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The Joy of Handtools #1: And Then I "Saw" it Cut...

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Blog entry by Tomcat1066 posted 11-24-2008 12:19 AM 930 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Now I’m a believer!

I just sharpened a couple of my backsaws. In particular, my Disston D-4 and my Warranted Superior (look in my projects for pictures of the Warranted Superior…no pics of the D-4). I had built my saw vice some time ago, as many of you know, but I had yet to actually use the blasted thing. Well, I started on my D-4 last night, and finished it and the Warranted Superior this afternoon.

Let me tell you, I know have to disagree with anyone who things a vintage saw can’t cut. I did the cuts for a set of pins for dovetails in about two minutes total with the D-4. I cut through a piece of 2-by scrap in just seconds with the Warranted Superior. It was more physical than using a power saw, sure. It was slower too, I’ll agree. However, it did the job well, and it wasn’t all that slow either. Not only that, but I wasn’t nearly as tired as some people would lead you to believe. And remember…I’m still a beginner!

And, for the record, this wasn’t even a good sharpening job. I really didn’t do that well on the Disston. I’ll have to do better in the future, but it was apparently good enough. I can only imagine what they would cut like when they were properly sharpened!

It just goes to prove what I’ve been told before. If the tool is a pain to use, it’s probably dull. Chisels, planes, saws, all need to be sharp to do their best. If they’re dull, they’ll fulfill every horror story you’ve heard of about hand tools.

I still have three saws left to be sharpened; my tenon saw, my crosscut panel saw, and my rip panel saw. However, I’m not worried about the difficulty of those three. The only reason I didn’t get onto those was the time. Rest assured though, they will be sharpened…and used! I can hardly wait :)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!



4 comments so far

View Zuki's profile

Zuki

1404 posts in 3541 days


#1 posted 11-24-2008 12:27 AM

Excellent TC.

I have a couple of Disston that need sharpening and I have no clue on how to do it. Care to share any links that may have helped.

Did you need to use a saw set? My father gave me a vintage one that was owned by my grandfater. This tool looks like a set of pliers and is used to set the teeth (left and right) of a handsaw.

-- BLOG - http://www.colorfulcanary.com/search/label/Zuki

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3260 days


#2 posted 11-24-2008 12:56 AM

Zuki,

Try here as far as how to file.

As for using a saw set, I did. I’ve got two, but both are brand new from Tools for Working Wood . The above link has pretty much everything you need for saw sharpening…or so far as I used ;)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 3286 days


#3 posted 11-25-2008 12:36 AM

Thanks for the post, TC. I have a couple of hand saws that used to belong to my father that need to be sharpened but simply did not have any idea how to go about it. This post helps a great deal.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Tomcat1066's profile

Tomcat1066

942 posts in 3260 days


#4 posted 11-26-2008 12:05 AM

Glad to be of service :)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

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