The completed saw blade from Durer’s “Melancholia”


Here is my interpretation of the saw from Albrecht Durer’s “Melancholia” print.  I filed the teeth to 8 ppi with a good bit of positive rake, similar to the saw in the print. I did not, however, file the teeth as unevenly as the saw depiction, they are a bit uneven, though. It was a compromise between usability and aesthetics. I wanted it to be recognizable as a copy of the saw in the print, but reasonably usable.


I was really curious how this saw would be in use, as the closest saw to this that I’ve used is a Japanese pull saw, obviously very different since you pull it, not push it. It is honestly a bit awkward, but perfectly usable. I’m sure most early saws were awkward to use compared to our fine-tuned modern saws. Such is the process of tool evolution.

What I both enjoy and find awkward about this saw is the great curve in the blade and the pointed tip. Who knows why saws of this era were designed as such. It may have been due to available materials, forging technique, etc. This effectively gives you vastly different rake angles, which are further varied by the angle of attack upon the wood being sawn. It would also seem to make the saw more versatile, allowing for piercing cuts in the center of a board. This is all speculation, of course. I’ll continue to explore medieval saw forms, and  learn a thing or two about the tools of our past.


I’ll have this saw posted for sale  sometime soon, you can contact me for custom work if you would like to be put on my backlog for this saw. Also, a final note: I will be out of my shop from April 22nd through May 30th. I will be checking my email and still taking orders, just expect a delay. Thanks


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