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MikeW

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I just responded to someone about saws, and thought I would throw the main gist of the response here, and add a few bits.

Saving a saw is a personal endeavor for me. Hate to see them go to total ruin. This is a recent purchase. It got delieverd this morning. So what is the point of buying such an ugly saw?

Well, savings over a new saw comes first to mind. This saw was an $11 US purchase. I would not have paid more for it. So with shipping, I have $15 into it.

But even relatively cheap doesn't fully do it for me. I think in part it is a challenge. I also believed it would make a great DT saw--especially since I sold my LN DT saw...

Here's the picture from the listing:



And here's what it looked like on my counter after removing the handle:



Here's what 20 minutes of work turned it into:



I cleaned it with a scrub pad, some laundry detergent (you can see the muck in the background of the last picture. Don't tell Dina I used one of her bread baking dishes. :-$

It'll take another 30 minutes or so to joint it to where the teeth are nearly gone as well as sharpen it. That's a tip: unless the teeth are completely ill spaced, but you need to joint it way back, leave a bit of the bottom of the gullet so you can see where to cut new teeth.

So for $15 and an hour or so worth of work, this saw will cut better than my LN DT saw. I'll let you figure out if the savings are worth it.

And besides. At some point I suppose this saw would have become part of a landfill. With just a tad bit of care on my part, it will out live me now.

Take care, Mike
 

Noel

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Mike, very interesting. Can you post your sharpening and setting procedure?

Many thanks

Noel
 
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Anonymous

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Good job, Mike. =D>
Yes, these things will last much more than one lifetime. My favorite Disston #4 has a Henry Disston (no Son or Sons) blade from the 1840's. After it was 50 or 60 years old, someone either repaired or modernized it with a new handle from the 1896-1917 period. It looks great and cuts a dream. It should easily last another 150 years or so.
 

MikeW

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Hi Chris,

I should say, an unmodified LN DT saw. Unmodified being the key point. LN files their DT saws as a pure rip saw in that the filing is straight across the saw. But they also add a bit of rake to make it easier to start.

But they are difficult to start anyway, especially on hard woods.

Instead, I file a DT or tenon saw with a modified rip/crosscut pattern. Less rake and fleam angle than a "true" crosscut would have. This makes the saw extremely easy to start (slices the fibers more instead of chiseling them).

And I believe an easy start is a key to cutting to a line. But an easy start is only part of it. Cutting straight an quick is also. The filing job mentioned above will cut as straight in any grain, cut more quickly and will actually cut a cleaner kerf due to the fleam angle. And besides, it is also useful to be able to cleanly cut the shoulders with the same saw.

Take care, Mike
 

Frank D.

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Thanks for that post Mike. I have a few questions; what model is that saw? I'm not familiar with old Disstons and when I see them on Ebay I have no idea what's worth buying and what's not (not to mention how much to pay).
Would you mind sharing those rake and fleam angles with us? I'm a beginner saw sharpener, and I know that I'll have to sharpen a bit more before I start to know what I'm doing, but for someone like me who has limited shop time it's nice to have a good idea where to start experimenting with different tooth patterns.
Thanks again,
Frank
 

MikeW

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Noel":2a2nzmrh said:
Mike, very interesting. Can you post your sharpening and setting procedure?
Many thanks
Noel
Hi Noel,

Here's parts of another PM I just sent--hope the recipient doesn't mind. Beats trying to think again :lol:

It would mostly depend on the ppi of the saw. Once you get small enough (over 14 ppi) too much fleam is not advantages. I shoot for 10* to 12* fleam on 15 ppi and up saws. 15* is really a maximum on small teeth. It's darn easy to take a small tooth off over 15* as they are so small. Also, the less fleam, the more durable the edge--at the trade-off of harder to cut and a little coarser saw kerf.

In general, for a saw to be used on Maple and harder, I use lower fleams and less rake. For softer woods, I use higher rake and fleam (for Pine and Poplar, I use 20* fleam if I am really careful). See, one more reason to have more than one DT or joinery saw!

I just sold a refiled LN carcass saw to a local galoot. He had brought me a few saws to file. We got talking about filing, and I told him that I believed the refiled LN carcass saw I had would cut faster and as straight as his brand new LN DT saw. When he picked up his saws, he brought along the new DT saw. He couldn't believe the carcass saw would cut faster and cleaner, aside from easier to start (a bastardized crosscut/rip filing I do). I then showed him it cut the crosscut shoulders as well as a pure crosscut saw. When I told him I had posted it for sale, he whipped out his wallet.

The point is, if you are making that saw into a rip-type saw for DT, try adding a little rake and fleam angle to it. It will start a lot easier and cut a little faster to boot. And it will still crosscut.

As for setting, once I get above 15 ppi, I don't usually set my won saws. The residual "set" from filing an 18 ppi saw is more than enough if one think about the fact it is only going to be used to cut an inch in depth at most.

The saw in the post above is between 15 and 17 ppi--depend on where one counts. It's a bad filing job. Speaking of which, Chris, I should have added to the response to your message, that I typically use less ppi for my personal saws.

The saw in this thread will be completely jointed. I hadn't really looked at the frequency of teeth when I posted the first message, only just now when I went to count the teeth. So in order to make my life a little easier the next time I sharpen this saw, I'll take them all down and start over.

As I don't have a retoother, I will simply make a printout of lines for the number of ppi I want in CorelDraw (like Leif Hanson on his website shows) or, I will use another saw, held in the vice a little lower and visually use it to mark each gullet using a cant file.

Then, in at least two passes, I will deepen these scored lines with a triangular saw file. I will make this saw a 14 ppi saw, as I like the speed and smoothness of this #ppi, filed as above. Probably will use an 8* rake, with about a 12* fleam. It'll be done by hand, though, so it will vary a bit on both angles from tooth to tooth.

At 14 ppi, I will set the teeth alternately from side-to-side using a modified Morril saw set. On it I have filed the anvil so when it is set at its finer settings it actually goes from zero to barely, to barely a little more <g>. I'll use the barely setting.

Most saw sets have way too much angle for any given position. At least for dry cabinet type woods. My methodology is to use as little without bind as possible. That isn't much set. So don't go by the numbers if yours has them. They don't mean much.

Also, in general, a saw needs more set for cross cutting than for ripping. But once the teeth get small (higher ppi) and the saw is used for joinery, less set can be used even on a crosscut.

I'm not sure I have helped the discussion much. Certainly don't know if I answered your question, Noel. So I'll also add this. File less than you think you need. Try just a light pass or two. Don't try to reconfigure teeth until you are confident about filing, so just mimic the rake and fleam angles on the saw in question until such time. See if it cuts better after these couple swipes of the file before setting.

If you need to add set, especially on saws with fewer ppi, use a saw set that has a setting that almost looks like it won't add any. Try cutting again. This way you'll see if you need to add more, which one can do. If you over set, stone the sides and don't try to "unset" it by bending them back the other way. Be consistent in the amount of pressure applied in using the saw set and you may not need to even stone the teeth to correct a wandering cut.

Which, btw, I usually use a piece of Maple. Using a square, I mark two lines on the board, either across or down from an end as is appropriate for the type of saw. The two lines are spaced a little wider than the kerf. If the saw cuts between the lines without steering the cut, you are finished. If not, it will be wandering to one side or the other. Stone the side of the saw lightly once and try again. Keep that up until it cuts straight.

Take care, Mike
 

Noel

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Thanks Mike.

Noel
 

MikeW

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Hi Frank,

The medallion on this saw dates it between 1896-1917. The stamp on the spine refines that to early 20th century. Info from the Disstonian Institute.

This is a #4, which is the number used by Disston for all their backsaws, regardless of size. I have a 30" long #4 for my mitre box. The saw in this thread is a #4, steel back, 10" model with an apple handle.

Mike
 

Derek Cohen (Perth Oz)

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The point is, if you are making that saw into a rip-type saw for DT, try adding a little rake and fleam angle to it. It will start a lot easier and cut a little faster to boot.
Hi Mike

Thanks for a very interesting thread.

When I filed my John Cotterrill 8” dovetail saw, I added more rake (as you described above) than on the LN I also have. Both are 15 tpi and have the same amount of set. The JC starts like a dream, and cuts a tad slower only.

The way a dovetail saw starts seems to me a make-or-break factor in cutting straight. With such a tight fit in the kerf, the blade cannot change direction once started.

What is the reason for the rake chosen for the LN? True, it cuts fast once underway, but dovetails do not take long to cut. Or is the theory that less error will creep in with a fast cut (that uses fewer strokes)?

Regards from Perth

Derek
 

MikeW

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What is the reason for the rake chosen for the LN? True, it cuts fast once underway, but dovetails do not take long to cut. Or is the theory that less error will creep in with a fast cut (that uses fewer strokes)?
Good morning Derek and All,

Probably a good question to ask at the stand for anyone going to a show in the near future <g>. Which, speaking of, at the LN booth, hanging on the wall, one will spot a small handsaw, a panel saw. If I remember correctly, it is a 20" one. Not in production when I played with it, but will be.

Anyway, I don't know the answer. Maybe I'll shoot Pete an email and see how they filed the Independance saws at one time. Roger here probably knows.

My feeble understanding. Emph. on feeble. I have heard two things. First, I once heard the LN DT saw was originally filed crosscut, but they switched to a rip under request. I had also heard, quite contradictory, of course, that they filed them a true rip, but under request began adding rake to make them easier to start. As things go with rumors, most likely neither is true, or some mixture.

I recently filed a 20 tpi saw for a galoot. He had me file it truly rip with no rake. Because of the number of teeth bearing on the surface and small gullets, it actually started fine. This aligns with a small English DT saw I have (open handle jobby), also with 20 (or 22) ppi. It hadn't been filed for only who knows how long. It was filed rip with no rake.

But in the scheme of things, 15 ppi isn't near as many, and the teeth/gullets can actually catch on the wood. Which is why I usually recommend to someone with a LN DT to ease off the pressure/weight of the saw and start the saw not on the corner but with the saw resting fully on the edge of the board. More teeth, less opportunity to have the gullet catch on the corner, even when drawing the saw back first.

All this is a to each their own thing, and at the very most moderately interesting. The saw in this thread I filed last night. I posted the following on WoodNet.

"I was going to do the full jointing to the saw and when I went to do it, I realized how much life I would remove and simply flattened the tops a little and filed it.

I figure I'll be able to file it a few times before it is 100% flat (look in the pics. You'll see the toe dives off). If I were to use this saw everyday that would be at least 2 years of use before I got to truly flat and new teeth.

And boy does it cut well. Almost no set, a modified cross/rip configuration.

There's 2" from the bottom of the teeth to the bottom of the steel back. I can rip the full distance to the spine in 12 strokes in Poplar, 16 in Maple. 9 strokes if I am being careful and cutting to a line for say a DT. And it still crosscuts well for shoulder cuts.

Gosh, now I need a new project saw..."

My point to the above is, and you seem to bear this out re tooth configuration, my LN DT I had did not cut as or any faster, but this way especially on hard woods a modified rip tooth starts so much easier. And besides, I can use a single saw when cutting tenons. And I'm lazy <g>.

Take care, Mike
 

Alf

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Nice clean up, Mike. Not sure I should thank you though; I'm gonna be asked awkward questions about the rake and fleam on these dovetail saws I'm trying to shift now. #-o (There isn't any; well not fleam. Not deliberately anyhow 8-[ . Rake is, erm... heck, can't recall what I use. Oh it works anyway, so why worry? :oops: ) I did a hybrid rip/x-cut sharpening job once - totally by mistake... Then there was the push me-pull you tenon saw where the teeth changed from push stroke to pull half way along. No, I don't know how I managed that either. ](*,)

MikeW":2r0uinj1 said:
Which, speaking of, at the LN booth, hanging on the wall, one will spot a small handsaw, a panel saw. If I remember correctly, it is a 20" one. Not in production when I played with it, but will be.
Presumably similar to the one RC uses in "Rough to Ready"? I wonder if TLN will bring it over with him...? If it's not too late and his reading this - pretty please? [-o< :D ]

MikeW":2r0uinj1 said:
Maybe I'll shoot Pete an email and see how they filed the Independance saws at one time. Roger here probably knows.
The Porch Archive knows.

I suppose one of these days I may get my hands on an LN saw to actually try, just so I get an inkling of what the heck everyone is going on about. :roll: :lol:

Cheers, Alf
 

MikeW

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Alf":n859qfld said:
...Then there was the push me-pull you tenon saw where the teeth changed from push stroke to pull half way along. No, I don't know how I managed that either. ](*,)
Now that would be a trick! But I can see it happening. I don't know how many saws I've seen that switch rather arbitrarily from side to side by cutting one or more teeth in a row the same direction. Point is, it's easy to loose track.

I have one in the vice right now that came in unhandled. Partially due to the terrible filing it had received prior to it being sent to me, I had to keep looking where the handle holes were in the blade to make sure wich direction I was to go.
Alf":n859qfld said:
MikeW":n859qfld said:
Which, speaking of, at the LN booth, hanging on the wall, one will spot a small handsaw, a panel saw. If I remember correctly, it is a 20" one. Not in production when I played with it, but will be.
Presumably similar to the one RC uses in "Rough to Ready"? I wonder if TLN will bring it over with him...? If it's not too late and his reading this - pretty please? [-o< :D ]
Dunno. Never seen R to R all the way through and didn't see it in the parts I have seen. It's quite a nice looker, though, as are the other LN saws. Have I mentioned bench saws are really handy in that length? Even if they are limited by a short back :roll:
Alf":n859qfld said:
MikeW":n859qfld said:
Maybe I'll shoot Pete an email and see how they filed the Independance saws at one time. Roger here probably knows.
The Porch Archive knows.
Thanks. I almost never think to search the archive for info like that. I figure as long as he or Pete will keep answering my emails I would rather "talk" directly to them.

Take care, Mike
 

Alf

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MikeW":3rnltza4 said:
Have I mentioned bench saws are really handy in that length? Even if they are limited by a short back :roll:
Preaching to the choir, Mike. 'Cept mine's backless... :wink: :lol: Now I come to think of it, the R2R one was longer than 20" IIRC.

Cheers, Alf
 

MikeW

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And I suppose the one I held could have been a little longer...didn't have a tape with me. Balance felt good in the hand, nice looking handle. Don't think it was a 24", though.

Doesn't matter. Hopefully they'll have one in the booth. It was hanging on the lower right side of the booth, iirc.

At least play with the LN saws in the booth. They are nice saws--just not any better than some vintage ones.

Take care, Mike
 
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waterhead37":2dvschvy said:
Mike,

Why do you say it will cut better than your LN?
Very good question

I have owed or tried about a dozen tenon and DT saws and the LN cuts best by far. Sure, it takes a bit of practice to get the cut started easily (dragging backwards whilst support by the thumbnail), but once one is used to it the saw is superb
 

MikeW

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Tony":1wpib8p3 said:
...I have owed or tried about a dozen tenon and DT saws and the LN cuts best by far...
I would agree that it is one of the best "out of the box" saws money can buy. Another would be Adria (though it cuts differently) as well as Leif Hansons (Nordic on another forum) DT saws.

Like chisels and planes, it usually comes down to perference once one is willing to spend enough for quality new tools.

Take care, Mike
 

engineer one

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mike,
having also read TLN's book about sharpening i can kind of understand the fleam angle idea, but have a couple of thoughts about
why many of us are scared of sharpening hand saws.

assume you get an old saw which is not too badly worn, you flatten the top of the teeth, before you file at the fleam, do you set or stone the teeth set back to the middle? or do you file the teeth properly and then re-set?

know this sounds amateur, but it is the first question.

Paul :?
 
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