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Removing set from a saw

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ydb1md

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I recently purchased a lovely little Sorby 8" dovetail saw. The saw is in great condition but it's been recently sharpened and had its teeth set -- grossly over set. The saw kerf is almost twice the blades width.

In a circumstance like this, is it best to stone the teeth down to the desired kerf or just sharpen the teeth until I get rid of the unwanted set?

Fundamentally, I think that stoning is a band-aid fix -- removing metal from the teeth just doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
 

MikeW

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Hi Dave,

You are in kind of a pickle--other than I'm sure it's a neat saw!

Stoning is only for removing the slightest of over set. And even at that I do not like to do it as it thins the teeth.

I have had good luck by placing the blade between two very flat pieces of very hard wood. Rock Maple may work, I use Purple Heart or Makore. Makore isn't as hard, but has little compressibility.

Anyway, with the blade about in the middle of the wood with the handle supported so that the blade does not sit at an angle, I hit the top piece rather hard in a couple place directly over where the teeth are.

Depending on the hardness of the wood, it will take more than one "session." I always check after each series of blows.

When I am feeling like risk, I sometimes reset a few teeth at the heel of the saw to see if the teeth are brittle. If not, I have also very carefull reset the teeth.

Good luck. Mike
 

ydb1md

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Thanks for the tip Mike, I'd have never thought of that.

It is a cool little saw. I about died when I saw the set.

It's not quite as bad as the guy that got his favorite back-saw sent back from Japan with the teeth sharpened pull-style. :cry:
 

MikeW

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ydb1md":3ekpquvm said:
Thanks for the tip Mike, I'd have never thought of that.
It is a cool little saw. I about died when I saw the set.
It's not quite as bad as the guy that got his favorite back-saw sent back from Japan with the teeth sharpened pull-style. :cry:
Easy to do sometimes.

I sharpened a saw recently where I was just sent the blade. Unique in-let handle, one bolt to secure the handle to the blade. 18 ppi. Even with the magnifying light I use, I had to keep looking for that single bolt hole to make sure which end was which.

I also had a quy send me a gent's saw once and he had me purposefully make it into a pull saw with Western filed teeth. 15 ppi, small file and deep gullets. Worked fine. Seemed almost a sacrilege, though, to do that to an old #68.

As Jarviser mentioned, the only other option should hammering not work is to refile. That naturally removes set. But in this case with the teeth so widely set and depending on where the teeth are actually bent, you might end up cutting new teeth in by the time you are done.

If so, make sure you have two appropriate files, one of which is a new file. Use one to do the bulk of the filing. Use the new one to do the final strokes.

Also, assuming the teeth do not need jointing at this point, do an even number of strokes, same pressure on each side. Test, file some more is necessary. Once it is down to the last pass, very lightly joint the teeth and use that reserved file for the last pass.

Have fun. Mike
 

Jarviser

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MikeW":wxy3ktap said:
If so, make sure you have two appropriate files, one of which is a new file. Use one to do the bulk of the filing. Use the new one to do the final strokes.
Mike, have you ever used a diamond coated triangular file? I have never seen one in the flesh - I dont know if they have the right shape or not, but I thought they may be good for an occasional "hone" or to do the final strokes??
 

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Hi Jarviser,

I have two diamond coated files. They are a bit too big for small teeth. I have tried them on larger rip teeth, but they cut too slowly.

I forget the name of the business that sent them to me now, but I do not think they ever produced them. The main problem with thise ones, other than the size was that they were coated onto thin metal strips, which in turn were adhered to a plastic. Quite flexible.

Bahco makes wonderful metal saw files which hold up well. I've been using them of late. A little finer finish than the Nicholsons.

I also have some files coming from yet another supplier who claim their files are neither Nicholsons nor Bahco, and that they give a superior finish and last longer. Probably marketing hype, but I'll take the files and use them anyway!

I have used diamonds, though, sharpening BS blades and circular saw blades. They do cut nice afterwards. So in theory a saw file in two grits could put a great finish on a hand saw.

Take care, Mike
 

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I'll maybe spend the money on some new traditional files then. I have seen in several places a recommendation to use a new file for each saw. Unfortunately being a tight wad I want files to last forever, or until they fall down that hole in the workshop where all my pencils, punches and rules seem to go.
 

ydb1md

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MikeW":39w3uxbg said:
Bahco makes wonderful metal saw files which hold up well. I've been using them of late. A little finer finish than the Nicholsons.
Mike, what's your source for the Bahco files? The prices over at Vintage Saws (Pete Taran's site) seem a little high -- especially compared to Nicholsons.
 

MikeW

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Well Dave, I do get them from Pete. Never have tried to source them elsewhere. I get along with Pete rather well and feel I'll spend my money there.

So far, though, they do seem to last a bit longer and produce a nice finish if one inspects the filing with a loop.

I have on order some files from LN. They sell Grobet files. Suppose to be the best current file maker. My feeling is that unless they have a different source for steel, it most likely comes from Bahco's source, Sandvik.

Now, how they create the files and their tempering is another issue. May well be better than even Bahco. And then there are the mystery files coming. But it will take time to really test and even at that, any findings are going to be very subjective.

Jarviser. I cycle my files. Once one has been used a couple or three times, it becomes one I use for heavier filing and a fresh one is used for the final light pass or two. I have found files can last a decent time if both the proper size is used and they are cycled in this manner.

Take care...I'm going into hiding for the rest of the day...

Mike
 

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I hope you dont mind me tagging a question onto your post but i found my saw set today and was going to post on how to use it but it seems silly to have 2 threads on the same subject . Its an eclipse no 77 saw set and the bolt on the top spins a setting bed that is beveled so as you turn it the set gets bigger . my question is how you decide what setting to put it at ? Put it on the saw and just bend the tooth a little or is it a definite science ?
 

ydb1md

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Mike,
You'll have to give us some feedback on the files after you give them a try.

JFC
I'm about to try "setting" soon too. I have a Stearns that will sit on a shelf. It has a knob you turn that's pretty imprecise -- it seems like a lot of trial and error. I just won an auction for a 42x which I can't wait to try out -- once it arrives. I'm amazed at the prices saw sets are going for. They seem to be going up faster than the prices for other tools. But, I'm sure it's all cyclical.
 

Miles968

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Following up on the diamond file question, I was filing my grandfather's panel saw last night, prior to handsawing a log in half (!) and wondered to myself why it is that no-one mentions any finer finishing of saw teeth, when all other tools get lavish attention with multiple grit sizes, and endless agonizing over which is the preferable technique.
It's obvious that most methods can't be applied to small saw teeth, but I know that ceramic '3-square' slips exist and could be used to polish the finish on standard geometry filed teeth. I can imagine that this might just make a noticeable difference on e.g. a dovetail saw in a hard wood, as well as the sort of tiresome sawing I was doing. (I got through well enough, but I wish I had taken more time and reset the saw as well, and checked the tendency to wander... a 24" long and 12" deep rip cut in quite hard wood took quite a bit of pushing!)

Has anyone (MikeW?) gone down this route? I guess that commercial saws might have a finer (ground) finish than that left by a file - is there any sense that this results in better cutting?

cheers

sore-hand Miles :)
 

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Miles968":gqpm6lg8 said:
Following up on the diamond file question, I was filing my grandfather's panel saw last night, prior to handsawing a log in half (!) and wondered to myself why it is that no-one mentions any finer finishing of saw teeth, when all other tools get lavish attention with multiple grit sizes, and endless agonizing over which is the preferable technique.
It's obvious that most methods can't be applied to small saw teeth, but I know that ceramic '3-square' slips exist and could be used to polish the finish on standard geometry filed teeth. I can imagine that this might just make a noticeable difference on e.g. a dovetail saw in a hard wood, as well as the sort of tiresome sawing I was doing. (I got through well enough, but I wish I had taken more time and reset the saw as well, and checked the tendency to wander... a 24" long and 12" deep rip cut in quite hard wood took quite a bit of pushing!)

Has anyone (MikeW?) gone down this route? I guess that commercial saws might have a finer (ground) finish than that left by a file - is there any sense that this results in better cutting?

cheers

sore-hand Miles :)
Hi Sore-Hand <g>...rambling mode on...

I haven't ever done the ceramic slips on a saw. My feeling about ceramics is they load up too quickly and then need cleaned--too much work and I'm too lazy.

The 600 grit diamond I have used on larger teeth leaves a nice finish but I had too be careful not to bend the plastic, so it is probably not a good test. In the long run, I don't think a smooth finish is a necessary.

Commercial saw makers use traditional files via a filing machine. I have a Foley saw filer on the way to speed up production, as well as a retoother and setter. I have found, though, that a final hand filing still produces a better tooth. So even though the Foley will file the teeth, the saws I am making will get a final filing by hand.

Same with the handle: they are cut on a BS, sanded on a spindle sander, partially shaped on the shaper, but are finished off by rasp, files and sand paper to high grits.

Machines can only get one most of the way. Eye and hand are still a better finisher. Handsaws are really a crude cutting device. Obviously the finer the teeth, the better the cut surface. But it still pales to other means of cutting wood as far as the surface left behind. Because of my view of what a saw is and does, I think taking and sharpening a saw to 600 grit or higher is a waste of effort.

Hand saw steel is a relatively low hardness. It begins to dull the instant it first cuts wood. That a sharpening lasts as long as it does under even heavy use amazes me. But, this is why even though people pay me to sharpen, I recommend people learn to do it themselves. At least sharpen several times under moderate use for a year or two and then send it out.

Many hand saw sharpeners can sharpen and tune a hand saw for specific cutting (reason to own more hand saws!) tasks. These saws will (certainly should) cut better and faster than any commercially available saw, save those by current high-end makers, such as Adria and LN (well, myself too <g>).

But anyone can sharpen a saw if one wants to learn another task and buy a couple files. BB has info on his site, and there are many others. If one is new at filing a saw, buy the proper size file and set it in place and look closely at the angles when the file sets in the gullet. Copy that with just a pass or two on one side and then do the other. If needed, do it again. When all is said and done, it should only take 20-30 minutes to file the saw. But if it takes longer...that's fine too. At least a new skill is being learned. This to some degree means less dependence on others and a growing knowledge and appreciation for one's own tools.

Take care...rambling mode off.

Mike
 

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JFC":1i5dhkg1 said:
I hope you dont mind me tagging a question onto your post but i found my saw set today and was going to post on how to use it but it seems silly to have 2 threads on the same subject . Its an eclipse no 77 saw set and the bolt on the top spins a setting bed that is beveled so as you turn it the set gets bigger . my question is how you decide what setting to put it at ? Put it on the saw and just bend the tooth a little or is it a definite science ?
Hi JFC,

I'm not familiar with the Eclipse. But the point will be the same--which is to say really general advice.

I set (and file) saws for specific woods and or uses. In general, for most of us we use moderately hard, dry woods in making furniture. In that case for say a general purpose tenon saw that will be called upon to both rip and cross cut cleanly, I strive for little set. If I were to use your set for the first time, I would have the set's anvil wheel rotated to produce nearly no set--unless when I looked at it it was still too much.

Saw sets have different anvils and strike pin sizes. For about 12 ppi and below, its range is quite large and the pin is likewise heavier and thicker. A set made for small teeth has less range on the anvil and a smaller pin.

I have a couple dozen sets, from various hand held ones, to ones you strike with a hammer. Only two (or 3) of the sets have a reasonable mix of strike pin and anvil shape when it comes to 15 ppi and finer.

In practice, I always set the teeth with as little set as possible and if needed after a test cut, increase the set. The only exception to this is when I know the saw is either a general use saw or one used primarily on softwoods (fiber springback). In this case, I use more set to begin with and keep a couple 4 x 2s of Pine and "White wood", one wet and one dry. And after testing the cut, I may still add more set.

In use, one should use consistent pressure from tooth to tooth, flip the saw around and use the same pressure on the set.

For 12 ppi and up cross cut filed saws, use less set as one gets higher ppi. At 18 ppi and higher, use no set at all.

For less than 12 ppi crosscut saws, use increasing set as one goes down in ppi. I have a 5 1/2 ppi crosscut that is set about 1/3 of the way to my favorite set's settings. I would consider this the coarsest set I would ever do.

On rip filed saws, little set is advised anyway. My 4 1/2 Spear & Jackson rip has enough set I can feel it, but is pretty difficult to see.

So my advice would be to be prepared to set the teeth maybe a couple times until you have what you consider enough. The goal on 12 ppi and higher saws is to be able to cut the type of wood you intend on using a particular saw on so that there is no binding and little correction during a cut is possible. In general, this is very little set.

For higher ppi cross cut saws, add enough set that one can correct a wandering cut--but this in general is still less set than any commercial saw (save LN, Adria and, well, me).

So start out on about the lowest setting for saws used in joinery, more on other types saws.

Take care, Mike
 

ydb1md

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MikeW":r8nzunwm said:
Commercial saw makers use traditional files via a filing machine. I have a Foley saw filer on the way to speed up production, as well as a retoother and setter. I have found, though, that a final hand filing still produces a better tooth. So even though the Foley will file the teeth, the saws I am making will get a final filing by hand.
Mike
Where did you pick up your Foley Mike? I was checking out your eBay auctions and saw one that you'd bid on and lost. How much "production" saw sharpening do you have to speed up? When are your saws going into production? Inquiring minds want to know . . . . :D
 

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Hi Dave,

I picked up all 3 machines on the bay. Not so decent prices, but reasonable and considering I ran myself out of time before getting them, acceptable.

I have picked up more saw related work than furniture this year. I was commissioned to make a series of saws for a group of collectors, which then led to some more saws. I have 2-3 saws delievered for sharpening nearly every day. The mailman has nick-named me The Tooth Fairy...ha.

So, with making saws and sharpening, I need to speed up especially the task of retoothing. But I will also run them on the filer to shape the teeth and still finish off by hand.

Public wise, the saws will be available after Thanksgiving. Hopefully I'll have the website reworked by then. But there are some surprises (or not) concerning the saws we make. Keep an eye out for an announcment that the web site is up and going.

Take care, Mike
 

ydb1md

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MikeW":2jtz73vf said:
Hi Dave,

I picked up all 3 machines on the bay. Not so decent prices, but reasonable and considering I ran myself out of time before getting them, acceptable.

. . . .

Public wise, the saws will be available after Thanksgiving. Hopefully I'll have the website reworked by then. But there are some surprises (or not) concerning the saws we make. Keep an eye out for an announcment that the web site is up and going.

Take care, Mike
Sweet news!

Thanks for the info Mike.
 

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