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By Andy P Devon
#1331541
Hi All,
Just got myself a PAX Gent saw - 20 TPI.
It cuts but is not "sticky sharp".
Question is:- is it possible to give this a quick sharpen? By this I mean, one stroke of a saw file per gullet to refine the edge. Problem is I can hardly see the gullets!
I don't want to ruin a new saw by try to sharpen what can;t be sharpened - at least not until it is definitely dull. It's not a hard-point saw.
Anyone any advice or tips on refine the edge? I know the saw is not top-end, by any means, but hope to use it for many years as only a 'weekend' warrior'.
Thanks in advance,
Andy
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By MikeG.
#1331546
They're nice saws (I've got one), whether they're top end or not. Yes, they can be sharpened, but I reckon one of those magnifying lenses on a stalk with a built in light is about the only chance my eyes would have of doing it these days. I've only sharpened mine a couple of times, and it was pretty much by feel.
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By Jacob
#1331554
Yes, by feel. Helps to black felt tip first and you can then just see where you've been. You have to get the angle and the pressure consistent so it's best to zip up one side fast, turn, and zip up the other without pausing or changing stance etc
By D_W
#1331571
feel and file with a tiny edge so that the gullet isn't any shallower than it absolutely has to be.

With teeth that small, as long as there aren't a bunch with flats on top, it really doesn't matter if you do a perfect job. The saw will still be easy to use.

One stroke per tooth is ideal. Color the teeth with a marker (I haven't seen any of the media mentioned above) in case you get distracted for a second. Many of the mid-grade saws now are fairly soft, so it won't take a heavy stroke even to sharpen them - just one moderate stroke and try to take care to make the stroke the same firmness from one tooth to the next - as if you're a filing robot.
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By Hattori-Hanzo
#1331611
Funnily enough I had a go at sharpening mine a couple of days ago.

Paul's video is a good reference to start from and I will echo what others have said about taking a very light pass and trying your best to keep them consistent. The teeth will have a good profile already so half to one full file pass will be plenty to get them sharp.
You will probably need a extra slim or double extra slim saw file so as not to open the gullets too much.

One thing I will add is to try and keep the file rake angle matched to whats on the teeth at the moment. If any thing a slightly negative angle may be better as the saw will cut smoother but slightly slower.

You can add a small length of wood to the end of the file to help you gauge the angle you need, just keep referencing the bit of wood to the saw teeth like you would viewing winding sticks to help maintain the rake angle.

I found adding to much of a positive rake made the saw too aggressive and notchy to use.

High light the teeth with a permanent marker really helps to see which teeth have been filed. Don't run the marker along the top of the teeth as you will ruin it's tip, instead run it along the side of the teeth and the ink will flow around the teeth nicely.

Go steady and take your time.
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By Derek Cohen (Perth, Oz)
#1331889
Andy P Devon wrote:Hi All,
Just got myself a PAX Gent saw - 20 TPI.
It cuts but is not "sticky sharp".
Question is:- is it possible to give this a quick sharpen? By this I mean, one stroke of a saw file per gullet to refine the edge. Problem is I can hardly see the gullets!
I don't want to ruin a new saw by try to sharpen what can;t be sharpened - at least not until it is definitely dull. It's not a hard-point saw.
Anyone any advice or tips on refine the edge? I know the saw is not top-end, by any means, but hope to use it for many years as only a 'weekend' warrior'.
Thanks in advance,
Andy


Hi Andy

This is entirely realistic. You are not re-shaping the teeth, just touching them up.

The most important factors here are:

1. A fixture to hold the saw. Two pieces of wood alongside the blade, and then clamp in a vise, will do. Better is a saw vise.

2. Good light. The is really important. Along with magnifiers, if needed. There are simple head magnifiers with built-in lighting - I have one - and this is fantastic for seeing the teeth .... if you cannot see them, then you cannot sharpen them!

3. The correct file, which would be a 125mm long needle file. Ideally with sharp arrises.

4. A way to keep the rake angle constant. The can be as simple as a block of wood jammed on the end of the file, or a dedicated tool to show this (such as the one sold by Veritas)

I recommend also a black sharpie, and running this along the tips of the teeth to start. Then a very light jointing of the teeth with a fine file. This will show up the tips more easily .... sharp is when the shine is gone.

No need to redo the set at this stage.

Should be about 10 minutes work.

Regards from Perth

Derek
By Orraloon
#1331890
All good advice so it is just finding a file that fits the tooth gullets and taking the plunge. I had to use a needle file on my gents saw as my smallest saw file was too wide in the gullet. Was something I had put off too long so after the saw skipping out of the cut and scarring some nice wood I had to bite the bullet. Worked out fine and at the rate of use my gents saw gets will do for years to come.
Regards
John
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By ED65
#1331970
Andy P Devon wrote:I know the saw is not top-end, by any means...

That really doesn't matter that much, and there's every chance it could last as long as coveted old saws. The steel used for saws is not particularly hard – the 'saw temper' of old can be softer than many a kitchen knife – so it's not a difficult target to hit, especially not these days.

So anyway you're sorted already in terms of whether you should (to which I heartily add my own, yes go for it!) and how to actually do it, but in terms of being able to see what you're doing I wanted to suggest trying cheap reading glasses, which are now widely available. Even those from the likes of Poundland seem to be acceptable.

One last tip, unless you can arrange to firmly clamp the saw quite high I'd recommend sitting down while you're doing this. Filing small teeth is tricky enough without adding backache into the equation :)
By D_W
#1332004
If you get back to pre-circular saw, all of the saws should have pretty good hardness unless you get into second and third lines, but your point is accurate. the gents saws can be almost unhardened and work well. The blessing of the softer saws for one who can sharpen is that you'll rarely crack a tooth of setting, and your files will last as long as they exist until a corner rusts.

The smartness of a tooth on a very high end saw (just like a chisel, they'll hold the initial keenness better) is nice to have, but not a necessity, and you'll be a rare bird if any material part of building something is actual sawing. The time killer is pondering, and fixing mistakes made due to rushing.
By Argus
#1332073
This is an interesting insight into Gents' saws and small-tooth saws in general.

Personally, I tend to avoid anything with more than 16 teeth to the inch for two reasons that have already been explained - I can't see 'em, even with good magnification and seldom need them. Add to that the problem with small files, obtaining decent needle files of the right cross section is very difficult.

The fact is that the cheap needle files available in sets are awful, so which files would people recommend for saws 20 points and upwards?
By D_W
#1332103
Either luck into some Chinese file with an improperly thin edge or bite the bullet and buy proper needle files.
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By Hattori-Hanzo
#1332184
I sharpened my 18tpi saw with a new Nicholson extra slim saw file and it was just about okay, I think a double extra slim would have been better.

I wasn't overly impressed with the visual quality of the Nicholson compared to an old stubs saw file I have that's starting to wear but I've also just cut a new 17tpi plate with it and it seems to have done the job and for under a fiver it was worth a shot.

Bahco files seem to get good reviews but are a bit more expensive as do genuine Vallorbe but again they can be pricey.

I might treat myself to one of these in the near future though to see how they compare to the cheaper Nicholson.
By Orraloon
#1332215
I am usually averse to sharpening anything smaller than 12tpi for the same reasons so thats why I put things off so long. It was however just the right kerf for doing fret slots so I was left with no choice. I may be stumped next time round as I dont think my eyesight would be up for setting it.
Regards
John



Argus wrote:This is an interesting insight into Gents' saws and small-tooth saws in general.

Personally, I tend to avoid anything with more than 16 teeth to the inch for two reasons that have already been explained - I can't see 'em, even with good magnification and seldom need them. Add to that the problem with small files, obtaining decent needle files of the right cross section is very difficult.

The fact is that the cheap needle files available in sets are awful, so which files would people recommend for saws 20 points and upwards?
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By MikeG.
#1332222
Orraloon wrote:I am usually averse to sharpening anything smaller than 12tpi ......


12? Really? That's really quite coarse. That rules out most tenon saws.