Everybody knows that a circular saw cuts a straight line. However, what if you want cut a circle? Everyone knows that you can't use a circular saw.
But what if you bend the blade?
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Yep, that's what they did. Here is a circular saw blade by the Huther Saw Bros. Saw Mfg. Co. of Rochester New York (1880 - 1940), which is carefully dished so that if you mount it in a circular saw, with the saw tilted at the right angle so that the blade is square to the wood, the saw will cut a 6' circle. Not well I am told - these saws were tricky to handle and you needed a different blade for every diameter, but it worked. This particular blade looks like it was never used. The saw pre-dates carbide tipped teeth by a lot. The teeth are carbon steel, swaged a little bigger at the tips for clearance in the cut. The diameter of the saw is just under 12" which makes me think that it started out as a 12" blade before being dished to a slightly smaller diameter.
This blade was made, I think, in the '30's, after the circular saw was invented but before they became ubiquitous. All the major saw blade makers made them, Disston, Atkins, to name a few.
I would love to get a chance to actually use this blade but the concept scares the pants off me. It's also way to big for the two circular saws I have: my old Super Saw Cat from the Industrial Division of B+D back in 1981 and my brand new Festool 55 which I use now.
This "Tools & Craft" section is provided courtesy of Joel Moskowitz, founder of Tools for Working Wood, the Brooklyn-based catalog retailer of everything from hand tools to Festool; check out their online shop here. Joel also founded Gramercy Tools, the award-winning boutique manufacturer of hand tools made the old-fashioned way: Built to work and built to last.