Wenzloff and Sons, a small saw-making firm in Forest Grove, Ore., has introduced a line of saws--two handsaws and four backsaws--patterned after a set found in the famous 18th-century tool chest of Benjamin Seaton. The Seaton saws were made by the renowned Sheffield saw maker John Kenyon. The Wenzloff saws are handmade, hand set, and hand filed.

I tried a carcass saw and a sash saw. Like the other backsaws, the carcass and sash saws have folded brass backs and finely sculpted beech handles. Initially, I was impressed with the way they felt in my hand, but I was even more impressed with the way they cut.

The 11-in. carcass saw yields a 0.024-in.-wide kerf. Its razor-sharp rip teeth (14 tpi) cut fast and track straight, which makes it perfect for cutting dovetails. The 14-in. sash saw has 13 tpi filed with a rip pattern. This saw produces a narrow 0.029-in.-wide kerf and cuts even faster than the carcass saw, while still tracking a perfect line. Its size and precision make this saw great for cutting tenons.

Photo: Thomas McKenna