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...
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...
In part 12 we left our intrepid sawster (Is that a word? It is now.) feeling very sorry for himself. If you haven’t read part 12, you should read that first as this is a continuation of that post. Anyhow, you can’t keep a hand tool junkie down and suitably chastised by the saw gods, I picked myself up and worked the problem. I found out that I’d mistakenly thought the problem was what is known as ‘Cows and Calves’. However that is when the bottom of the gullet...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Well the rain finally stopped today and the sun came out. Looking out on my garden, the squirrels were making the most of it. I sat and watched this youngster somersaulting around the garden, before settling on a branch to devour his morning pine cone. Following his lead, I took the opportunity to get outside and sharpen another saw. Next up is the W. Tyzack, Sons & Turner No.120. Fourteen inches long with a .030” thick plate and an extra heavy spine. This is by far the heaviest ba...
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