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Saw tempering

People's Palace, Social History File

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Saw tempering

The tempering and hardening tank at William Cook & Sons' saw factory in Finnieston, c 1910.

This large tank was filled with whale oil and could be wheeled to different locations in the works. Workers were required to slide a newly-made saw from the furnace straight into the tank, to harden and temper the blade. When the red-hot saw touched the oil there was a flash of flame and the furnace team had to immerse the blade quickly in the oil before the flames spread. Clearly not a job for the faint-hearted!

Reference: PP.1986.10.6

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums

Keywords:
circular saw blades, saw tempering tank, saws, toolmakers, toolmaking, whale oil, William Cook & Sons



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