Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Marples saw

These days when I’m buying stuff I try and make a point of finding what I’m looking for from Canadian or US manufacturers first, and if I can’t find anything suitable, then I’ll buy from other sources. So, it was quite an education when I went looking for a small handsaw with a thin, flexible blade that I could use to cut the buildings in Scarborough Square from their Plexiglas base.

{An aside: I stupidly thought when attaching the various buildings to Scarborough Square that I’d never again need to remove them, so I attached them with dots of superglue. Now that I’m building a new layout, I want the buildings, but have no need for the Square. I had read that acetone was a superglue solvent, but I was concerned that it might also eat away at the styrene used for the building bases. I figured if I had a saw with a very thin blade I could just cut the building bases free. It turned out to be true, and the bases survived virtually undamaged.}

The lowest price saws of this type were manufactured in China by major brand names. There was a very beautiful saw I came across at Lee Valley Tools that was made in Japan, but the price was a bit high for me, and I thought I’d damage it since it wasn’t really meant to saw through plastic. The Marples saw shown in the picture seemed to fit the bill: made in the US and reasonably priced at around $13 or $14.

It’s an excellent saw and I highly recommend it. I had no problem cutting the buildings free from the Plexiglas base (its very thin, sharp blade made this relatively easy), it was then used to cut the curved perimeter support pieces on the new layout board (it was quite impressive at this job as the blade had enough flex to not bind during cutting and overall it had that ‘knife going through butter’ feel), and has been used to cut the layout board’s foam upper surface (an admittedly easy task for any saw). It turns out from my unscientific searching for a saw made in North America it was the only one I found that was made here, so I’m glad it turned out to be a good buy.

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