Set on a handsaw?

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Forum topic by Alexandre posted 10-06-2012 12:14 AM 1053 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1417 posts in 2154 days

10-06-2012 12:14 AM

Since there are so many handsaw and hand tool fanatics, I am wondering how to remove some of the set in the teeth of a handsaw.
Please help.
All comments appriciated!

-- My terrible signature...

6 replies so far

View nwbusa's profile


1021 posts in 2249 days

#1 posted 10-06-2012 01:32 AM

As I understand it, the usual method is to stone the sides evenly using a fine grit. I’ve only tried it once on an inexpensive saw, and it seemed to do the trick. I’m no expert on the subject, though. Maybe more experienced LJs can offer better advice.

-- John, BC, Canada

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20275 posts in 3068 days

#2 posted 10-06-2012 01:58 AM

Hi Alexandre.
The set is the amount it is off set sideways. Maybe you could put it between two pieces of steel in the vise and squeeze the teeth in between to remove some of the offset??? Just a guess. Then you would have to go over each tooth with a setting tool to make them all even again only with less offset.


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View BrownDog's profile


9 posts in 2239 days

#3 posted 10-06-2012 04:38 AM

Put the teeth of the saw inside a piece of paper (check the thickness of the paper so you know how thick it is.) Place the saw teeth with paper on both sides inside a preferably metal vise with two flat pieces of steel on either side of the saw plate/teeth and paper. Tighten the vise as much as possible. Repeat, as necessary, until the entire toothline of the saw has been squeezed. Your saw will have approximately the same amount of set to each side as the thickness of the paper.

This is a method ascribed to Mike Wenzloff currently but one I understand that he picked up from past practice.

It works. I’ve done it.

View Alexandre's profile


1417 posts in 2154 days

#4 posted 10-07-2012 01:41 PM

Okay, Thanks!

-- My terrible signature...

View Kreegan's profile


1452 posts in 2110 days

#5 posted 10-07-2012 08:11 PM

I usually run the saw over an abrasive surface, either some 320 grit sandpaper on a granite block, or a coarse diamond stone. Do both sides evenly and take a small test cut after each pass to see if you’re getting the kerf you want. It helps to use a block of wood to ensure solid contact with the abrasive.


View paratrooper34's profile


915 posts in 2915 days

#6 posted 10-07-2012 08:41 PM

Two sources I read and follow both addressed removing some of the set from a hand saw and they both said to lightly draw a file down each side once or twice. Lightly is key. Then try cutting to check your progress. You can make another pass if necessary. I would advise against putting it in a vise and crushing the set. The amount to remove to get the set right is very small and crushing in it in a vice can remove it all very quickly and unevenly. I fixed a rip saw that had a massive set on it and just two passes each side with a file got it done.

Good Luck.

-- Mike

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