Sharpening saws

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Forum topic by NicholasS posted 985 days ago 957 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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23 posts in 985 days

985 days ago

I am new to woodworking but am very interested in working using only hand tools. I have two 8ppi crosscut saws that I recently purchased on ebay. One is a “Disston & Sons” and the other is “Bay State Saw Works”. I want to at some point learn to sharpen the saws myself but I don’t think I have the patience or skill to do it right. There is a man in our town who will sharpen them for me but he uses a machine. Is it ok to have these saws sharpened using a machine or should it only be done by hand.

8 replies so far

View RGtools's profile


3302 posts in 1285 days

#1 posted 985 days ago

I would say the hand sharpeners out there have a serious edge. They can customize the saws filing to suit your needs. Mark Cianci and Matt Harrel can both do this and do a fine job.

You can also learn to d it yourself. Its not too hard. Try visiting the this forum for more info.

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

View Dan's profile


3543 posts in 1511 days

#2 posted 985 days ago

Chances are they will need more work then just sharpening. The teeth will probably need to be jointed and set as well and unless he offers that service I would look for another option..

I would ask specifically what all do they do in their sharpening process and ask if they joint and set the teeth. If they just run your saw through and sharpen the teeth only then its not going to cut the way your going to want it to.

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


9794 posts in 1249 days

#3 posted 985 days ago

Go the hand sharpening route. Seriously. Get one done professionally so you know what sharp is, then collect the ‘stuff’ you need to do it yourself over time. The saw vices come around at fleas and on CL often enough, cheap, that those aren’t barriers. And files aren’t a huge $ either. Lots of resources on doing it right; it’s a necessary skill if you continue working with hand tools, and it’s a great part of the journey. Good luck!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

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Bill White

3409 posts in 2591 days

#4 posted 985 days ago

I too have a Bay State saw. I have searched the brand, and found that it may have been a Simmonds brand. Would like to see pics of yours. Matt Cianci is highly sought, and has a long lead time. I want him to work on one of mine. Post more.


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23 posts in 985 days

#5 posted 984 days ago

Well, I don’t have a saw vise but I have everything else. I tried to hold my Disston saw in a workmate bench and tried to sharpen it the other day. I have a lot of books on the subject and my Disston is too big for me anyway so it’s not so big a deal if I ruin it … and I did. Well, it’s not totally ruined but it didn’t go very well. I think I’ll send my Bay State saw to get it hand sharpened.

Bill White: here’s some pictures. I read that they were apparently a smaller company and they were bought out by Simmonds at one point.

View andrewr79's profile


33 posts in 983 days

#6 posted 983 days ago

The workmate’s do OK actually for sharpening, though I tend to work in a Z-vice now. It’s worth having a go, try on a $3 market beater and you’ll get the hang of it pretty fast.

-- Visit my blog @ to see what I've been up to

View BigYin's profile


230 posts in 1047 days

#7 posted 983 days ago

sharpen your own saws

-- ... Never Apologise For Being Right ...

View canadianchips's profile


1831 posts in 1628 days

#8 posted 982 days ago

First I MUST say. Learn to have patience, the people that do the best work are patient people. Sharpening is going to be a skill that you want to know, saw blades, chisels, planes, drill bits , these are some of the tools you will eventually want to resharpen or you will spend a LOT of money throwing them out and buying new stuff (WHICH MAY NEED SHARPENING ANYWAY).
The saws can be sharpening using power tools if the operator is careful and does NOT overheat the teeth.RULE of thumb….”.when sharpening if you can hold the metal in bare hands it is not to hot !”

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

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