Nail set for setting a saw

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tibi

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Hello,

I have just bought a few hand saws that I would like to restore and sharpen for myself. The list includes

28" 4 TPI Rip Saw
26" 6 TPI Crosscut Saw - will be used only for rough stock trimming, I will buy a finer crosscut saw later
14" Tenon saw - will be filed Rip
12" Tenon saw - will be filed Crosscut as carcass saw
8" Dovetail Gents saw - brand new

I do not think that this setup is 100% the most ideal/versatile, but I need to start somewhere and I have bought what was available to me at a decent price/condition at this time.

I have read that the hammer set saw is better than the plier set. I have seen a video by Paul Sellers where he just used a nail set to set a saw on a piece of wood. He used it on some dovetail saw. What do you think of this idea? Can it be also used on those bigger 4TPI and 6TPI saws as well? Where is the best place to position the dimple of the nail set on those bigger teeth?

For learning how to sharpen a saw, I have watched the extensive videos of Frank Strazza that are available at Videos - The Ploughshare Institute

I also have some old plier saw set that I have inherited from my great grandfather, so I can use it as a backup when the hammer setting fails. I do not want to buy a dedicated hammer set machine, because I would not use it up, so I would use the nail set, if possible.

Thank you.
 

Ttrees

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I'd have a look for an eclipse no.77 they go for about a tenner.
The ones with red paint on the inside have a finer point(hammer) but you can file it. Unsure if your other saw set will do the large saw. Possibly will
Have a look at hattori hanzo thread about small files
And Andy Lovelock's YouTube if I'm bother.good luck. Tom
 

D_W

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Hello,

I have just bought a few hand saws that I would like to restore and sharpen for myself. The list includes

28" 4 TPI Rip Saw
26" 6 TPI Crosscut Saw - will be used only for rough stock trimming, I will buy a finer crosscut saw later
14" Tenon saw - will be filed Rip
12" Tenon saw - will be filed Crosscut as carcass saw
8" Dovetail Gents saw - brand new

I do not think that this setup is 100% the most ideal/versatile, but I need to start somewhere and I have bought what was available to me at a decent price/condition at this time.

I have read that the hammer set saw is better than the plier set. I have seen a video by Paul Sellers where he just used a nail set to set a saw on a piece of wood. He used it on some dovetail saw. What do you think of this idea? Can it be also used on those bigger 4TPI and 6TPI saws as well? Where is the best place to position the dimple of the nail set on those bigger teeth?

For learning how to sharpen a saw, I have watched the extensive videos of Frank Strazza that are available at Videos - The Ploughshare Institute

I also have some old plier saw set that I have inherited from my great grandfather, so I can use it as a backup when the hammer setting fails. I do not want to buy a dedicated hammer set machine, because I would not use it up, so I would use the nail set, if possible.

Thank you.


You want something with a relatively wide flat tip for hammer setting saws with larger teeth. You can do just about all of it any way you want, but I would advise if you're in need of a significant amount of set getting a punch with a wider flat area so that you can move most of the tooth rather than a small amount of it unevenly (which a small nail set may do).

Something that is easy to use, easy to cover the middle of the tooth up toward the tip to do a combination of moving most of the tooth (but not bending all where it meets the plate), and something easy enough to place over that area of the tooth so that you can concentrate on each strike being very similar (as much as possible) leaving as little follow-up correction for overset teeth as possible.

if you get to much bigger teeth than those (which you may find useful at some point if you start ripping thick wood or resawing thick wood), you'll find this (hammering) much better than most of the pistol type sets as they cannot grasp plate (it's open space) lateral to the tooth. The better pistol grip sets will do 4-6 TPI without issue, but the anvils will seem a little fiddly on those bigger teeth and have a tendency to crush the tips of the teeth some.

You want two things when hammer setting teeth - a way that's easy to do in rhythm to get the strikes even and the tip of the punch placed consistently, and a reliable way to put unevenly set teeth back in place.
 

Argus

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I'll be interested to hear your results with a nail set..... no doubt it will need some practice, so a cheapo saw to practice on may be an idea.

If you do go the route of a pliers set, then they always need to have the hammer or plunger set removed and ground to suit the shape of the teeth - especially small ones, say 10tpi and smaller. Be aware that it will be hardened steel so that a file won't really do the job - it needs a grinder or diamond plate.

The best ever saw set was a pre war Stanley 42 x that was never marketed in the UK but does come up very occasionally on the sales circuit. The 42x version (NOT the 42!) It has a spring loaded section that grips the plate while the hammer section sets the tooth, preventing slippage. It's the only one that I've seen with this feature.
 

tibi

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You want something with a relatively wide flat tip for hammer setting saws with larger teeth. You can do just about all of it any way you want, but I would advise if you're in need of a significant amount of set getting a punch with a wider flat area so that you can move most of the tooth rather than a small amount of it unevenly (which a small nail set may do).

Something that is easy to use, easy to cover the middle of the tooth up toward the tip to do a combination of moving most of the tooth (but not bending all where it meets the plate), and something easy enough to place over that area of the tooth so that you can concentrate on each strike being very similar (as much as possible) leaving as little follow-up correction for overset teeth as possible.

if you get too much bigger teeth than those (which you may find useful at some point if you start ripping thick wood or resawing thick wood), you'll find this (hammering) much better than most of the pistol type sets as they cannot grasp plate (it's open space) lateral to the tooth. The better pistol grip sets will do 4-6 TPI without issue, but the anvils will seem a little fiddly on those bigger teeth and have a tendency to crush the tips of the teeth some.

You want two things when hammer setting teeth - a way that's easy to do in rhythm to get the strikes even and the tip of the punch placed consistently, and a reliable way to put unevenly set teeth back in place.

Thank you very much for your answer. I will use the nail set that I have for higher-pitched saws and I will use a diamond sharpening stone to even out the set in the end. For coarser teeth, I may either buy a bigger set (once they open up the shops as we have a lock-down with all non-essential shops closed so that I can hand-pick a bigger nail set or two). For evening out the set, I may use a hammer and an anvil, because I do not think that diamond stone will help me much on bigger teeth.

For too much bigger teeth than 4TPI I would probably need to buy something like this:
1614283331218.png

Here is the link on ebay:Vintage Ice Saw > Antique Saws Old Tool Iron Snow Fish Fishing Iron Metal 9994 | eBay
 

D_W

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hah! the ice saw.

In general for stoning saws, if you can help it you want to bend teeth back first and then stone if needed. For two reasons:
1) if you have to stone a bunch of teeth a lot on a rip saw, you'll reduce the width of the teeth at the cut. It probably won't matter, but it's unsavory
2) for crosscut saws, if you have to stone some teeth a lot, you'll change their height and remove the point and have something that looks more like a knife than a point. It usually doesn't matter that much (beats having a bunch of rounded points in a dull saw rasping in wood).

In larger saws, you really want to bend the teeth back first.

Eons ago, Mike Wenzloff demonstrated oversetting teeth slightly intentionally and then wrapping a plate with paper or a shim or something and squeezing the teeth back together in a vise with the shim in place (so they all went back to an even level of set without having to waste time setting them each perfectly, and without stoning off the sides of teeth).

Stoning is a good method to use for very light adjustments when you have a saw wandering in a cut or you just want to take a tiny amount off.
 

tibi

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hah! the ice saw.

In general for stoning saws, if you can help it you want to bend teeth back first and then stone if needed. For two reasons:
1) if you have to stone a bunch of teeth a lot on a rip saw, you'll reduce the width of the teeth at the cut. It probably won't matter, but it's unsavory
2) for crosscut saws, if you have to stone some teeth a lot, you'll change their height and remove the point and have something that looks more like a knife than a point. It usually doesn't matter that much (beats having a bunch of rounded points in a dull saw rasping in wood).

In larger saws, you really want to bend the teeth back first.

Eons ago, Mike Wenzloff demonstrated oversetting teeth slightly intentionally and then wrapping a plate with paper or a shim or something and squeezing the teeth back together in a vise with the shim in place (so they all went back to an even level of set without having to waste time setting them each perfectly, and without stoning off the sides of teeth).

Stoning is a good method to use for very light adjustments when you have a saw wandering in a cut or you just want to take a tiny amount off.

Thank you. That is a good idea to bend the teeth back at first. I have seen the video of Mike Wenzloff just today, so I know what you are talking about.
 

IWW

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I have read so many times over the years that hammer-setting is the superior way to go, but I have yet to read WHY! I can see that in a factory situation, done by skilled hands, hammer-setting would be a lot quicker, but how better??? I'd be grateful if someone can enlighten my ignorance. In my opinion pliers-sets are probably a safer bet in the hands of a novice than trying to follow the Sellars technique describe above.

I've been around saws for a very long time, and I have always used a pliers-type set (Eclipse), mostly 'cos that's what I saw my father use. Even with these it takes a while to be really consistent, the hammer has to be placed at exactly te same point on each tooth the get the same amount of bend, and it takes a while to figure out where to place the anvil to get the right "bend" which is roughly the top 1/3rd of the tooth, though this will vary a bit with personal preference and the type of wood most sawn. There is an urban myth that the numbers indicate the position for the tpi being set, they don't, they are simply a scale for future reference.

You may not need to alter the hammer on most small pliers sets for the saws you have listed. My experience has been almost exclusively with Eclipse (both old & new varieties) but any saw-set intended for bench saws that I've used have all been fine for up to 12tpi. For finer than that, I've found that 'standard' Eclipses may need tweaking. The hammer is not very hard hard as a rule, I have never come across a hammer that can't be easily filed with a regular file (it makes sense to me for the hammer not to be harder than the teeth, I think it would cause more distortion if it were). Anyway, unless you were sold a different line of Eclipses in Britain, modifying the hammer is very easy. I have touched them up on the side of a grinder wheel, but filing is safer & more likely to end with a nice symmetrical point at the hands of a neophyte.

When re-inserting the plunger/hammer mechanism, note it only goes in one way - it's embarrassing to realise this after struggling for 5 minutes trying to get the screw back in - damhik!
:(
Cheers,
Ian
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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I have both Eclipse and 42X pistol setters. Several. Each has been set up for a tooth size and type. With the Eclipse, one needs to file the anvil and the hammer to set it up correctly for small teeth. Trial and error with the 42X.

Why so many? Well, the numbers do not mean much, and returning to the ideal set for a particular type of saw (e.g. a dovetail saw. with a specific rake and tooth size) can otherwise be hit and miss.

I have used Mike Wenzloff’s paper technique for many years, and it can work well - as long as you find the ideal paper thickness. Sometimes I use blue tape, which is convenient. Then a light steel hammer and the edge of a cast iron top of a machine. The paper ensures that the set is even.

The advantage of the pistol over the nail set is that the pistol should deliver a uniform strike. I have managed to do this and not need to continue to the paper technique afterwards.

In addition to new saws, which will eventually require teeth being re-set after several touch ups, restoring vintage saws makes setting teeth a must ...

Saw1.jpg


Regards from Perth

Derek
 
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