|Forum topic by paratrooper34||posted 01-21-2013 04:54 PM||5696 views||8 times favorited||16 replies|
01-21-2013 04:54 PM
Hi All, so after a crushing Patriots loss and a bad first foray into commenting on a non-woodworking topic, I needed to unwind and work in my favorite de-stressing lab; my shop.
I tried, for the first time, sharpening a saw last week after 12strings and Don motivated me to do so. I sharpened an old rip saw I had to see if I could do it. It worked out very well, that saw works nicely now. However, I have an old Disston saw vise that leaves a lot to be desired. I purchased it awhile ago and it has been hanging around just waiting to be used. Well, it is not a good vise and after sharpening that first saw, I needed to get or make another vise. I chose to make one. One of the reasons why the Disston vise was frustrating was because it is short and while it holds a small dovetail saw without repositioning, I had to reposition the big crosscut saw twice per side to sharpen the length of the saw. So I decided to build a big saw vise. For the big rip saw (the first one I did in this vise), I only had to reposition the saw once per side. The pictures below show the vise I made. Simply made with two pieces of plywood and some thin scraps I had hanging around.
This is how I accomplished sharpening using my new vise. I first sharpened a big rip saw that I knew needed to be sharpened. I have had it for a while and I got it used, so no telling the last time it was sharpened. Plus, when working on another project using reclaimed lumber, I hit a cut nail with it. The same thing happened with my LN rip panel saw. Here is the sharpening of the LN saw.
To get set up, I put the saw in the vise. This vise holds the entire panel saw, which is nice, because I can sharpen the entire length without repositioning it.
All that is needed now is a triangle file, sized so that the teeth go to about the midway point of one of the faces of the file. I bought this file a long time ago and cannot remember what size it is. It only has “Slim” marked on it. Also I used a black marker to mark the teeth of the saw. This helps to keep track of progress and the cut made by the file.
It is a little hard to see, but here it is with the teeth marked.
Once the saw is marked, start sharpening. I started at the heel and worked my way down. Alternate teeth when you do this. Teeth facing toward me were to the right of the file. Here is how the marked teeth help you keep this straight. Here is a picture of the first few teeth sharpened. You can see how I skipped a tooth as I worked down the blade.
After I sharpened alternating teeth on this side, I took the saw out of the vise and flipped it over (handle on the other side of the vise). Now sharpen the teeth you skipped. My sharpening method was to make three strokes and follow with a fourth “smoothing” or “polishing” stroke. That fourth stroke was light and made the cut smooth. Check your progress by running a finger or thumb down the blade. The newly sharpened teeth should grab your skin (don’t do it too hard!). Here is the entire length sharpened.
The last step in sharpening is to run a diamond stone down the length of the teeth on the sides to remove burrs and refine the teeth to cut smoother.
After all that, I put a coat of paste wax on the saw.
So, how does it perform? In a word, awesome!
I bought this saw about four years or so ago. During that time, it has seen a lot of use. I forgot how well it cut when it was new. Now it cuts fast, almost effortlessly. And it left a pretty smooth surface. It is nice to have this saw cutting at its potential again.
Since some others motivated me to start sharpening my saws, I want to repay the favor and hopefully those of you still on the fence will give it a shot. It is nowhere near as difficult as I believed it would be. Also, it is not necessary to have fancy jigs and angle markers and whatever else. This saw is a rip saw and the teeth are cut at 90 degrees to the blade. I had no guides or jigs, just kept the file straight. It was very easy. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.
Enjoy, and thanks again, Don and 12strings!