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...
Wow, seems like I do one blog post per year, so … here’s my annual installment. My last post was a bit prophetic, “handsaws in my future”. I had a hunch that this was the direction my shop habits were heading but I wasn’t 100% convinced until now. I like quiet, I like the smell of wood being cut, ive got a 10 month old at home who isn’t the most sound of sleepers, and ive got some “old soul” in me. This leads me on a new journey into making t...
The Humble Hand Brace - A Beginner's Guide to Restoring, Buying and Using #8: Part 8 - Tips and Tricks on Using a Hand Brace
Sorry it has taken me so long to post the final part to this blog series. Life just gets in the way sometimes. However, here it is and I hope you enjoy it. In this episode I wanted to look at using a hand brace and explore some of the so called hints and tips out there to see if they really are useful. I’ll also show you how to get in touch with your inner level. I’m assuming you’ve sharpened your auger bits like I showed you in the last episode. A sharp auger bit is paramount for drilling...
You know I said at the end of my last post that I’d post a picture of each saw and tell you how I was going to sharpen them and why? Well I lied. :-) The temptation of my restored backsaws, a saw vise and a bundle of saw files was just too much. I had to sharpen a saw, but which one? I thought about it for a while and settled on the little Spear & Jackson 8” Dovetail saw. Remember this one? I chose it for two reasons: For a dovetail saw, the depth of cut is quite big at 50mm. ...
When I did my research, I found a number of good saw vise designs on the web. Some were simple, whilst others were more complex. The fundamental requirement of a saw vise is that it clamps a saw securely while you sharpen it, everything else is just icing. So it can be as simple as sandwiching the saw plate between two pieces of wood in a vise on your bench. Last December, I had the privilege of attending a saw sharpening class with Paul Sellers at Penrhyn Castle in North Wales. At the beginn...
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...
The Humble Hand Brace - A Beginner's Guide to Restoring, Buying and Using #6: Part 6 - What to Look for when Buying a Secondhand Brace and more
I thought I’d mix it up a bit in this part of the blog and record a video where I: Discuss what to look for when you pick up a secondhand brace and consider buying it. Mention variations in design and size and why you would use one size over another. Address Racerglen’s question on restoring plated braces. Answer lysdexic’s question as to why the Yankee 2100 represents the pinnacle of brace development. YouTube only allows uploads up to 15 minutes in length (...
A quick and dirty update with pictures of progress made (if I can call it that) since the last installment. And progress has been painful because the lunchbox planer shot craps. Why is that a problem for a galoot like me? Well, the cherry I’d like to use for the front of this cabinet is substantially cupped and ‘the electron way’ was going to help me move past those flaws. Not to be, so I’ve been making boards the hard way. In no real order, here’s proof. Usin...
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...
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