What is this tool? Saw / Machete attached to plate
June 7, 2015 8:33 PM   Subscribe

Can you id this odd saw/machete that comes mounted flush with an aluminum plate? Photos here.

It was found with landscaping equipment and the large teeth suggest it is for very rough cutting, but it could be anything. The other side of the saw is a not particularly sharp smooth blade. It doesn't seem to quite want to fit together with both the plate and the saw on the handle, so perhaps one is supposed to use the plate on its own, but what for?
posted by ssg to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I wonder if it's meant to protect the teeth of the saw blade (and people's fingers) while knocking around inside a toolbox.

Or, if it's meant for fine work near delicate walls or whatnot, you'd slip the plate between your work and what you were trying to protect while cutting.
posted by jquinby at 6:20 AM on June 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Maybe this is a tool for trimming the end of a beam such as a 4x8 to get a better inside fit. Planing the end grain is next to impossible, and a regular saw can't make a cut of less than 1/4 inch. That leaves a rasp which is also a pain and may splinter the wood, and sandpaper, which would be a huge effort. This tool would trim the end by the width of the saw kerf, and the turned up sides would help it stay aligned to the member being trimmed. It would be a cranky, clunky tool, due to the problem of clogging up with the chips produced, but might just work.
posted by halhurst at 7:36 AM on June 8, 2015

A trimming jig of some kind makes sense too, and I agree that it would be giant pain to use, given the size of the saw. It has the feel of something improvised, but certainly looks like it was made as-is.
posted by jquinby at 8:09 AM on June 8, 2015

Response by poster: It definitely isn't to protect anything (the plate is much larger than needed for the purpose) and it definitely isn't a tool for delicate work or fine trimming of any kind. The saw teeth are far too aggressive and would definitely not cut cleanly.
posted by ssg at 8:42 AM on June 8, 2015

Could you give approximate dimensions?
posted by tronec at 5:08 PM on June 8, 2015

Response by poster: The blade is roughly one foot long and the plate is about a foot square.
posted by ssg at 9:19 AM on June 9, 2015

I wonder if it is an alternative to the frame style veneer saw? Cutting veneer with a frame saw is tricky; I could see something like this aimed at the handyman market.
posted by Mitheral at 12:06 PM on June 10, 2015

Are there letters/numbers stamped on the face of the finger guard? I think I can make out some in picture #3.

The saw appears to be a Champion tooth pattern mainly used for rough cutting green wood. According to the US Forest Service: Champion Tooth Pattern
This pattern is especially popular in the hardwood regions of North America. It consists of two cutter teeth set alternately and an unset raker with a gullet between them. The cutters are wider and more massive than the lance tooth pattern, allowing heavy sawing in extra hard, dry, or frozen wood. The larger teeth are sharpened in more of an almond shape rather than in the pointed shape of a lance tooth.
. . .
My brother thinks this may be a homemade device. But, because of the interchangeable saw/machete and aluminum plate, I think it may be a factory made device. Two things direct me to this being factory made: The fit and finish of the rivets in the handle. The slots in the aluminum plate seem very precise and neat.

Of the bolt and the rivet which are used to mount the saw and/or the aluminum plate, is the rivet spaced far enough out so that both the saw and the aluminum plate can be fastened securely at the same time?

If the aluminum sheet is used without the saw blade attached, it could be a tool to scoop or clear away shavings, perhaps from a trough or channel.
posted by tronec at 3:23 PM on June 10, 2015

Response by poster: Yes, there is a code (50C3948) on the blade and on the plate. The whole thing is definitely factory-made.

I don't think one could mount the plate and blade at the same time, though you almost could and perhaps it is damaged and you used to be able to. Looking at it now, I think it is more likely that they are to be used separately.

I can't figure out what the plate would be used for though. Any kind of scooping action would be awkward as the handle would be in plane with the plate, rather than perpendicular.

The interchangeable tools and the integrated machete and saw make me wonder if this could be some sort of forest fire fighting tool (so light weight would be very important). Forest fire fighting is a big employer around here. The lack of brand name also suggests some sort of bureaucratic source, rather than this being a consumer product (it doesn't look old enough to be from the days before pervasive branding).
posted by ssg at 11:54 AM on June 11, 2015

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