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The Slippery Slope #8: Saw Sharpening! Preppin your weapons ...

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Blog entry by chrisstef posted 07-01-2013 06:49 PM 1661 reads 0 times favorited 103 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Handsaws In My Future - Looking for Info Part 8 of The Slippery Slope series Part 9: Itchin to get started saw sharpening! »

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 those old handsaws sing again.

With the help of our buddy Andy (Brit) and his “Saw Talk” blog series ill be diving head first into the pool of handsaw sharpening. Ive never sharpened a saw prior to this and was 100% clueless about sharpening prior to reading Andy’s blogs. Ive read each one of his blogs front to back, cover to cover, and in about a months time I think ive amassed enough knowledge to screw things up ;). Not to reiterate what has all ready been written in his blog, ill leave you all to find out what you need for your specific saws. For me, I need to sharpen saws with 4 ppi, 5 1/2 ppi, 8 ppi, 10 ppi, and 12 ppi. A combination of both rip and crosscut saws. But before I can get to sharpening I need some new tools to make all this happen. Shucks, I hate buying new tools.

If you’re slightly interested in this blog then you know that there is some trouble out there in finding good quality saw files. It took me a few weeks but I finally found a local distributor for Simonds files and im expecting a delivery of the files any day now. Along with the files I had to go out and get a proper saw set and I also chose a file holder angle thingy from Veritas. (Real technical terminology there). This will help me to better gauge fleam and rake when sharpening. I also need to make a saw vice to properly hold the saws right around elbow high and a holder for a mill file for jointing the teeth of the saws. For a grand total of around $150 ive got everything I need.

The next step in my slippery slope of hand tools is building the saw vice and the file holder. Ive got all my materials socked away in the shop and im hoping that this week, after the baby is asleep and the house is quiet, ill be building what I need to get the ball rolling as I wait for the delivery of files, saw set, and file holder.

A huge kudos to Andy for detailing his very own adventure into sharpening. You sir have been an inspiration and a valuable asset.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty



103 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5306 posts in 1255 days


#1 posted 07-01-2013 06:54 PM

You are a brave man. Hopefully, you can master the skill. Then you can sharpen some of my saws. The only problem I have is so limited amount of shop time, it may take 4 to 5 years to use the saws enough to need them re-sharpened.

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

4658 posts in 1097 days


#2 posted 07-01-2013 06:56 PM

Give it hell Stef!!

This will be fun….

-- ~Tony

View Don W's profile

Don W

15039 posts in 1225 days


#3 posted 07-01-2013 07:02 PM

i’ll come along for the ride. I can get it done, but I’m no where’s near proficient at it. I’ve got a few you can practice on if you need it.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10850 posts in 1663 days


#4 posted 07-01-2013 07:07 PM

Shane – I think that means you need to go out and pick up some old neglected saws. Its a sign.

Tony – it oughtta be interesting, you’re right. Luckily ive got a couple of practice saws that are either kinked or almost out of plate.

I think its a good skill set to learn. I know that when I got into handplanes I learned much more from rehabbing an old beat up one rather than one that was fresh out of the box. Hopefully this will help me learn the intricacies of hand saws and what works best, in what particular situations.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10850 posts in 1663 days


#5 posted 07-01-2013 07:08 PM

Don – we’ll see how the first one goes and if I need a couple more beaters ill surely let ya know. Thanks for the offer buddy. Always appreciated.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Don W's profile

Don W

15039 posts in 1225 days


#6 posted 07-01-2013 07:14 PM

start with a big old course crosscut. They’re pretty easy. Its a great confidence booster.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View theoldfart's profile

theoldfart

4265 posts in 1108 days


#7 posted 07-01-2013 07:19 PM

Got the saws, the set, the vise, the dull saws , even a few files so get going Obewan, to learn need I.

-- "Aged flatus, I heard that some one has already blown out your mortise." THE Surgeon ……………………………………. Kevin

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10850 posts in 1663 days


#8 posted 07-01-2013 07:25 PM

Don, I was actually gonna start on the most course rip saw just to get a feel for things but the 8 ppi xcut I have will be a practice one, the rest are 10 ppi. The plate is pretty short on it and not a whole lot of life. Its still very wide open as to which one I start with I guess. Curiously, why do you suggest the xcut first?

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Sanding2day's profile

Sanding2day

974 posts in 504 days


#9 posted 07-01-2013 07:54 PM

Hopefully wont be a year to find out how the new saw/sharpening has been going… Enjoy your new conquest… Thanks for sharing…

-- Dan

View AnthonyReed's profile

AnthonyReed

4658 posts in 1097 days


#10 posted 07-01-2013 07:56 PM

I think it’ll be a great show. Thanks for taking us in tow.

I agree about rehabbing planes and/or chisels, in that it gives better insight as to where set the aim with the tool; in its setup and use. It is like knowing the math before you break out the calculator.

-- ~Tony

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

891 posts in 767 days


#11 posted 07-01-2013 07:58 PM

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

10850 posts in 1663 days


#12 posted 07-01-2013 08:10 PM

Yea Barry, ive been eyeing that class for some time now but with the addition of Babystef no way am I getting the blessing from the powers that be to skip out on an entire weekend. Ill be relegated to internet learning and good old fashioned trial and error ;). One way or another im determined to get it.

Dan – I hope it wont take me that long either!

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Sodabowski's profile

Sodabowski

2012 posts in 1490 days


#13 posted 07-01-2013 08:12 PM

Can’t wait for your first impressions, as I’m slowly but certainly slipping that way too…

-- Holy scrap Barkman!

View Brit's profile

Brit

5153 posts in 1500 days


#14 posted 07-01-2013 08:53 PM

GO STEF!!!

Now I get to put my feet up. :o)

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View CessnaPilotBarry's profile

CessnaPilotBarry

891 posts in 767 days


#15 posted 07-01-2013 09:08 PM

Remember Chris, Matt Cianci is a regular a lots of local events… So if you get the chance, go watch him work and pick his brain. He’s super approachable…

-- It's all good, if it's wood...

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