As equally important as the steel quality is the handle. If the saw isn’t comfortable inyour hand you won’t enjoy using it. The old British saws tended to have 1” thick handles while the American saws seemed to lean towards 7/8th, this doesn’t sound like a lot, but for me it makes all the difference.I have an old Drabble and Sanderson saw from about 1835, this has a perfect handle for my hand size and grip.I’ve chosen 1” black American walnut for the handle, it’s not a traditional wood, but it will come up really rich and dark, and make a nice contrast to the metalwork.
I cut the handle blank out with a combination of band saw and a coping saw.
The handle is shaped with rasps then files to get the required shape. I kept theoriginal saw close by for reference while shaping.
Once the handle is fully shaped, I cut the slot for the saw blade. It’s impotent that you find a saw with a similar kerf to the blade thickness. I pack the saw up to the correct height for cutting the slot.
The handle still requires a final sand and polish.