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...
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...
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...
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) ...
I don’t mind admitting that sash saws confuse me. I’m not talking about the word ‘sash’. Obviously in days gone by, this type/size of backsaw was used to make sash windows and the name stuck. What confuses me is whether it is the length of the saw that defines it as a sash saw or the way it is filed. When I’m confused about hand tools, I turn to the people I respect in the hand tool world and when it comes to saws those people are Joel Moskowitz, Matt Cianci, and Mark Harrell. The excerpt...
COMMENTATOR: We go live now to the Sawing arena where Brit has just won gold. Sawing is a new Olympic event and is the only event where you get marked down for crossing the line. Brit, congratulations! BRIT: Thanks John. COMMENTATOR: You were up against Big Joe, a formidable opponent. Was there any doubt in your mind that you were going to win? BRIT: Well John, nothing is ever certain in sawing. We’ve met a couple of times before and he’s got the better of me, but I had a...
Just in time for the Olympics, we’re now having a heat wave, so I decided to sharpen Big Joe. This isn’t the first time I’ve tried to sharpen it. When I went to Paul Sellers’ saw sharpening workshop last December, I took it with me and tried to sharpen it rip. It looks like I know what I’m doing in that photo doesn’t it? Au contraire mon ami. I made a right pig’s ear of it. You’ve heard of progressive filing haven’t you? ...
This was the first saw I bought off ebay. I can’t remember how much I paid, but it wasn’t much. The seller only posted one dark grainy photo, so I didn’t really know what I was getting and at that time I didn’t know what to look for anyway. When it arrived and I removed the wrapping, I literally had goosebumps. I couldn’t get over how beautiful the hand-made tote was. More than once I’ve drifted off into dreamland imagining the work this saw has performed d...
Just wanted to post a quick video to show a Disston D8 that I sharpened today as a 7ppi rip saw with 5 degrees of rake. I’ve also included the Disston D8 from my last post which was filed 8ppi crosscut with 12 degrees of rake and 20 degrees of fleam.
I managed to grab a few hours when it wasn’t raining and decided to sharpen Big Joe, the first of my crosscut backsaws. I got ¾ of the way through filing in new teeth and my file gave out. I’ve ordered some more files which should be here early next week, so I’ll return to Big Joe in a future post. I didn’t want to waste the day however, so I decided to sharpen a handsaw instead – a first for me. Some months ago, I restored a couple of 26” Disston D8s. This one is 8PPI (points per in...
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