “cogs” could warp the saw plate over time?

  5. lllars says:

    this is a great way to make a saw rack, but i’m compelled to mention that this design can be made much more compactly than shown here. i’ve got a 12″ wide saw rack that holds 10 saws. without the saws, the rack itself is only ~2″x2″x12″. it uses 1/2″ diameter rubber rollers (sourced as really large o-ring stock).

    here’s a good how-to for making one:
    http://www.timberframe-tools.com/tools/saw-till-with-balls/

  6. A rubber covered ring. Like, say, a Hockey Puck?

  7. tyvekboy says:

    I’ve got one better. 14 handsaws in 21 inches. More compact and works great.

    Here’s a link on how to make one:

    http://lumberjocks.com/projects/41465

  8. sawnutz says:

    Great find! This looks identical to a saw rack from Popular Mechanics (except for the carnival theme, even though that would have been right up their alley at that time) from the late ’40s/early 50s.
    http://galootcentral.com/components/cpgalbums/userpics/10113/photo1.jpg

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