Sharpening saws

  • Advertise with us

« back to Hand Tools forum

Forum topic by NicholasS posted 12-15-2011 09:03 PM 1360 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View NicholasS's profile


23 posts in 2530 days

12-15-2011 09:03 PM

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


3372 posts in 2830 days

#1 posted 12-15-2011 09:08 PM

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


3630 posts in 3056 days

#2 posted 12-15-2011 09:11 PM

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


15651 posts in 2794 days

#3 posted 12-15-2011 09:13 PM

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 --

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5106 posts in 4136 days

#4 posted 12-15-2011 10:17 PM

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.


View NicholasS's profile


23 posts in 2530 days

#5 posted 12-17-2011 06:14 AM

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


36 posts in 2528 days

#6 posted 12-18-2011 10:51 AM

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


421 posts in 2592 days

#7 posted 12-18-2011 11:47 AM

sharpen your own saws

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

View canadianchips's profile


2609 posts in 3173 days

#8 posted 12-18-2011 02:08 PM

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 !"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics