Aimed at those new to saw sharpening, this instructional video is 2 1/4 hours long and covers the theory, the tools and the practice of sharpening western saws. You get to look over my shoulder as I sharpen four saws – two backsaws and two hand saws. I’ll explain the saw sharpening process and how you apply it to different scenarios. I really hope you find it useful. As to the production quality, I’ve done the best I could. I had to record it outside, so there is a bi...
The Humble Hand Brace - A Beginner's Guide to Restoring, Buying and Using #2: Part 2 – Cleaning and Restoring a Brace to ‘Like New’ Condition
At the end of Part 1 I showed you a photo of the polished chuck. The outside was complete and the rust had been removed from the inside, but I still had to smooth the inside face to prevent it marking the jaws again. To do this, I cut a piece of dowel about 4” long, and marked approximately 1 1/6” in from one end using an awl. Then I drilled a 3mm hole using a hand drill. Well who’s got time to charge batteries these days? Using my dovetail saw, I cut a slot about 1/16” wide str...
Next up on my epic backsaw journey is a much younger saw (60s, 70s? – not sure exactly). It’s a W. Tyzack, Sons & Turner filed 10 TPI crosscut and sports an extra heavy brass back. I bought this saw because it was cheap and there was nothing wrong with the saw plate. Gone is the subtle stamp that appeared on the brass back of a 19th century Tyzack saw. Instead, this spine has a rather garish impression. The crisp elephant logo now looks like a partially thawed out woolly mam...
These are my observations about learning to sharpen handsaws, along with some reminiscing about years gone by. I will say at the outset that I consider myself a beginning handsaw filer. I still fall short of what I would call an accomplished filer, and I’m certainly no expert. As I’m still in learning mode, these observations are not intended to be instructional. Perhaps, however, my observations will be helpful, or at least interesting, to other beginners. I doubt that experienced handsaw fi...
When I sat down to write this blog, my PC was asleep. I pressed a key and it immediately sprang into life so that I could begin typing. I tend to write my blogs in MS Word before pasting them into LJs and as I type, I receive feedback on my grammar and spelling and change my text accordingly. Hand tools are no different to MS Word really. Lying on a bench or hanging in a tool cabinet, they are nothing more than inanimate objects. Pick them up and use them for their intended purpose and they p...
So I thought I’d have a go at sharpening the 14 inch Cowell & Chapman backsaw (which is really a W. Tyzack, Sons & Turner). I’m going to file it 10.5 TPI rip with 9 degrees of rake and 5 degrees of fleam. I was going to add 5 degrees of slope as well, but I figure at this point I should just concentrate on filing the fleam correctly without complicating things further. Remember this one? This saw has an extra-heavy brass back and therefore there is a considerable am...
My new (to me) Unisaw didn’t come with any safety equipment, and I’ve been having trouble finding a splitter that I like, so I decided that until I find one I really like, I’ll just make one and add it to my new ZC throat plate. I laid in bed last night racking my brain over what material I might have that would be easy to work with and I remembered some old shelf brackets I wasn’t using. I popped the end cap off, cut the dog legs off, did most of the filing and shapin...
Have you missed me? Sorry for leaving you hanging for so long, but work was a bit manic leading up to Christmas. Now where was I? Oh yeah, I was just about to sharpen the last of my crosscut backsaws, a 12” carcase saw made by W. Tyzack, Sons & Turner. I restored this saw in part 1 of this blog series. It had a number of issues and honestly, it still has a few of them. 1) The plate was heavily pitted in places.2) The plate had a wave in it. 3) The spine was bent.4) ...
Last week I blogged about making a marking knife from scratch. I had gotten as far as getting a good start on the handle and filing the blade to a point. Yesterday, I was going to file a bevel onto the blade, hone it, and then work on getting in mounted in the handle. I didn’t quite get that far. Do you know how hard it is to hand-file bevels onto a spear-pointed knife, so that both sides are even? I found myself overdoing one side, then the other. I made adjustments to the angle ...
I have been in desperate need of a better way to hold my saws for sharpening. My old setup( two sticks of wood ~26 inches long which I would clamp onto saw plate and my vise) was simply not cutting it (sawing pun intended). I thought about purchasing vintage, but everyone always complained of bad vibrations, they are overpriced at antique shops, and I didn’t want to reposition my saw 4 times for full sized handsaws. I really liked Andy’s (Brit) design. It was economical, sturdy...
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