Saw Till French Cleats

20130412-191302.jpgAfter searching for my stud finder for a couple of days “literally” I located where I want to hang my saw till and found some scrap poplar to make the cleats. It’s roughly 1″ x 6″ x 24″ but I’m not measuring. I grabbed a straight edge and pencil and marked off the position of the saw cut. the angle across the end is 45 degrees.

Next I used my marking knife to define the lines. looking around the garage I thought that the best way to make this cut may be using my table saw with the blade angled. Realizing that it still has a dado blade installed, pushed up against the wall and has a whole pile of “crafty stuff” piled around it, perhaps I could do this with a hand saw.

The term “crafty stuff” refers to the many projects that my wife gets involved in that is above my comprehension. There are some rules about “crafty stuff” the most important being…If I move it-it will break, if it breaks it will be my fault…..etc. Suffice to say sometimes it is best to leave crafty stuff alone.

I have not used power tools on this project to this point and why start now!


Clamping the wood into my vice I grab my dovetail saw to make an initial cut. My thought is that if I begin with this saw I can get a good start and switch to my handsaw which doesn’t have the back. I progress down the cut switching to my hand saw when the back is touching the wood.

My handsaw is a Disston D8 that I picked up on Ebay about a year ago. It is filed rip at 5 1/2 TPI. I really like this saw and looked for a few months before finding it. The handle fits my hand very well. I sent it to Bob Rozaieski at Logan Cabinet Shoppe to have it sharpened and was amazed at how quickly it saws. Additionally Bob answered many questions and since, I have had him sharpen other saws.

I progressed down the board moving it up in the vice a few times until I reached the last couple of inches. At this point instead of turning the board over and starting from the opposite end, I flipped the saw over and completed the cut. Seemed logical to me and worked, although I haven’t seen anyone else do this. The cut generally followed the line and I only had a few passes with a plane to clean it up. This was quicker than using the table saw! I think it has taken longer to write about it and correct all of the mis-spellings.




Next I grabbed a few screws and attached one side to the wall and the other to the saw till. When the weather stays above fifty I will add a couple of coats of shellac.

The other piece I added was a small divider to keep my saws separated, which is in the back of the till. I just glued it to the two outermost boards of the back to allow for movement. Finally I have all of my tools off the bench and safely stored away and if you notice a couple of empty slots for some different saws!


  1. July 24, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Good on ya for this move. Personally I never liked cutting long bevels on the table saw, especially at 45 degrees. It was scary process and inevitably produced a lot of burning and potential for binding and kickback. The reality is that this cut doesn’t have to be perfect and doesn’t even need to be cleaned up with a plane. In fact you may introduce error and a less than matched fit between the cleat parts. Even if you deviate from the line during the saw cut you will be fitting that board back together on the wall so the cleat matches perfectly and actually more securely with a little undulation or roughness.

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