Monday, March 5, 2012

I Just Might Have a Saw Fetish

It's been a while since I posted anything about saws. November 17th to be exact. Since then, in between home improvements, I've managed to build two more brass backed saws to compliment the big tenon saw I made last Fall. Well, yesterday I decided to do a photo shoot of my sexy little triplets. Yes, I admit it's a little disturbing to find tools sexy, ( my wife would probably say take out the "little" part ) but I know I'm not the only one who feels this way about tools. Come on, admit it. And my wife's the one who bought me a new camera for Christmas so in a way, she's an enabler. Surely she knew I'd use it for my dirty little tool porn photo shoots. Anyway, enough foolishness, on to the pics. I fooled around a little on my iPhoto program trying to get some different looks. I'd really like to one day learn to properly photograph tools to eliminate glare and get studio quality looks.

A little about the saws:
The top one is a 14" cross-cut. 12 TPI, filed with 15degrees rake and 20 degrees fleam. Depth of cut is 2 7/8" under the back at the handle and 2 5/8" at the toe.
In the middle is a 16" tenon saw. This one is 11 TPI, filed rip with about 5 degrees of rake. It has a 3" depth of cut at the handle and 2 3/4" at the toe.
The bottom one is the 19" tenon saw I blogged about here. They all have beech handles finished with TruOil.
I'm really pleased with how these saws preform. So much so that I put my premium back saws up for sale on eBay. All except for my Wenzloff Early Kenyon dovetail saw. That is one sweet cutting saw, and at 20 TPI, a little finer toothed saw than I feel comfortable trying to build at this point.
My saws are longer and heavier than is typical for similarly toothed saws. I really like the extra length, and the weight of the heavy brass backs just make them eat through the wood. All I have to do is get them started on line and let the weight do the work. Not sure what it is about the length, but I think if you were to try a longer back saw and then switch back to a normal length one, you'd wonder what happened to the rest of the saw. I know that's how I felt when I used them and that's what pushed me to sell my old saws. I think I'll use the money I make from the sales to purchase the Gramercy saw vise, some saw files, some folded brass backs, and some 1095 spring steel. Yeah, I think I may have a saw problem. But I'm not really looking for a cure. :)


Bob Rozaieski said...

Beautiful saws! And there's nothing wrong with a little saw lust. I can stop any time I want. Really.

The Grammercy vise is awesome. Highly recommended. Better than any other I've ever used.

As for the photos and the glare/hot spots, this is typical with shiny surfaces. I had a lot of trouble with it when photographing my tools until I recently figurd it out. It comes down to nothing more than your lighting angles. I know you've already seen this picture, but here's the most recent saw photo I did.

In order to get this photo without any hot spots, I had to do a couple of things. First, turn off the overhead lights. Because of the flooding light from overhead lights, you get light falling onto the saw plate from all differnt angles. Some of these angles match the angle between the saw and camera, so you get light bouncing straight into the camera lense, which causes hot spots.

Flash is the same, so that's the next thing to eliminate. Turn the flash off. Again, it's a simple matter of angles. Physics tells us that the angle of incidence equals the angle of reflectance. In other words, the angle that the light comes in is the same angle that it will bounce off of the object. With the camera mounted flash, the light is going to reflect off the saw right back into the lens. So we need to turn the on camera flash off.

To eliminate the hot spots, you have to angle the lighting in a way that it doesn't bounce back toward the camera. To get the photo in the link above, I used two clamp lights from Home Depot with 100W equivalent CFLs and waxed paper for diffusion. These were positioned on either side of the saw and pointed almost driectly at each other at a very low angle to the saw. There are no overhead lights on and I did not use a flash. This way the light is coming from left to right and from right to left. The reflection is therefore bouncing to the right and to the left, but not straight back toward the camera. You have to play with the distance that the lights are placed from the saw to get the brightness just right, but by only using two point light sources at very low angles to the saw, you can get glare free shots of these shiny surfaces. Give it a try!

Jamie Bacon said...

Thanks for the photography advice Bob. That photo of your rip saw is the kind of result I'm looking for. Sounds like I need to make a trip down to Lowes for a couple clamp lights and to my local grocery store for some baking paper. Sounds like a pretty inexpensive solution.