Episode #24: Wenzloff & Sons Panel Saw Kit

Note: All of my old podcast videos have been moved to my YouTube channel.  You can now watch this video here:



14 thoughts on “Episode #24: Wenzloff & Sons Panel Saw Kit

  1. Thanks for posting this one. I enjoy all your videos, but am planning on biulding one of Wenzloff’s kits, and it’s nice to be able to watch the process before taking the plunge.

  2. Another great podcast! I actually just finished up 4 of Mikes saw kits. I have to say that I am very happy with them. If it were not for the kits I would not have been able to justify the cost of 4 saws of this quality.

  3. The saw turned out great!

    I’ve used straight BLO on a few handles and just wiped or brushed it on. Good tip about the bag. As an aside, I’ve never cut it with turpentine. What is the advantage, just thinning so it will soak in the wood more? What ratio do you use?

    Also, watching that turning saw marathon made me tired! How many breaks did you take? You can level with us… 😉

    • Shawn,
      I cut the oil 1:1 with the turpentine. I think it helps it flow better into tight areas and possibly soak in better, especially in tight pored wood where a thicker oil tends to just lay on the surface. As for the turning saw work, believe it or not, it wasn’t tiring at all, and what you saw in the video was almost real time (I probably should have edited more in hind site to make the segment a little shorter; it was kind of long). I think it only took about 8-10 minutes to saw out all the curves, so no breaks at all. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it ;).

  4. Hey, love your site and the way you deliver info in a simple attainable way. I have a saw from my grandfather that needs a handle. What thickness is that walnut once you glued the pattern onto it? Thanks.

    • Scott,
      I usually make my handle blanks for panel and back saws about 7/8″ thick. Of course you should adjust the thickness according to how big your hand is and how comfortable the handle is. It’s best to start out a little thicker than you think you might want and thin things down until it’s comfortable to you.

  5. Bob,
    I just found your site the other day, one the best on the web, especially for a recent convert to the hand tool side of the force.

    I’m looking to switch over from the japanese saws I have, and I was thinking of going all out with three saws from Wenzloff, in the form of partial kits. I was planning on a dovetail, a tenon in rip and then something in a crosscut. Since I will be relying on my power tools for breaking down stock for now, the panel saws are on for the next round. Can you recommend a spec for a carcase or sash/tenon saw to fill that crosscut void?

    • Andrew,
      For a crosscut joinery saw, I would recommend something in the 14-16″ length with about 12-14 PPI. This is a good sized saw for general crosscutting using a bench hook, sawing tenon shoulders, and other more precise crosscutting tasks where a longer panel saw would be too aggressive. I actually did a couple of blog posts on saw recommendations for hand tool shops that you might find interesting or useful. You can find the one on backed saws (Part 2) here:


      The one on unbacked saws (Part 1) can be found here:


      Good luck with your new saws! You won’t be disappointed with the Wenzloff saws.

  6. Hi!

    On the video I see, that You were boring the counter bores with an auger bit. Recently I was making a handle and did the same, but couldn’t achieve a flat bottom with the auger. Did You find this a problem or do You have a method for getting flat bottoms with auger bits :)?


    • Hi Lukasz,
      In order to get a really flat bottom with an auger bit, you basically have to strip the lead screw hole out. The screw wants to continue pulling the auger through, creating a slightly angled bottom as the bit moves through the wood. What I do if I want a real flat bottom is bore to depth, back the auger out a little, then go forward again, but pull up on the brace like you are trying to remove it from the hole. You will need to make sure the board is secured to the bench or other solid surface in order to do this. You want to basically pull the lead screw back through it’s own path and strip out the threaded area so it won’t pull the bit any deeper. Then you can use gentle downward force to level out the bottom of the hole. Use just enough downward pressure on the brace to engage the cutting lip of the bit on the bottom of the hole so that you are barely cutting but the bit is not moving any deeper. You don’t want the lead screw to grab any more.

      You need to get a feel for boring just a bit shallower than your finished depth before stripping out the lead screw hole so try it a few times on some scrap wood first to get the feel for it. If you bore to finished depth before you strip the lead screw hole out, you’ll end up going too deep when you level the bottom of the hole. So stop short of finished depth, strip the lead screw hole, then gently level the bottom to your finished depth.

      With all that said, I’ve found that the bottoms of the screw holes in saw totes don’t need to be dead flat, and in older saws with split nuts they frequently weren’t. You will often find when you remove old split nuts from old saws that the faces of the split nuts may not be perfectly parallel. This is because the saw maker bored the holes (which didn’t have perfectly flat bottoms), installed the saw bolts and split nuts, leaving them just slightly proud of the face of the saw handle, and then filed them flush with the handle. This solves the problem of having to bore perfectly flat holes at exactly the right depth.

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