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Old 29-04-2008, 04:01   #1
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Saw Sharpening

Saw Filing - A Beginner's Primer:
“... Most people think that sharpening a saw with a file is a skill that is just too complicated to undertake. In reality it is not, although there are some details that you must pay attention to at all times ...”
Goto: http://www.vintagesaws.com/library/primer/sharp.html
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Old 29-04-2008, 08:29   #2
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Funny, this reminds me of those old "101 Things for Boys To Do" projects that I so loved growing up. Like, "how to grow your own walking stick", or something along those lines.
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Old 29-04-2008, 11:12   #3
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Thanks for that Gord. I have been sharpening my own chain saws for years. I have few old hand saws that are worth sharpening, but most of the newer saws seem to be throw aways. I have never been able to get one to take an edge. All my years of wood boats, I tend to put a high value on my hand tools, including saws. You would be amazed at how efficient the cut is with a good hand saw. Hardly makes it worth plugging in the power tools.
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Old 29-04-2008, 11:16   #4
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Thanks, Gord.

I have a really nice Nicholson dovetail saw that I've owned for 20 years or so,and it needs sharpening. There's nowhere to get that done professionally here on Nevis. Now all I need to do is acquire some of those special files.
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Old 29-04-2008, 11:30   #5
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I have been using a Dremel tool with the little carbide discs to sharpen hand saws for years now. Once you get the hang of it, it works pretty good. Recently I used it to sharpen some round hole saws for my drill press. I don't know that I would try it on carbide tipped table or circular saw ( is that redundant?) blades, but for carbon steel it works. Dremel also makes little round stones for sharpening chain saws.

Love them Dremels. Used one last week to cut quartz glass.
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Old 29-04-2008, 11:31   #6
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The Dremel is a good idea! It would be easier to maintain the proper angle vs. free-hand with a file, true?
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Old 29-04-2008, 11:57   #7
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I won't show you my attempts with a Dremel. I will stick with the file. The Dremels do work if you have the technique, but I don't. Ruined a perfectly good chain that way.
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Old 29-04-2008, 12:28   #8
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The Dremel is a good idea! It would be easier to maintain the proper angle vs. free-hand with a file, true?
I'd guess not (unless you have a guide), due to the speed of the Dremel (but I'll admit, I've never tried).
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Old 29-04-2008, 12:43   #9
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When I started using the Dremel for that, I would make a little jig with some wood scraps to hold the tool and saw blade at a constant angle. Then you just flip it over to the other side of the saw for the opposite teeth. After a while, I found that by wearing some of those magnifying glasses or using a bench magnifier I could do it just as well by hand. It's not hard with some practice. And while the carbide disc is spinning pretty quickly, it only takes a light touch to that flat plane of a disc to get it right. For me it was easier than a file, and it became quicker. The thinness of the disc meant I didn't mess up other teeth as much easier.
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Old 29-04-2008, 19:50   #10
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Always used a file for my chain saw, never been really good at hand saws too scard
but have not tried since developing skill on the chainsaws
will give it a go again
thanks Gord
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Old 29-04-2008, 20:38   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
When I started using the Dremel for that...
I will try that as I get tired of the time it takes doing it with a file - I then kid myself that it is quicker to use a blunt saw than to spend time sharpening it. I assume that one doesn't need a saw vice (or keep resupporting it through a normal vice) either.

(PS I was a cat in a long discarded Latvian life, if you get my gist . So kind regards to you an P...).
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Old 29-04-2008, 20:40   #12
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Gentlemen, sharpening a saw correctly is more difficult than it looks. My parents own a hardware store, you know, the old type store that contractors and old men come in for coffee in the morning... Has nail bins and ailses of drawers with every nut, bolt and washer imaginable... Anyway, they have a machine shop in back with Bell machines for sharpening circular blades and hand saws, and various grinding wheels set for diffrent chain saws. To sharpen the saw, you have to accurately off-set the teeth on the circular and hand saws, and yes different blades require a different off-set. then you have to sharpen each individual tooth to exactly match each other tooth. It is machining and must be done correctly. Chain saws, different machine, using a precisely set grinding wheel for both angle and depth to enure trueness. Anyone can take a file and sharpen something, but there is a reason carpenters and professionals bring their blades in. My grandfather did it until his death, it is very meticulous work. Ask a true craftsman or cabinet maker if he sharpens his own blades. The vast majority don't for a reason.

Sorry for being long winded, just something I know quite a bit about.

And if you are ever bored on a weekend, go see an old fashioned hardware store that is privately owned and been in business for several decades. I still have a blast going there.
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Old 30-04-2008, 01:57   #13
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I stopped sharpening my hand saws when I could get a hardened tip one for the price of the files I would use in the sharpening. Having a diamond sharpening kit, I might change my mind. There is not only the sharpening but the setting, stripping gulletting, otherwise you end up with a saw with small sharp teeth in the middle with no set and no ability to clear chips, and jams as you use the full length of the saw. You also need to take any bends out. I used to live out in the bush without power, building with second hand and bush timbers ( Australian hardwoods, not easy cutting soft stuff) and learnt painfully and slowly. I still have my saw set
Robert
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Old 30-04-2008, 02:03   #14
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While in PNG, I was building a small aluminium tri. I couldn't get jig saw blades to match my jig saw. I used to TIG weld the broken blades, grind new ones out of an old saw, and resharpen and set till there was nothing left. I also used a 12point hand saw, and was sharpening it after every few feet of cutting. Times have changed.
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Old 30-04-2008, 05:01   #15
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From another forum, an excellent thread on saw restoration and sharpening.
New Life for an Old Saw Advanced Filing and Restoration - The WoodenBoat Forum
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