Eclipse 77 Saw Sets

Earlier this year, I purchased a bunch of tools on eBay.co.uk.  I blogged about it here.

Two of the auctions that I won were for Eclipse No. 77 saw sets.  The pictures that were in the listings weren’t very good but the prices were great, so I bought both of them and paid about $4 each.  I planned to keep the better of the two and either resell the other, or give it away.

Here are the sets when I bought them:

eBay UK Tool Purchases-4

Since purchasing them, I did a little research on the Eclipse No. 77 and found that there were two versions made, one for fine teeth and one for course.  Wouldn’t you know it, as luck would have it I got one of each.  I guess I’ll be keeping both.

I wont post the complete clean-up (I’ll use that word as it is rather a small, simple tool to call this a restoration) of both saw sets.  Here is what I did to the fine tooth set:

This is the Eclipse 77 saw set that I bought on eBay.

This is the Eclipse 77 saw set that I bought on eBay.

The set was a dirty, oily, and generally gunked up.  It was not much to look at.  The plunger was a little stiff as the grease that was around the internal springs had gone solid.

This is the condition that the set was in before I started any clean up.

This is the condition that the set was in before I started any clean up.

You can see that this set has red paint on the inside surfaces near the plunger and anvil.  What I have read elsewhere online leads me to understand that the red-painted ones indicate that they are for fine teeth.

The red paint on the inside surface helps to quickly designate this set for fine teeth.

The red paint on the inside surface helps to quickly designate this set for fine teeth.

Of note is the fact that the anvils are not very different on the fine and coarse versions.  Both sets can be adjusted to bend the teeth by the same amount and to the same angle.  The difference is in the size of the hammer.  On the coarse version, the hammer is wider and flatter.  This is great for setting the teeth on handsaws especially larger rip teeth.  On the fine version, the hammer comes to a narrow point, allowing you to more easily bend small teeth without affecting their neighbors.  This is great for most of your backsaws and essential for something really fine like a dovetail saw.

In this image I am partially squeezing the handle so that you can better see the hammer. That's the little point that pushes the teeth against the anvil. Notice that this one is quite fine and pointy.

In this image I am partially squeezing the handle so that you can better see the hammer. That’s the little point that pushes the teeth against the anvil. Notice that this one is quite fine and pointy.

By comparison, this is my other No. 77 with the course hammer.  It works better on larger teeth.

Here is the hammer on my other No. 77. Much wider.

Here is the hammer on my other No. 77. Much wider.

I took everything apart and cleaned all the pieces with an old tooth brush and some break-parts cleaner.  Some of the old grease had hardened and it took a little while to remove it all with a dental pick.

Here is the saw set once disassembled.

Here is the saw set once disassembled.

Here’s a closer view of some of the parts.

Here a some of the dirty parts before I cleaned them.

Here a some of the dirty parts before I cleaned them.

Once all of the parts were cleaned, I headed over to my bench grinder.  I use this tool more than any other when it comes to cleaning up and restoring old tools.  It was a $20 garage sale find.  I love it!

My bench grinder with a Grizzly 6" 60 ply spiral sewn buffing wheel and their green (fine) compound.

My bench grinder with a Grizzly 6″ 60 ply spiral sewn buffing wheel and their green (fine) compound.

I took my time and carefully polished all of the parts.  The buffing compound can leave a black waxy buildup on some of the parts, so when I was done polishing, I wiped everything down with a cloth and mineral spirits.  I then used a cloth with denatured alcohol to get rid of any mineral spirit residue.

Once all of the parts were polished and cleaned, I lubed the necessary parts and  re-assembled the saw set.

The saw set after cleaning, polishing, and re-assembly.

The saw set after cleaning, polishing, and re-assembly.

Here you can see the anvil all cleaned up and easy to read again.

Eclipse No. 77 after polishing and re-assembly.

Eclipse No. 77 after polishing and re-assembly.

The paint was in pretty good condition and I felt that repainting it was unnecessary.  I cleaned the paint with a cloth and denatured alcohol.

I did not repaint the set. I cleaned the existing paint with a cloth dampened with denatured alcohol.

I did not repaint the set. I cleaned the existing paint with a cloth dampened with denatured alcohol.

Here you can see the plunger mechanism.

The mechanism all cleaned up.

The mechanism all cleaned up.

The maker’s mark in the casting.

Eclipse No. 77 Made in England

Eclipse No. 77 Made in England

So, here’s what I started with:

This is the Eclipse 77 saw set that I bought on eBay.

Before.

And here it is finished:

After "restoration"

After “restoration”

And since I haven’t yet put enough pictures in this post…

A couple of extra shots of both saw sets once they were all cleaned up.

Both the course and fine saw sets after clean-up and polishing.

Both the coarse and fine saw sets after clean-up and polishing.

 

Both saw sets as seen from the top. The difference in the hammers can be seen.

Both saw sets as seen from the top. The difference in the hammers can be seen.

 

Both saw sets.

Both saw sets.

 

I think I should get many years of service out of these.  Eight bucks well spent.

I’m always happy to hear your thoughts, questions, or opinions.  Post away!

About Jonathan

I am a woodworker and hand tool restorer / collector. I buy too many tools and don't build enough - I need help!
This entry was posted in Tool Restoration and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Eclipse 77 Saw Sets

  1. pedder says:

    Hi Jonathan,

    I realy like the eclipse sets and have few of them. You made nice object of them, but pretty useless in my opinion. I’d never polish any part of a saw set. Any reflection from the set will distract the eye from the theeth. Especially at the fine pitches, yoiu need the small reflections. With the overhelming shines and rays it will be more difficult to see what you want. I cleaned away the red color for the same reason.

    Cheers
    Pedder

    • Jonathan says:

      Hi Pedder,

      Thanks for your input, I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I found that the bronze doesn’t stay super shiny for long and I don’t intend to keep polishing them to maintain a high shine. I primarily just wanted to clean them up. My other saw set is a Stanley 42X that I cleaned up and repainted. I am new to saw sharpening, but what I found was that the shine from then teeth was too distracting while setting the teeth. I had far better results once I blackened every alternate tooth with a sharpie marker. This helped me to not get out of order when setting the teeth and the marker was removed by the final sharpening.

      Thanks,

      Jonathan

  2. Peter Evans, Sydney says:

    Great post on the differences between the old (red) and newer castings. I am wondering whether the plunger of old red was a user modification? Having said that the 4 red ones I have owned/seen have different plunger sizes. One is narrow (1.5mm) in its full length: http://www.woodworkforums.com/170005-eclipse-set/; one I have has been (very well) ground to 1.5/1.6 mm from the full width of 2.4 mm. Another from photo looks the same as mine. Yours looks to have been ground to quite a bit less than that. Are you able to measure the width of the plunger at the end.

    You will also notice that the older anvil has a much sharper bevel edge

    Thanks
    Peter

  3. Jim Stoe says:

    I do like your fine restoration & detailed explanation, since I’m ‘old school’…..
    Think I’ll leave mine original, other than a squirt or two of M-Pro 7 Gun Oil LPX
    to clear & clean out the cob_webs….lol
    JFS brand (woodworker)

  4. dpawson says:

    Did you find any ‘user instructions’? Are the numbers in tpi etc?

    • Jonathan says:

      I don’t think that I have ever looked for any instructions for the saw sets. I think that the numbers are supposed to relate to the TPI, but only vaguely. What I mean by this is that the TPI doesn’t always relate to how much set you want on a saw. The amount of set you put on a saw has more to do with its intended function (Hardwood/Softwood or Crosscut/Ripcut) than it’s TPI.

      Let’s say you were setting up two 10 TPI tenon saws, one for hardwood and the other for softwood. Normally, you would want a little more set on the softwood tenon saw.

      The numbers on the saw set are a guide, but certainly not carved in stone. If you want more set, use a smaller number. If you want less set, use a bigger number.

      I hope this helps,

      Jonathan

      • dpawson says:

        Thanks Jonathan. I understand (now) about varying the set. A simpler one. On the two examples I have (guessing) one from the 1930’s, one from more recently (bronze), neither have a mark against which the scale should read, which amazed me. Should I assume (do you?) that the ‘mark’ should be towards the user when a saw blade is held in the set? Or 180 degrees opposite from that?
        I wonder no one else has picked that up, or am I being slow?
        Or perhaps Eclipse assumed too much!
        ps I now have two workable devices, I’m thinking of filing down one of the hammers for use on higher tpi saws.

  5. Diane C Ames says:

    Have a77 and ground plunger like sellers. Installed upside down and just figured why not setting properly. Am always concerned about setting alternative teeth or losing my place on small toothed dovetail saws and back saws.

    Any thoughts on how to avoid setting teeth in correct order or how not to lose track. Have good lighting and magnifier.

    Thanks.

    • Jonathan says:

      Hello Diane,

      You raise a good question. If you get out of order and set a tooth to the wrong side, it could cause problems. On some older saws, if you try to bend the tooth back to the correct size, the metal can become brittle and the tooth snap off. To avoid this, I take a black sharpie marker and “paint” the face of every other tooth before setting. Then when I set the teeth, I go down one side setting just the black teeth, and the other side setting the unmarked teeth. If you get out of order with the marker, it’s an easy fix, and doesn’t do any damage to the saw. Yes, it’s an extra step, but it does help to prevent the problem. Hope this helps.

      All the best,

      Jonathan

I'd love to hear your thoughts, comments, or questions.