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Working with Hands - James E. Price

  Sawmaker's Bit  

... on the subject of past countersink bits, I bring to your attention one of the rarest and most obscure specialty bits used in the trade of making handsaws.

The bit in the photo is a handsaw medallion countersink bit used to bore the hole for the installation of the brass medallion on the left side of handsaw handles.

As you can see, this bit is very specialized in its design.

The bit bored a recess for the shank of the medallion nut which is larger than the other nuts on a saw and then bored a recess for the decorative medallion. This specimen is probably late 18th Century in origin and is stamped, in small letters, "NAIRNS".

This is of the back of the saw medallion bit, the side opposite
the spurs and floor lips.

Although in my research I have seen illustrations of saw medallion bits this is the only specimen of one I have ever seen and I have searched for them for five decades. Perhaps very few were made and they would be of little use to the everyday woodworker who would have no use for such a bore/counterbore bit.

This photo is a close up of the cutting head of the bit.

It is a good idea for such a tool in that a single bit could be used, instead of two, for installing a saw medallion.

This photo shows the "NAIRNS" imprint on the bit shank.

James E. Price
November, 2016

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