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First time using Bahco saw sharpening files - not impressed

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Forum topic by Pendragon1998 posted 05-08-2015 06:54 PM 3773 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Pendragon1998

74 posts in 1035 days


05-08-2015 06:54 PM

(First, let me say I am new to saw sharpening, so I may be to blame here. If so, please let me know what I’m doing wrong.) I recently sharpened my first saw, the Veritas 14 TPI dovetail saw, and had no problems. I used a Bahco saw file of appropriate size (the depth of the teeth was a little less than half the width of the file face). The saw cut better after sharpening it, and I felt a little more confident.

So I moved on to a new-to-me Disston D-8, 26”, 8 TPI saw (manufactured between 1896-1917). It was advertised as a crosscut on ebay, but when I got it, it looked like the previous sharpener had basically made it into a rip saw configuration. I decided to continue with sharpening it as a rip saw.

I followed Paul Sellers’ approach to sharpening. I jointed the saw aggressively because the teeth were pretty uneven in height, then proceeded down the blade using a brand-new Bahco Portugal Slim Taper file (#1 in the image). By the time I was done, it was screeching badly, even though I’d changed up sides of the file halfway down. The saw was sharper, but didn’t seem as sharp as it should be (still had some flats on the teeth), so I took another pass down the saw with another brand new file, this one a Bahco Portugal X-Slim Taper file (#2 in the image). I had to switch to a new edge on the file at 1/3 and 2/3 of the way down the saw, and it barely finished the job. Considering the saw was nearly sharp to begin with, I’m not happy about that.

Take a look at the missing teeth on the two file corners. I asked Paul Sellers about this in the comments on one of his recent posts and he graciously answered, suggesting that I might have a saw with unevenly tempered teeth. Is this unusual? I don’t think I’m going to buy any more Bahco files in the future if I can barely get one sharpening out of them. It doesn’t seem much better than what I’ve read about Nicholson Mexico-made files.


7 replies so far

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chrisstef

15656 posts in 2466 days


#1 posted 05-08-2015 07:50 PM

I haven’t been able to try out the Bahco files, never could find them, but I have heard of saw having batches of teeth that are a real bear to sharpen as PS suggests. I notice screeching sometimes when im filing 90 degrees across teeth that have previously been filed for crosscut. The teeth are thin at that point from the addition of fleam. The other time is when the file is dull. That file in the last pic looks pretty well shot.

When youre sharpening how far above your vice jaws do you have the teeth? I ask because any vibrations in the saw plate from not being cinched down tight enough in the vice will ruin a file pretty quickly. Ideally you want the saw as low in your vice as possible.

Where’d ya score the files?

-- rock, chalk, jayhawk

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Pendragon1998

74 posts in 1035 days


#2 posted 05-08-2015 08:27 PM


I haven t been able to try out the Bahco files, never could find them, but I have heard of saw having batches of teeth that are a real bear to sharpen as PS suggests. I notice screeching sometimes when im filing 90 degrees across teeth that have previously been filed for crosscut. The teeth are thin at that point from the addition of fleam. The other time is when the file is dull. That file in the last pic looks pretty well shot.

When youre sharpening how far above your vice jaws do you have the teeth? I ask because any vibrations in the saw plate from not being cinched down tight enough in the vice will ruin a file pretty quickly. Ideally you want the saw as low in your vice as possible.

Where d ya score the files?

I bought my files on Amazon at the end of last year. This was the first time I used the file. It started out cutting neatly and fairly quietly, but started shedding teeth on the file edge pretty quickly.

The saw was mounted in a set of those saw chucks Paul Sellers did a video on and sandwiched in my 10” woodworker’s vise. The teeth extended only about 1/2” or so above the chucks. I was working mostly in the region between the vise jaws as opposed to out beside the jaws where vibration was greater.

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ElChe

630 posts in 796 days


#3 posted 05-09-2015 01:46 AM

I chalk up my files usually grobet or pfeil before filing. Seems to help with the screeching and the files last longer. Not familiar with bahcos.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

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ElChe

630 posts in 796 days


#4 posted 05-09-2015 03:55 AM

I meant pferd not pfeil.

-- Tom - Measure twice cut once. Then measure again. Curse. Fudge.

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MrRon

3926 posts in 2703 days


#5 posted 05-09-2015 07:40 PM

The saw was mounted in a set of those saw chucks Paul Sellers did a video on and sandwiched in my 10” woodworker s vise. The teeth extended only about 1/2” or so above the chucks. I was working mostly in the region between the vise jaws as opposed to out beside the jaws where vibration was greater.

You need to get closer than 1/2”. That is still too much.

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PatrickH

51 posts in 1347 days


#6 posted 05-12-2015 05:49 PM

Yes, I usually only allow about 1/8-1/4 below the gullets.

-- http://bloodsweatsawdust.com

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JoshM

1 post in 158 days


#7 posted 06-27-2016 03:50 PM

My first attempt at sharpening was similar to yours. I used a Bahco file and it worked great for about 50% of the saw. Then it started screeching with every pass, barely cutting anything. I later realized that I was dragging the file against the saw as I pulled the file back towards me, which caused the file teeth to break/wear. I’ve since started letting the file contact the saw only on the push/cut stroke, and lifting on the pull stroke. I’ve been sharpening with Bahcos just fine since. Not sure if that is what you did or not, but thought I’d share just in case.

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