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View Don W's profile

Saws, using collecting, cleaning and buying

by Don W
posted 06-26-2011 01:17 AM


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8713 replies

8713 replies so far

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WayneC

12300 posts in 2821 days


#1 posted 06-26-2011 01:51 AM

This shouild be an interesting discussion. I’m looking to get some good handsaws up and running.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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Dan

3543 posts in 1604 days


#2 posted 06-26-2011 08:54 AM

About a year or so ago I picked up two old back saws and restored them. I never really used hand saws and I thought it would be nice to have a couple on hand to use if I ever needed them. I never had any intention of collecting saws…...

A year later I have at least 30 to 40 saws scattered about my shop. I guess the saw collecting bug bit me the same way the hand plane one did. For me, saws are much easier to restore then the planes at least until it comes to sharpening them. I am actually starting to get the hang of sharpening saws but I still need a lot of work. The first two old backsaws I got sat in my shop for more then 6 months before I found someone who could sharpen them for me. I found a local tool collector who specializes is saws and he was kind enough to sharpen them for me as well as teach me how to do it. I had never used a sharp saw before and wow was it amazing. If sharpened well they cut like a knife through butter. I use them all the time now.

Here are my restored backsaws, a pre civil war Disston backsaw and a GH Bishop saw. I have the Disston filed Rip and the Bishop cross cut. The Bishop is my favorite. The handle is very comfortable.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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TopamaxSurvivor

15024 posts in 2399 days


#3 posted 06-26-2011 10:33 AM

I have several that I intend to do someday. I have the files, saw vise and saw sets; now, time??

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Brit

5286 posts in 1566 days


#4 posted 06-26-2011 11:31 AM

Dan – I love those back saws. You did an amazing job restoring them. What was your finishing regime for the handles?

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

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David Grimes

2072 posts in 1363 days


#5 posted 06-26-2011 11:50 AM

You have done a very nice job, Dan. They look nearly new.

I am supplementing my few hand saws and miter back cut saws (Stanley and Buck Bros, etc.) with a range of very small disposable Zona modeling saws and several larger but still small Shark saws. I’ll work my way up to the bigger and/or older boys later (maybe).

The only time I use a hand saw is when I cut 16’ material down to 8’ at the suppliers yard so it will go on the 6 1/2 foot bedded truck. But usually we have the 8’ truck or the 14’ flat bed trailer for materials pickup.

The only time I use a hand miter saw and box is when the motored saws are all out and I’m in a pinch. That’s very rare. I believe if I had a collection of those saws that they would be rarely used, but pretty to look at.

Great idea on a thread for saws. We’ll have all these categories covered soon and they’ll be there and growing as time shuffles on. Thanks.

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

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Don W

15426 posts in 1291 days


#6 posted 06-26-2011 01:13 PM

I love what you’ve done with the back saws. I hope mine come out that well. How did you restore the blades?

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

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Don W

15426 posts in 1291 days


#7 posted 06-26-2011 01:19 PM

If you look at Mads blog some of his saws have a metal plate on the side of the handle. Has anyone in the states seen this? Know any history?

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

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Brit

5286 posts in 1566 days


#8 posted 06-26-2011 02:05 PM

Although a lot of you have probably seen the folowing pictures before, I think they deserve a place on this thread now that we have one dedicated to Saws. Hand saws and back saws are probably my favourite hand tools. There is just something about them. For me, it all started when I decided I wanted to learn to sharpen saws and bought an old Spear and Jackson 26” crosscut saw off eBay. The picture on the listing was crap and the description was something like “Old saw, says Spear and Jackson. Needs a clean.” I got it to practice on.

When I opened the package, it was love at first site. This is how it looked when it arrived. You can read more details about this saw here.

and here it is after a bit of TLC.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Totes don’t get any better than this:

Here is how the saw plate looked before and after cleaning:


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

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RGtools

3312 posts in 1378 days


#9 posted 06-26-2011 05:59 PM

I may have a saw problem.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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Brit

5286 posts in 1566 days


#10 posted 06-26-2011 06:21 PM

RGTools – Wonderful saws, but I wouldn’t you have a saw problem yet, just a healthy appreciation for good tools. What are the hand saws? Are they all Disstons?

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

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bigike

4033 posts in 2012 days


#11 posted 06-26-2011 06:39 PM

Me myself I wouldn’t mind getting an old saw and cleaning er up but I know nothing about the old saws cept for disstons,tyzack,spear and jackson,stanley,marples,sheffield saw co.,zona. So as you can see it’s just names that’s it, plus after getting my table saw I hate sawing by hand now unless it’s dovetails but I need a lot of practice on those so I’m gonna stick to the jigs for a little. If I ever do get a saw I know where to look for help though and you can count on it being one of the names up above I mentioned or something newer.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

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bigike

4033 posts in 2012 days


#12 posted 06-26-2011 06:40 PM

Sorry for the ramblings, You do have some work ahead of you though please keep us posted.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://www.icombadaniels@yahoo.com

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RGtools

3312 posts in 1378 days


#13 posted 06-26-2011 09:09 PM

Brit

ECE bow saws. (love them)

2 Disstons,
1 keen cutter.

2 craftsmans that I have tweaked to do the good work they should have been made to do in the first place.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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WayneC

12300 posts in 2821 days


#14 posted 06-27-2011 05:17 AM

My latest saw….

a 15” bow saw…

I’m thinking I will make a 12” next.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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Brit

5286 posts in 1566 days


#15 posted 06-27-2011 06:32 AM

Nice one Wayne. Here’s my latest saw as of yesterday. Needs a little TLC, but it will clean up fine. It has a couple of broken teeth apparently, so I’ll be re-shaping the teeth on this one. Its a W H Armitage & Co, London Spring steel, made in Sheffield. 14” blade, 18 1/2” overall. Handle is sound with no damage. weighs 800grams.

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

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WayneC

12300 posts in 2821 days


#16 posted 06-27-2011 06:35 AM

Good morning Andy. That is a very nice little saw. I would love to come across the pond and poke around at some boot sales. It would be a lot of fun to find something like that.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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Brit

5286 posts in 1566 days


#17 posted 06-27-2011 06:57 AM

Here are some of my other saws that I use and love. Three Gramercys (can’t recommend these highly enough), followed by some Sharks with disposable blades and a Veritas Flushcut saw, then a couple of fret saws. Lastly, a couple of Diston D8s that I recently restored.






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

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WayneC

12300 posts in 2821 days


#18 posted 06-27-2011 07:07 AM

The D8s are things of beauty. How do you like the sharks? I’ve seen them in the local stores.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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Brit

5286 posts in 1566 days


#19 posted 06-27-2011 07:27 AM

The Sharks cut beautifully. I don’t use them all that often, but they come extremely sharp and stay sharp for a long time. I bought the set of three from an online UK shop that has them on offer every now and again. The top one cuts through a 2×4” like butter. The second is rip one side and crosscut the other and is probably the one I use the most. The little one is crosscut both edges, fine and very fine teeth and is useful for cutting beading. I don’t like the handles on any of them personally. a) they are plastic and b) uncomfortable for any extended use.

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

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Tedstor

1443 posts in 1356 days


#20 posted 06-27-2011 07:48 AM

I truly appreciate saws and would love to find some nice specimens, worthy of restoration. Unfortunately, the only vintage saws I ever seem to find are WAAAY too beat-up, pitted, or bent for me to even try.
But I’ll keep looking none-the-less.

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RGtools

3312 posts in 1378 days


#21 posted 06-27-2011 02:57 PM

Brit, how’s the tension on those fret saws as opposed to a coping saw? And how do the blades hold up. I have been thinking about grabbing one for dovetail waste, because I hate my grandfathers coping saw.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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Dan

3543 posts in 1604 days


#22 posted 06-27-2011 04:58 PM

Brit – I sanded the handles by hand starting at 180 grit and worked up to 320. I think they were cleaned with simple green before sanding. I then finished them with a few coats of Zinsser Shellac and after they dried I polished them with a very fine abrasive pad. I think I put some paste wax on also.

Don – For the smaller backsaws I removed the handles and soaked the blades in EvapoRust over night. After I took them out of the EvapoRust I washed them off and started sanding. It can get very tricky if you are looking to expose an etch. I always always start by using a sanding block. I just use a piece of scrap wood with sandpaper attached. If blade is rough I start with 220 grit. It is important to use a sanding block if you are wanting to uncover the etch (if its even there still). If you use abrasive pad, steel wool, or even sand paper without a block the abrasive pads or paper will go into the etch and ruin it. With a sanding block the sand paper will ride right over the etch.

I will sand the blade with 220 until I start to reveal or uncover the etch. As soon as start seeing the etch I stop with 220 and move up to 400 grit wet/dry paper. If you are not trying to preserve or uncover the etch then you don’t have to be as careful when sanding the handle. Once I can see the etch I just sand the blade carefully and move up to higher grits. You will want to be careful not to fade the etch. If your sanding is fading it then you should stop sanding the area over the etch. Again, thats only if your looking to reveal and keep the etch.

I worked up to a very fine grit with my backsaws but you can stop sanding when ever you are happy with the look of the blade. After I finished sanding I polished the blades with metal polish.

Here is a great example of a saw etch that I uncovered. I got an old handsaw from a garage sale and when I got it you couldn’t see any etch at all. This is what I found after cleaning it up. Cant see in the first picture but once you get close..

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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Dan

3543 posts in 1604 days


#23 posted 06-27-2011 05:02 PM

You can also darken or “raise” faded saw etches by using Gun Bluing. I have never done this but I have read about it from more then one place and it seems to work well.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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DaddyZ

2419 posts in 1764 days


#24 posted 06-27-2011 07:03 PM

Nice Blog going !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

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mafe

9621 posts in 1813 days


#25 posted 06-28-2011 12:32 AM

What a wonderful lot of saws here, I am really impressed both by the quality and the work done to restore them.
Wauuuuuuuuu.
I just posted today on my saw blog: http://lumberjocks.com/mafe/blog/24080
After seeing some of these old wonderful saws here I cant wait to get there.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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Bertha

12951 posts in 1416 days


#26 posted 06-28-2011 12:38 AM

Andy, are those D8 handles shopmade?

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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Don W

15426 posts in 1291 days


#27 posted 06-28-2011 01:27 AM

So, my goal was to finish this this week. With a little extra time today, and it not taking as long as I expected, here is the disston 70:


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

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mafe

9621 posts in 1813 days


#28 posted 06-28-2011 01:48 AM

Wonderful saw.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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WayneC

12300 posts in 2821 days


#29 posted 06-28-2011 05:23 AM

Wow Don, that came out wonderful.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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Dan

3543 posts in 1604 days


#30 posted 06-28-2011 07:06 AM

Don, I love the open handle design on that Disston saw. I have an old Disston handsaw with a really neat open handle but I have not been able to find it on the Disston site. I will get some pics and post on here tomorrow. Maybe someone here can help ID it.

Great job on the restore.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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Brit

5286 posts in 1566 days


#31 posted 06-28-2011 12:24 PM

Nice job on the saw Don, looks great.

Bertha – No, I didn’t make the handles themselves. When I bought them, the lacquer on both handles was badly cracked and flaking off. I scraped and sanded it back to the wood and refined the shape slightly to make them more comfortable to hold and to remove chips and scratches.

1. Sanded carefully and thoroughly up to P600 grit.
2. Liberally applied a coat of BLO with a paper towel. Added more to areas that kept soaking it up. After about 30 minutes, I wiped off any excess and left it for 48 hours to dry.
3. I mixed up a finish that was about 1/2 BLO, 1/4 Pure Turps and 1/4 Oil-based polyurethane. I wiped on 3 or 4 coats of this finish over the course of a couple of weeks, letting it dry thoroughly each time.
4. After the last coat, I left the handles for two weeks and then rubbed them out with Liberon clear paste wax applied with Liberon 0000 steel wool. I let the paste wax dry overnight and buffed it up the next day with clean soft cloth.

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

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mafe

9621 posts in 1813 days


#32 posted 06-28-2011 01:06 PM

Andy that saw handle finish is so wonderful that I doubt it could be done better.
I am so impressed and feel really lazy – lol.
Best thoughts,
Mads

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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Brit

5286 posts in 1566 days


#33 posted 06-28-2011 01:27 PM

RGTOOLS – Sorry I forgot to answer your question about the blades on the two fret saws. Tension isn’t a problem, but make sure you get the right blades. For removing dovetail waste you want 12.5tpi skip tooth blades. Yo have to order these separately as the saw is fitted with a different blade when it arrives. Unlike a coping saw, you can’t rotate the blade relative to the frame. Instead you insert the 12.5tpi skp tooth blade, tension it and then twist the blade at each end with a pair of pliers. I’m left-handed, so I hold the saw vertically in my left hand and the pliers in my right hand and twist the blade about 20 degrees to the right. Twisting the blade at both ends enables you to remove the waste from dovetails regardless of the width of the wood. If you are right-handed, you would twist the blade to the left.

As to how the blades hold up. Very well. Don’t get me wrong, they are easy to break, but if you are careful, the blades will stay sharp for a long time and they remove the waste very quickly.

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

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Don W

15426 posts in 1291 days


#34 posted 06-28-2011 01:52 PM

Andy, I love your back saws with the brass backing. I agree with Mads too, really nice finish job on the handles.

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

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Brit

5286 posts in 1566 days


#35 posted 06-28-2011 02:09 PM

Mads – it was a bit of an experiment really. I’d never used BLO before, but I tried it on a piece of scrap and liked the richness it gave to the wood. It is important that you sand very carefully first though, as any scratches will show up with BLO. I thought I’d been quite thorough, but it could have been better in places.

The first coat was BLO straight from the bottle. The wood soaked that up straight way and I swear it burped out a “Thank you”. However, I thought I needed it a bit thinner, so I added some turps until I got a consistency that wiped on easily. I added the oil-based Poly, to improve the protection level. Not sure if it made any difference really.

I didn’t sand between coats at all, but rubbing out with paste wax and steel wool got rid of any dust nibs and the odd fly that had settled in the finish. Like I said, I was just experimenting.

Although it turned out Ok, I don’t think it is my ideal saw handle finish.

I think my ideal would be:

1. 1 coat of BLO. Allow to dry thoroughly. Add more coats until you are happy with the colour.
2. 1 barrier coat of dewaxed shellac. You can use the different colours of shellac flakes to further tint the colour if desired.
3. 3 coats of water-based diamond hard acrylic satin varnish. I love this finish and it is touch dry in 15 mins, recoat after 2 hours. You have to work very fast and don’t expect it to flow out like oil-based varnish.
After the last coat has thoroughly dried, rub out with fine scotchbrite pad and paste wax.

Although I haven’t tried this yet, I think it will give the beauty of BLO, the strength and endurance of Daimond hard acrylic varnish and the wonderful smell of Liberon paste wax. The acrylic varnish continues to harden over 2 months to become incredibly tough.

The nice thing about this though is that you use the BLO to get the colour you want. If after one coat it isn’t dark enough for you, just apply more coats until you are happy with the shade. The shellac won’t change the collour that much and the acrylic won’t change it at all, just add depth to the finish.

Whereas with a BLO, turps and Oil-based poly mix, you have to kind of guess at how much the colour is going to continue to change with each successive coat of the mix. So you could end up with needing to apply another coat to get the right level of protection, but not wanting to because one more coat will make it too dark.

One thing I have learnt in the past though, is that you can’t rush a good finish, although I have often tried. You need to be patient. :-)

Must get back to work now.

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

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RGtools

3312 posts in 1378 days


#36 posted 06-28-2011 02:57 PM

Thanks Brit.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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Don W

15426 posts in 1291 days


#37 posted 06-28-2011 03:45 PM

My wife was reading the other day. To darken BLO, add some ground up creasote from the chimney.

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

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Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1839 days


#38 posted 06-28-2011 04:16 PM

great blog here :-)
I have a question to all becourse I´m a little confused about the handle on some panelsaws
and how the angles on some of them is nearly 90 degrees or over
and others is more like the open pistolgrib closer to 45 degree
I can understand the angle to bee 45-60 degree
but when you use a panelsaw you want to have your cutting angle thrugh the wood to be low
as possiple to avoid tearout on the backside but the saws with 90 – 100 degree handle
force you to raise your saw more and will give bigger tearouts on the backside … so whats the point
I hope you get my point…... but look at Britts comment with the pictures of the spear and jacskson saw
and the picture of the Distons …. and see the different in the angle on the grib
I just don´t get the meening of why the distons have the high angle on the grib ….......... help me to understand why it should be better

take care
Dennis

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Don W

15426 posts in 1291 days


#39 posted 06-28-2011 04:34 PM

Who can tell me what kind of saw this is?

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

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Don W

15426 posts in 1291 days


#40 posted 06-28-2011 04:35 PM

And what this is:

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

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Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1839 days


#41 posted 06-28-2011 04:38 PM

to me its looked like a man has changed the fretsaw to his own way of sawing a speciel thing

Dennis

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Dennisgrosen

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#42 posted 06-28-2011 04:40 PM

its cutting round and can be adjusted as I can see …...but what it cuts I don´t know :-)

Dennis

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Don W

15426 posts in 1291 days


#43 posted 06-28-2011 04:42 PM

yea, I assumed it was some kind of circle cutter. I almost think I’ve seen one before. Somebody has to know. It was in the bottom of the chest of goodies. The saw I’ve had. I don’t even know where I got it.

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

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Brit

5286 posts in 1566 days


#44 posted 06-28-2011 05:11 PM

Looks like a bear trap to me Don. :-)

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

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mafe

9621 posts in 1813 days


#45 posted 06-28-2011 06:36 PM

Circle cutter for leather washers, rubber or other.

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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Dan

3543 posts in 1604 days


#46 posted 06-28-2011 07:23 PM

So how many guys here sharpen/file their own saws?

There have been many good conversations on this site in regards to plane iron and chisel sharpening but not much lately on saw filing.

I touched on it a little in an earlier reply but after I restored my first two backsaws I wanted to have them professionally sharpened because I didn’t know how to do it and I didn’t want to mess up them up trying. I had the hardest time finding someone that offered the service. I did find a few good places online but that would have required me shipping the saws out and they all had a longer turn around time. I decided to ask the guys at the local Woodcraft store if they knew anyone, possibly a regular customer or someone they could refer me to and they were clueless. Even the old timers that were working there had no clue. I couldn’t believe a big woodworking store like that didn’t have so much as a local referral. My local Woodcraft even has an shop in house and they offer a lot of classes a few of which deal with sharpening but nothing on filing hand saws. After that I realized saw filing is a lost art and I decided it would be great idea to learn how to do it myself.

Shortly after that I just so happened to meet a local woodworker/tool collector who’s specialty was hand saws. I told him about my saws and my desire to have them sharpened so he was kind enough to offer to sharpen them for me. Not only that he offered to show me how to do it. I got lucky because he really knew what he was doing and did a fantastic job on my saws. I was able to retain enough of what he showed me to start doing my own.

I am still in need of much practice but I am starting to get the hang of it.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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Brit

5286 posts in 1566 days


#47 posted 06-28-2011 10:08 PM

I am going to teach myself Dan, so is Mads. I’ll soon have 3 handsaws and 2 backsaws to shapen. I’ll make a saw vise first, then I’ll get to it. i’ve read a lot of information from quite a few sources and I think I know what I want. Just need time to make it happen.

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

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Dan

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#48 posted 06-28-2011 10:26 PM

I have only had what I would call decent to good results on one of my old hand saws as far as the sharpening goes. Its sharp, it cuts but its not a knife through butter just yet.

The whole process is really straight forward I just have to get used to the feel and keep a consistent angle as I push the file.

I planned on making my own saw vise but I ended up finding an old cast iron Disston saw vise on ebay for pretty cheap so I got that. It holds the blade very tight.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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RGtools

3312 posts in 1378 days


#49 posted 06-29-2011 01:55 AM

I do my own sharpening and am rapidly becoming a saw geek as a result. The best thing to do to learn though is to find a saw like a Disston D8 and try to replicate the pattern that is their, (that will get you the “feel” really quick), when you are first sharpening start at the heel of the saw. Since these teeth are not used very often it gives you a good idea of what the others should be like, and if you mess up a bit it’s not going to affect you performance to much. By the time you get to the cutting surface you have usually gotten into a good rhythm.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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Brit

5286 posts in 1566 days


#50 posted 06-29-2011 04:15 AM

Dennis – The angle of the handle or tote on a hand saw or back saw is referred to as the ’hang’. Please bear in mind that I’m not claiming to know the answer to your question and I can’t find any definitive reference material that describes why the handle on a saw is at a certain angle. However I do know that the ‘hang’ of the handle on a saw is very important. One of the tests that a finished saw underwent was called ‘The Hang Test’.

The important words here are ”Feel how the weight comes where the most cutting takes place.”

Now look at the following two pictures. My S&J and a Disston D8 (not mine).

The red line indicates the angle of the handles, the blue line is the toothline and the yellow line (perpendicular to the red line) shows where the maximum power is transmitted at the toothline.

Although the S&J and the D8 are both hand saws, that is really where the similarities end. The S&J is made of cast steel and is therefore heavier than the D8. The Disston has a skewed back and that means less metal which also makes it lighter than the S&J. Could that be a reason why the S&J handle is more vertical (i.e. in order to counter the additional weight)?

Another difference is that the S&J has a straight toothline, whilst the D8 has a crowned toothline. That means if you hold the saw with the teeth uppermost and sight along the toothline, you will see that the middle of the toothline is slightly higher than the ends. The theory behind this is that if you think about the motion of your arm when sawing, the arm is delivering the most power as your upper arm and forearm form a right-angle. With your arm in that position, the center of the toothline is cutting the wood. Look again at the yellow line on the picture of the D8. Is it a coincidence that the power is directed at the middle of the toothline?

Also, the hang of the handle affects the angle at which you present the saw to the wood when cutting on a saw bench. Which hang angle provides a better angle of presentation is a matter of opinion. Personally I do not think that the hang of the D8 handle and the crown in the toothline make the saw cut any better than the hang of the S&J combined with the extra weight and straight toothline.

With all that said, the following is my opinion as to why the hang of the D8 is the angle it is. I think it is all down to the manufacturing process employed. If you look at the top of the handle on the S&J and any other saw up to the immergence of the D8, you will see a slot where the blade fits into the handle. However if you look at the top of a D8 handle, there isn’t a slot at the top of the handle. That is because the slot on the D8 was the first to be cut with a circular saw blade. When you consider the curvature of a circular saw blade, the hang of the handle would have to change to make room for the curved cut. In my opinion, that’s why Disston made it the angle it is. It was cheaper and quicker to manufacture. To compete with Disston, other manufacturers such as Simmonds followed suit. I think all the other reasons are just Disston marketing BS, dreamed up in order to sell saws to the masses. Just my opinion, I’m just thinking out loud and I won’t be offended in the slightest if you disagree. :-)

What ever the reason, the D8 was the most popular saw ever and you can’t argue with that I suppose. But does it necessarily follow that is was also the best? No, at least not in my book.

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

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