Japanese Tools #3: Saw fixing weekend

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Blog entry by CreekOne posted 09-14-2014 05:33 PM 1836 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Vocabulary. Part 3 of Japanese Tools series Part 4: More things happened this weekend. »

So, I have these saws.

These are old, how old, I don’t know but they are handmade, most likely industrially handmade.

They have this nice engraved markings on them, not like the modern stamps, more like hand stitched engravings. You can also see some marks where the steel was welded to make the saw blade.

So, how to get some old, dirty, rusty, dull saws in working order?
  • First step was a nice bath of citric acid, this removed most of the dirt and rust. I don’t have any pictures of this, sorry.
  • Next step was to straighten the bent blades on two saws, this is easily done in one of many ways of using the properties of metal to your advantage. One of the blade was bent in the tang, just next to the handle. This is where the steel don’t have the springy properties of the rest of the blade so I could use a cold hammering to correct this.
    This is where my venture into blacksmithing comes really useful. The second saw was bent in the blade so there are more work to be done here, hammering out the spring steel, straightening the blade and re set the hardness.

  • Next step is the most simple one, Sharpening.
    Sharpening a japanese saw is the most straight forward thing I have ever done. It is very simple to sharpen the teeth, all you need is a saw vice and a japanese saw file, feather file.

    An old swedish saw vice.

Some hand stitched japanese saw files

Some of the best hand stitched saw files ever made for western saws, Swedish Öbergs & Co, and I have 36 unused.

Anyway, on to filing saws.
Put ye old saw in the vice.

For cross-cut teeth
Start filing the teeth, file all the teeth that points away on the “front” first, if you need, also file the “back” of these. Last and least, file the 2nd bevel on top of the teeth. Turn the saw around and repeat.


For rip-cut teeth
Start filing the teeth, file all the teeth that points away on the “front” first, if you need, also file the “back” of these.
Turn the saw around and repeat.


The result of a Saturday in my almost done workshop was really good.

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