Bad Axe 18" Large Tenon Saw: 'The Beast' $285
(Est. Delivery: 5-7 weeks)
Here's a big saw for big work, with the balance and grace to handle medium-range requirements as well. It's a beastly-sized saw, so unimaginatively, I call it The Beast. This saw features a 4.5" deep x 18" long premium-grade Swedish spring steel sawplate, a firearms-grade, hot-blued carbon steel or optional stainless steel back, cherry or optional walnut handle, and standard brass slotted fasteners or an array of optional slotted and split nut fasteners in three alloys: brass, gunsmith-blued steel and stainless steel. Standard filing suitable for most purposes are 10 ppi rip and 11 ppi x-cut. Be sure to check out my bench hooks to accessorize this great tool if you'd like it filed in crosscut mode.
Why do I want this saw? The Beast is a big saw for big jobs. While its thin 0.025-thick plate excels at crosscutting, and will still rip quite nicely, I have decided to offer an optional, thicker plate for dedicated ripping purposes in beefy stock. Why? Because if you are a timber framer, or one who frequently rips deep cheeks in wide stock, you'll want a thicker plate. Any sawplate will heat up in the friction of a deep cut, the area along the toothline will expand, and without appropriate set and perhaps some lubricant like camellia oil or canning wax, the resulting heat expand and warp the metal along the toothline, promoting drift in the cut. It's simple physics--a slightly thicker plate will absorb more heat without expanding. So while thinner plates are certainly desirable for most cuts, at the end of the day this 18" bad boy requires a thicker plate for dedicated ripping into big joints.
Now let's switch back to the desirability of an 18" saw with a .025" thick plate: use the thinner .025 plate for dedicated x-cuts and for the occasional rip cut. I've found that this size of saw works phenomenally with the smaller miter boxes you can pick up pretty inexpensively on eBay, where length and a thinner plate counts the most. Getting back to timber-framers: if you have a large shoulder cut against the grain to make, the .025-thick plate in either the 16" or 18" saw will be a great companion for your dedicated 18" ripping saw with the .0315 plate. The key thing is to tell me about your upcoming project, the most prevelant wood species you intend to use, and typical cut dimensions you think you'll encounter. That way, I can custom-file your saw to best suit your needs, given the way I employ my saw sharpening techniques.
The story behind our new shock-resistant handles. About once or twice a month, one of my customers will call in seeking a replacement handle after having accidentally swept their Bad Axe from benchtop to floor. We have now fielded shock-resistant handles in response to that scenario for those who use their tools hard, but don't want to compromise the natural beauty of a solid hardwood handle. Our new laminate handles fuse a top-quality 13-ply hardwood laminate with a genuine hardwood outer sheath. The 3/4" thick, 13-ply laminate is formed in perpendicular layers, resulting in a VERY tough and stable inner core with an attractive edge. We sheath the core with hardwood to enhance visual appeal. As for its durability? Frankly, a resin or plastic handle is tougher--but who wants a synthetic handle? Our laminate handle will dent slightly when dropped horns-first onto a concrete floor from a height of six feet, but that's about it. The horns sure as heck won't snap off, and the body won't check. Click onto my YouTube video on the left to see how this handle reacts to a 6' drop onto my workshop floor, and judge for yourself.
Sizing Handles: Here's my hand: it measures between 3 3/4" - 3 7/8" across. That's what I'm calling regular, and it will work with a range from 3 5/8" and start getting tight at 3 7/8." I'm almost a size large, but I prefer a snug fit, so I personally go with a size regular. Bigger hands just under 4" up to 4 1/8" spans will require the size Large handle, and 4 1/4 to 4 3/8 will want an Extra Large. Going the opposite direction, if the span of your hand measures in the 3 ¼ up to 3 1/2" range, then we're looking at a size small handle. And I even offer size 2 7/8 up to 3 1/8 for size x-small. All you need to bring to the table is your hand, regardless of size--Bad Axe will fit it.
(return to sizing menu)
Like Brass on your saws? Then you're really going to like our new Titanium Nitride-plated sawbacks.
Have you purchased enough brass-backed saws already to know that they just don't age that well? It's a great look, but it doesn't take long for tarnish to set in, and over time a brass-backed saw deforms with hard use, wreaking havoc on your toothline. But it's traditional, right? And conveys a traditional, warm look we all like to see.
But form only goes so far before substance sets in. You very seldom see brass-backed saws longer than 12" or 14", because brass just isn't a strong enough an alloy for larger saws. Steel on the other hand presents superior strength and durability. So--we at Bad Axe made the hard choice a couple of years ago to phase brass out of our product line, since it's difficult to work with (it has a 'springy' quality to it), doesn't form well, tarnishes, and at the end of the day, just doesn't measure up to carbon steel, which can take a variety of platings for aethetic purposes.
Enter Titanium Nitride (TiN). Long a favored finish for high-end firearms, titanium nitride presents stellar corrosion and wear-resistance, Titanium-Nitride hits the sweet spot when it comes to form following function. The tone falls between the look you get between brass and bronze, so it certainly scratches that aethetic itch you get when wishing you had a little more brass love in the Bad Axe world. And the really cool thing about it? We can apply Titanium Nitride on our largest sawbacks, where the strength and durability of a steel-backed saw is paramount.
So what are you getting for the $45 upcharge? It's obviously not cheap--because it's not a cheap plating process for us to apply. But what you get is corrosion and wear resistance, along with that deep, brass/bronze look that retains its golden lustre over time. Give it a shot--this is a drop-dead gorgeous plating that will retain its deep, rich look for the generations to come.
"Where can I buy my own mesquite--or for that matter, a unique species I'd prefer to supply myself for the handle?"
Finding a reputable lumber dealer can be challenging, particularly when you're looking for a well-figured species that won't let you down. The good people listed below will never steer you wrong--these are companies that Bad Axe has used over the past eight years with consistently reliable results when it comes to sourcing high-quality stock you'll be happy with.
|Mesquite Valley Woodcrafts||Nave's Sawmill & Woodworks||Horizon Wood|
|(Mesquite & other TX hardwoods)||(Mesquite & other TX hardwoods)||Any North American Hardwood)|
Dimensions Required for shipment of customer-supplied wood to Bad Axe:
- Length: 8.5" Long with the grain.
- Width: 6.25" wide.
- Thickness: can range between 4/4 and 5/4 thick. Do not fall below a full 4/4, given that we mill to a finished thickness of 7/8".
- Type Cut: Quartersawn stock (mitigates wood movement with seasonal change. Do NOT send flatsawn stock. The only exception to this is mesquite, which has interlocking fibers and naturally resists warping despite type of cut.
- Condition & Moisture Content: at or about 8% moisture content. No cracks, splits or defects in the blank.
- Quantity, best to send two blanks, in case the first one has an unseen defect. This very seldom happens, but best to be prepared for it. We will return the unused blank or save it for future milling on your behalf.
- How to ship: Have the supplier label each wood blank by taping your name & contact information (billing address, cell & email--your purchase receipt will also suffice), and drop-ship your blanks to our workshop at: Bad Axe Tool Works, 1500 Green Bay St., Suite #508, La Crosse, WI 54601. Please alert us when this is put into motion, so we may track your package’s arrival.
All Bad Axe Tool Works Saws are highly customizable, and Feature the Following:
- Custom filing available at same price per request
- Bad Axe saw sharpening rates $15 nominal fee
- Highly-figured 19th-century patterned hickory handles, also available in cherry, walnut, maple & mesquite.
- Five handle sizes available: XS, S, R, L, XL
- Flush-face slotted sawbolts/nuts in three alloys and four finishes with a 13/16" deep-dish decorative medallion
- Firearms-quality hot-blued finish on traditionally-folded steel back
- Optional black or bright nickel carbon steel, brass, copper-plated and bronze saw backs
- Premium-grade Swedish Spring Steel, RC50-52
- Traditional hammer-set toothline
- Lifetime guarantee against all material defects
Learn more about my material choices and saw design rationale.
Other Top Selling Bad Axe Tools:
- Bad Axe American Kid Back Saw
- Bad Axe 10" Dovetail Back Saw
- Bad Axe 10" Carcase Back Saw
- Bad Axe 12" 'Stiletto' Dovetail Back Saw
- Bad Axe 12" Hybrid Dovetail/Small Tenon Back Saw
- Bad Axe 12" Carcase Back Saw
- Bad Axe 14" Sash Back Saw
- Bad Axe 16" Tenon Back Saw
- Bad Axe 18" Large Tenon Back Saw
- The Roubo Beastmaster
- Bad Axe 20" Miter Box Saw
- Bad Axe Bench Hook Sets
- Bad Axe Tool Care
- Bad Axe Accessories