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Saw Sharpening - DIY or send away?

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mudman

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Been toying with the idea of teaching myself to sharpen saws. But been wondering is it worth it?
There's a place near where I work that will send your saws away and a tenon saw will cost £7.95 for a set and sharpen and £10.90 for a recut as well.
I have a number of saws that could do with the service but this would be quite expensive and looking at Axminster it would be cheaper and a worthwhile investment to buy the stuff and teach myself.
So what do people think? Is it an easy/moderatly hard/difficult/impossible skill to master? Does it take years of practice or can it be mastered relatively quickly? And what about those little gadgets that Axminster and Lee Valley sell for accurate filing, does it work?
On the other hand, I'm not entirely sure how often saws require sharpening as only recently aquired them. So sending away at infrequent intervals could be perfectly viable.

Just wondering what everybody thinks.
 

Alf

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Would you send your plane irons and chisels out to be sharpened? Nope. Why send saws? They're not difficult to learn to sharpen, especially not with all the wealth of info on the 'net about how to do it. Philly's nabbed the best link already, but there are others. I've only done about a dozen, and I'm sufficiently competent to make a saw at least useable (they do say uneven teeth may even be an advantage... :wink: ). Good light and eyesight are essential, btw. Just don't start on a 18pt back saw, for your own sanity. :shock: Recutting, IMO, is easier than resharpening abused teeth. It's easiest if you can use another saw blade of the right tpi as a guide (hacksaw, mitre saw blade, whatever) but you can print up a guide on the 'puter and use that too. BB's done that, IIRC, but I haven't. Forget the gadgets, they just limit you. It's like doing the Tour de France with stabalizers. Either use the guides as suggested on Vintage Saws, or BugBear has an alternative idea on his site. The main problem you're likely to have is with doing finer toothed backsaws, and finding a saw set and saw files that'll cope with them. 4" double extra slim files are rare as hen's teeth on this side of the 'Lantic, for instance, so don't get too wedded to the idea that they're essential - just get as close as you can. For the saw set you can always file down an Eclipse one (again, BugBear's done that IIRC), get lucky secondhand (like me), or I think one of the two German hand tool places do one (too lazy to look just now, sorry).

Bet that's left you with lots more questions... :roll:

Having said all that, if the place you know of has them done by hand, or the saws are in need of some fairly major setting to rights, then it might be a good idea to send them there first so you have a good starting point when you come to sharpen them yourself.

Cheers, Alf

Some gratuitous saw filing related pics:


Cutting fresh teeth at 14ppi. The guide blade is at the front, and the first inch or so of the backsaw blade has been done.
 

mudman

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Philly, Alf,

Thanks for the replies. I'd seen Philly's link and it is an excellent article. I was just wondering if it is worthwhile going to the trouble to learn the skill.
I must admit that I was leaning towards going down that route anyway.

Alf,
You're right of course about sending things out to sharpen. I will always be happier doing my own sharpening, can only blame myself then. Another thought I had was if it only costs a tenner to send away and the middleman takes a cut of that, just how much time will the guy take over it? Or are there machines that do this for them?

I was wondering about the 4" double extra slim files and whether Axminster's were the equivalent, I guess not.

Had a look at one of the German sites, Dick Fine Tools do this one but don't say how fine a tooth it will go down to.

Right, about time I had another box of goodies waiting for me when I get home. :wink:
 

mudman

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And I've just noticed This. So is it possible to re-sharpen hardpoint saws?

Edited as I've just relaised that the links don't work. Items are under the Saws, Saw Sharpening Tools and are the saw set and diamond saw file respectivley. :oops:
 

bugbear

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Nice driveby on the open handle DT saw, Alf!

Alf kindly referred to some of the things I've mentioned on saw sharpening. Here are some links to save me retyping.

http://www.geocities.com/plybench/shop_projects.html#file_pointer
http://nika.frontier.iarc.uaf.edu/~cswingle/archive/get.phtml?message_id=113401#message
http://nika.frontier.iarc.uaf.edu/~...tml?message_id=113063&submit_thread=1#message

(that last one is a little rambling; it covers graduated teeth, recutting, AND modifying an Eclipse #77 to handle smaller teeth)

Rip is (much) easier than crosscut, big teeth are easier than small. I'd rate 14 TPI crosscut about the hardest. Dovetail saws don't really go much higher than 16 TPI and are filed RIP, so they're not the hardest.

In the "easier" saws it's actually pretty hard to make 'em worse than they already are. Just proceed though the stages slowly and carefully.

Good light is essential.

I've just finished doing a 14 TPI crosscut, BTW, so everything is fresh in my mind. If anyone wants to ask specific questions, fire away.

BugBear
 

mudman

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Thanks for the links Bugbear, always continues to amaze me what a wealth of knowledge and info is out there on the internet when you know where to look.

Out of interest, how long did it take you to sharpen the 14 TPI crosscut?
 

Pete W

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Alf":2qseoscc said:
Totally unintentional, I assure you.
That why it suddenly appeared in your avatar? :p

I have a rather nice open-handled specimen which is awaiting a good clean up and sharpening. Following this thread with interest.

Pete
 

Alf

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Pete W":223moznj said:
Alf":223moznj said:
Totally unintentional, I assure you.
That why it suddenly appeared in your avatar? :p
Umm... actually that's another one... :oops: If you look carefully you'll see it has an 8" blade and steel back while the one in the pic has a brass back and 10" blade.

I'll get me coat. :roll:

Cheers, Alf
 

bugbear

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Out of interest, how long did it take you to sharpen the 14 TPI crosscut?
Condition was pretty good.

Scrape off mastick (!), joint, clean and polish blade, shape teeth (rip), set, sharpen teeth - 2 1/2 hours.

BugBear
 

bugbear

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<i>4" double extra slim files are rare as hen's teeth on this side of the 'Lantic, for instance, so don't get too wedded to the idea that they're essential - just get as close as you can. </i>

Apart from having a few old ones (I've twice bought at car boot a craftsman's box of files) APTC prices and quality seem most reasonable. I may be buying these at WestPoint.

http://www.axminster.co.uk/product.asp?pf_id=22603&recno=7

I wonder how standardised the various designation of slimness are? I'd prefer a simple "each side=2mm" or whatever. All this double-extra-mini stuff went out in the 20's - I thought.

BugBear
 

Alf

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bugbear":2mvhblbu said:
I'd prefer a simple "each side=2mm" or whatever. All this double-extra-mini stuff went out in the 20's - I thought.
Oh gosh, so would I. It'd make it so much easier. :roll: I've tried the Axminster double-ended ones, and they're not bad, but somehow never got round to trying their "standard" ones yet. They've probably changed who's they have by now anyway. :roll: I had a modern Nicholson from somewhere, and that was very disappointing. Bahco make double extra slim taper, as well as the rest, but it's finding someone who's stocking them or willing to get them. They're good files though, the Bahco ones. I bought a few before my supplier gave up, thank goodness. Unfortunately I'm still buying saws so demand may soon outstrip supply... :oops: I'll have to compare the Nicholson and the Bahco, if I remember.

Cheers, Alf
 

Pete W

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Tooled-Up has the Bahco files here (scroll down a bit):
http://www.tooled-up.com/MicroCategory. ... 0&MCID=814

It's getting to be impossible to find products on the Internet - the first few thousand hits are always those stupid sub-search sites :evil:

Edit: Actually, they may not have the double extra slims; just extra slims :roll:.
 

Neil

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Hi Pete,

Pete W":2aaoqlgm said:
It's getting to be impossible to find products on the Internet - the first few thousand hits are always those stupid sub-search sites :evil:
Try suffixing your searches with '-comparestoreprices -pricerunner -dealtime -kelkoo' - this helps a lot :)

NeilCFD
 

Alf

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Pete, thanks, but as you guessed in your edit, no double extra slim :( Never mind, I'm not desperate yet, and extra slim will do at a pinch.

Cheers, Alf
 

Chris Knight

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Neil":27fa7mco said:
Hi Pete,

Pete W":27fa7mco said:
It's getting to be impossible to find products on the Internet - the first few thousand hits are always those stupid sub-search sites :evil:
Try suffixing your searches with '-comparestoreprices -pricerunner -dealtime -kelkoo' - this helps a lot :)

NeilCFD
Neil,

Thanks for that suggestion, they are driving me barmy! I suppose they pay Google otherwise Google itself would kick them off.
 
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