Keyhole Saw Handle From Pipe





Introduction: Keyhole Saw Handle From Pipe

About: I miss the days when magazines like Popular Mechanics had all sorts of DIY projects for making and repairing just about everything. I am enjoying posting things I have learned and done since I got my first ...

The photo from Google Images shows a keyhole saw with a plastic handle.  I had a similar plastic handle on my saw and it broke.  I made a replacement with a piece of pipe.

Step 1: Mark the Pipe for Length

You can see the blade pattern on my saw.  Once all keyhole saw blades had this configuration. 

I am using 1/2 inch black iron pipe.  I wrapped it with masking tape for easier marking.  The handle needs to be long enough for both the blade and my hand.

Step 2: Cut to Length

After marking, cut the pipe to length.  I like to use an angle head grinder with a thin kerf cutting blade.

Step 3: Mark for the Blade Slot

Masking tape works well for marking a slot for the blade.  Make the slot just a little longer than the width of the blade.  I put the pipe in a vise and used the vise jaw as a marking guide.

Step 4: Cut the Blade Slot

The cutting wheel is just a bit thicker than the saw blade and makes a kerf just the right width. 

Step 5: Handle Angle

Put the blade into the slot and decide on a comfortable angle for holding the saw handle.  Mark it with a "T" bevel square.

Note: I thought I would go to a store and buy a spare blade for my keyhole saw. Once that was very much possible. But, it is almost impossible to find a keyhole saw or blades for one now. So, I found a way to adapt blades for a reciprocating saw popular with contractors to fit this saw handle. That allows me to use wood or metal cutting blades in my saw. It also allows me to use a blade for cutting on the push or on the pull stroke. This makes a very handy saw to take with you when, for example, you need to cut something to length quickly so it will fit into your car.

Step 6: Mark Strap Iron

Place a piece of masking tape on a piece of 1/8 x 3/4 inch strap iron and mark the angle you set with the "T" bevel square.  The mark is about 1 1/2 inch from the end of the steel.  Cut on the mark.

Step 7: Cut the Steel to Make a Second Piece

Use the first piece of steel to mark the length of the second and cut.  Grind away any sharp edges.

Step 8: Clamp and Drill

Clamp the two pieces of steel together and drill a 1/4 inch hole as shown.

Step 9: Sandwich for Tack Welding

Use a 1/4 inch bolt and nut to make a sandwich of the two pieces of steel and the blade.  Insert into the blade slot you cut into the pipe.  Tack weld the pieces of steel to the pipe.  Weld each side, but be careful not to weld the saw blade into the handle accidentally.

Step 10: Add a Finger Guard

Your fingers need some protection from the sharp teeth.  Weld a piece of 1/8 x 1/2 inch steel to the pipe as shown.  Tighten the bolt and nut.  Your saw handle is ready to use.

Step 11: Hole for Hanging

Pinch the saw handle with your thumb and first finger to find the balance point at which the blade hangs straight down.  Drill a hole through the handle so you can hang the saw on a pegboard rack.  You are now finished.



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    14 Discussions

    I had a thought in the back of my mind that you might say that.   I suppose I could have  cut the steel with the radial arm saw, but doing it by hand with an angle head grinder was faster.  Thanks for looking and for commenting.

    :-D  You do know I was kidding, right?  This is yet another really practical presentation of a tool for do-it-yourselfers, and well deserving of the Feature.

    Kelsey,  I knew you were teasing.  Thank you for your endorsement regarding Featured status for the Instructable. 

    I just returned from our local hardware store where I looked for replacement blades to fit a keyhole or compass saw, but found none in the style of my saw.  Now I am thinking about a way to fit blades from a reciprocating saw to this saw handle.  That would extend the usefulness of a handle like this greatly with metal and masonry blades as well as wood blades of several types.  Blades for reciprocating saws normally cut on the pull stroke rather than the push stroke, though.  I might be able to make a slot with a cutting wheel on a Dremel tool and place the slot at the front end of the blade so it then cuts on the push stroke.  I am doubtful I can drill the high carbon steel used in the reciprocating saw blades.

    I'm actually working on a handle for reciprocating saw blades right now. I have a broken saw that I might take the chuck from (if I can ever get it apart), but i actually might just buy one that I saw at my local dollar store.

    Kelsey and master...,

    I bought a relatively fine tooth blade for a reciprocating saw and managed to make a 1/4 inch hole in it for the bolt shown with this saw handle.  I made the hole with an abrasive cutting wheel in a Dremel tool.  I marked the location and then pressed the wheel into the steel as if I were cutting the sides of a hexagon.  The metal was thin enough that the wheel cut through to the other side relatively easily.  I will probably prepare more reciprocating saw blades this way and will make photos of the steps then.  Anyway, it worked out well.

    Good to hear. I'm thinking about cutting this chuck and welding a handle to it. My only problem with that is that I have no welder.

    You are quite correct.  Japanese saw cut on the pull stroke, and many people are quite fond of them.  I was thinking one of the common uses of a keyhole/compass saw is to penetrate drywall and then cut out for an electrical switch or outlet box.  It seemed cutting on the push stroke might be better there, although electric reciprocating saws are used in the same way with cutting action on the pull stroke.  I will need to buy a package of blades and experiment.

    Thank you very much.  I am glad they are helpful to you.  I keep thinking I am running out of ideas on which to base Instructables.