Welcome to the official site for supporting documentation relating to the book  British Saws and Sawmakers from 1660 by Simon Barley.   I will be posting here any reviews, additions,  errata and revisions as well as providing a forum for ongoing discussion.

 Regular visitors to the site will be already aware of Simon Barley's long anticipated new book on British Saws and Saw makers from 1660.  The standard reference for many years has been Handsaw Makers of Britain,  by Erwin L Schaffer and Don McConnell,  abbreviated as HSMOB.   British Saws and Saw Makers  (abbreviated as BSSM),  will rapidly become the new standard reference work.    It's not easy for someone new to the somewhat arcane world of researching British saw makers to really appreciate fully the amount of work that goes into creating such a reference work.  The many thousands of hours of painstaking trawling through trade directories and publications of the time.  Organizing thousands of details into a coherent whole.

Our congratulations go to Simon Barley for a truly outstanding contribution to research on British saws and sawmakers.  I commend the book to anyone interested in the history of toolmaking.


Regular updates on the book with reviews, additions, errata and revisions will be available on here as the need arises.  Feedback and questions for Simon may be posted in the forum as usual.

The details of how to purchase the book can be found on the TATHS web site http://www.taths.org.uk/barley-saws.htm


Historians of the various tool trades have long wanted a work specifically on saws and this, the first, is an attempt to match the detail and scholarship of the best that cover planes, cutlery, spanners and measuring tools. The author is a frequent writer and lecturer on saws and the history of their manufacture, and is able to base his work on 15 years of original research and the building of a personal collection of saws - possibly the largest in the world - which is housed with the renowned Ken Hawley Collection in Sheffield's Kelham Island Industrial Museum. Together, these collections form a unique research base and visitor attraction. This scholarly book is illustrated with almost 2000 photographs, the majority by the author, and with its listings of saw makers and dealers forms the most comprehensive directory to date of British names in the tool trades.


Errata.( In page order )

Page 28, col 1:  9 lines from bottom, for Old Street, read London

Page 43, col 2, 3rd para: for Figure 2.4 and Figure 2.5, read Figure 2.8

Page 49, caption to Figure 3.1 should read 1840, not 1820

Page 56, 5 and 6 lines from the end of the second paragraph,   change "the distal six inches of two-man cross-cuts..." to one-man cross-cuts".

Page 69, In paragraph 4,  Figures 3.66 should be 3.62 and 3.67 should be 3.63.   In paragraph 5,  Figure 3.68 should be 3.64

Page 74, 5th line, for chapter 3, read chapter 5

Page 278, The line of text  "Took over premises of J.C.Millard" belongs under the Grainge and Smith entry; on the opposite page.

Page 293, line 4 Insert ‘more’ between much and often

Page 421, Superfluous "and" in line 1 of the third paragraph.

Page 522, The initial S of Sheffield Steel Products should be inserted

Page 723, under Manwaring for 39 read 37.