Hi everyone, Welcome to another blog WITHOUT pipes. LOL.
I’ve finally decided to take the walk down the saw sharpening path…have been putting it off for over a year! I fully expect a rocky beginning, but hope the trail eases out with time. Luckily, you LJ’s are full of information and love to share.
My initial attempts at re-shaping teeth were an abomination to the craft due to lack of fresh reading, and NOT even knowing how to properly adjust my Veritas saw filing jig. My fault completely…didn’t read the instructions. Yep, I went to Engineering school…gotta TELL me to RTFM every once in a while. LOL.
And, the simple method I was using to clamp the saw’s plate in my leg vise between 2×4’s, was too low to work comfortably. My post-op back certainly didn’t let me forget that mistake the next day!
Time to get serious, and build a dedicated saw sharpening vise. Or, as I call my build, a saw clamp…since it has no hardware at all and relies on another vise or clamp to hold the plate tightly.
After a brief Google search, I chose a simple version I saw on Close Grain here: http://www.closegrain.com/2011/06/building-lie-nielsen-saw-vise.html
..built from scraps, leather hinges, lots of variables I could change…Let’s do it…
I started by laying out how large the inside of the clamp should be to hold a full-sized saw WITH tote. Ahh, a Disston No.7 should do nicely…
I chose 9” as the outside dimension based on that photo. And 1.5” tall spacers at the top and bottom of the clamp should work just fine…How do you like the old tote on the saw? It’s ONE year old. LOL!
So, following my sketch, and the image from Close Grain, I grabbed some 3/4” Baltic Birch ply and began to size it for front and back. I wanted the clamp to hold my longest saw, so I wouldn’t have to stop my work flow and turn the saw around for rips…so chose 29” for overall length.
I’m not sure if I should apologize to anyone for that photo…but I love the irony of the DeWalt vs. the bronze LN in the same photo. Sorry to admit it, but this is how I’ve been dealing with pieces of ply I want to be square. Cut outside the line with the power tool, and true up with hand tool…
...smoother for fast removal, then the No.95 for a few final passes. Certainly NOT fast, or ideal. But, I suck with the table saw.
Next, I grabbed a pine 2×5” off the floor and cross-cut it to length. Then used the No.164 to remove the rounded over edge.
Just recently sharpened this iron for the FIRST time since owning the plane! Now, shavings just whisp off stock…thinner than my shop has ever seen.
A quick trip to the bandsaw for ripping…
...yep, THIS is the one task in the shop that I cannot bring myself to use hand tools for. Ripping 29” or so. I’m pretty sure I’d cut a worse line than Mr. Grizzly did in the above photo.
Then, the edges have to be re-trued back to a marking line…on the workpiece…AND the stock that I want 3 more sticks from! I’m starting to see why it takes me so long to build anything…must use table saw for stuff like this.
In fact, this was the end of work for the first day since it was already after dark, and my blood sugar was dropping. Lucky for me. Why? The next day, I spent an hour removing rusty tools from the top of my table saw and re-positioning the out feed table. Then, it took just a few seconds to cut the remaining spacers for the saw clamp.
I still went over each piece with a smoother for a few passes just to get that shaving craving, though. LOL.
I also found a piece of red oak left over from the leg vise, and cut it in half for outside cleats on my clamp. The cleats keep the whole rig at a certain height once dropped into the leg vise, and also hold onto the big ole saw clamp while the saw is being finely positioned.
True to what I had seen on the web, I used leather on the base of the clamp for hinges. Thus far, they seem to work just fine!
Above, you can see me testing where to position the cleats so that a saw plate ends up about 3-4” below my elbow. I centered one cleat in front and back, and simply attached them with wood screws. That way, I can easily change the height later if needed.
The inner spacers were attached with TB in the green bottle and finish nails.
Unfortunately, I was in a hurry when nailing the upper spacers, and placed the nails far too close to the upper edge to allow much of a chamfer. This chamfer is of great importance since it allows the filing jig to get closer to the saw, thus using more of the file’s length. Ooops. I didn’t draw the chamfer in my plan. Next lesson learned…
I tried to pull ONE finish nail out…ONCE! After stopping the bleeding, I probably won’t try that again. LOL. Had to be another approach…
I placed a row of nails in the proper location, then ground the upper ones down a bit with the Dremel. Kinda left some ugly scars on the finished build, but I can always fill these slots if my knuckles find them later.
Here you can see the completed clamp posing with the same No.7. I used my No.62 to form the chamfers on front and rear…and even HIT one of the darned nails I had not seen! Bollocks. Oh well, it was time to sharpen that one anyway…
Certainly no piece of Fine Woodworking…but a useful learning tool IMO. Heck, I already learned TWO things from the build…use the table saw to cut repetitive parts, and mark out where I want the nails and screws on the plan!
A brief coat of Howard’s Oil for a finish…
...really brings out the end grain in the ply, huh? LOL. No worries, I’m pretty sure this thing will be covered with steel fibers soon enough.
Here, the clamp is posing with a beautiful Disston No.12, my largest user. So, hopefully, it will last through my learning years with no problems. I’ve also positioned it mid-bench in the photo to FINALLY get some use out of this enormous apron on my bench! LOL.
Seriously, it’s a versatile clamp that could be held in many ways. This took a bit of fettling to correctly position the saw, but offers another option if the leg vise were busy. I kinda feel the holdfasts would loosen slowly with vibration, but two of those expensive Veritas clamps would do the trick!
Thanks for reading along…suggestions are more than welcomed since I am just a beginner on this path.
-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...