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Tom Law saw sharpening video

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bugbear

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A UKW'er recently made this available to me.

Having some experience of saw sharpening, I watched it with interest.

I found it very entertaining, and well photographed and recorded. I know from experience that photographing small shiny teeth is tricky.

Tom Law is evidently VERY good at sharpening saws.

Sadly, I cannot recommend this video to somebody wishing to learn.

There is very little exposition of the concepts behind saw teeth shapes; rake, fleam, "tops" etc.

You really do need to understand this, to direct the intent behind your actions.

I was also very perturbed at his advocation of pure freehand filing. This is far too hard for a beginner, and I feel attempting to emulate his technique will result in inevtiable failure.

I agree in his disdain of "constrained" filing jigs; they are inflexible and intrusive on the filing technique.

All in all, I would recommend people wishing to learn to sharpen saws towards Pete Tarans write up.

http://www.vintagesaws.com/cgi-bin/fram ... sharp.html

There are more reader-friendly write ups out there, but Pete's is the most accurate.

Read Pete's first, to get the fundemental's nailed, then read the more friendly (but more superficial) versions.

I would also recommend my visual aids, but I would, wouldn't I?

http://www.geocities.com/plybench/shop_ ... le_pointer

For fleam, I just draw a load of angled lines on a bit of paper on the benchtop.

BugBear
 

tombo

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Hey bugbear,

ever thought of making your own video? you have certainly got the knowledge.

Tom
 
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Anonymous

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Bravo PeterPan!!

I haven't seen the DVD but what you say makes sense and I too agree you need to challenge yourself and overcome your fears in order to conquest

Cheers
Dan Clermont
 

Alf

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Okay, chaps, I know I've sharpened a few saws. I know sure as eggs are eggs that BB has, and having seen the results I'm still trying to persuade him to become my personal saw doctor. But neither of you mention sharpening saws at all. Have you? Or is this theoretical "you shouldn't use jigs" advice? Just to clarify, if you would. Not to score points; just to know where you're coming from. It's interesting that the advice in ancient texts (well old books, anyway) always seems to be to send out your saws to a saw doctor. Now if it was just a matter of challenging yourself, surely the same author who gives plans for building your own refrigerator, clinker-built dingy, caravan etc wouldn't be shy to encourage his readers to pick up a saw file too. :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 
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Anonymous

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Hi Alf,

I don't know how to sharpen a saw but do have some no name saws put aside for the day I find the time to try.

I have allot of friends who are diehard power tool users and they have a fear of hand tools because they don't believe they could sharpen the blade and adjust it for a nice good shaving. Those that have bought planes and stones and who do learn how to sharpen expand their own knowledge base and can now use a smoother rather then sandpaper or use block to chamfer an edge

Cheers
Dan Clermont
 

MikeW

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I thought I had originally posted in this thread. Guess it is the medication.

My silly opinion based on the bit of sharpening I've done is...it ain't rocket science.

But, to the point of the thread, I feel the Law video is worth it for someone wanting to learn. If one pays attention, it doesn't matter whether terms are described or not. There won't be a spelling bee afterwards.

However, for those wanting a foundation of more precise knowledge, as BB states, there it is anywhere one looks on the web. And unlike much "knowledge" on the web, most if not all of it I've seen actually agrees with each other.

But among the best, as BB says, and in my opinion, is Pete's site. And there are bunches of sites that do a good job, though not as thorough.

As for not using jigs? Use 'em, don't use 'em. It doesn't matter how a person learns. The basics are not difficult either way. If someone has fears about it, start on a rip saw in reasonable shape (teeth seem evenly formed, but dull enough to be useful for learning). Mimic the existing tooth shape. Go slowly with little pressure to feel what the file is doing, how much it takes off with a stroke. Look at the result. Adjust and go on.

Mike
and yet another 2 cents today. I'll stop before going broke.
 

bugbear

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If you don't start practicing now, then when? If you use a jig for 10 years you will be just as far away from becoming skilled as today,
Using a jig is by far the most reliable way of achieving what I think is the real goal here - a sharp saw.

And I disagree about jigs preventing one from acquiring skills. The rake guide I suggest does NOT constrain the user's filing motion, it merely makes variations in angle more visible, allowing one to control the angle better. But the control come from the user.

BugBear
 

kygaloot

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I found the Law video to be very valuable. I watched it. Then I watched again and took some simple notes. Then I sharpened saws. Very simple.

I think there is an unfortunate tendency amongst us moderns to hyper-empiricize processes. It is an unfortunate industrialist mindset driven by Enlightenment thinking.
 

Alf

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kygaloot":387ruzxr said:
I think there is an unfortunate tendency amongst us moderns to hyper-empiricize processes. It is an unfortunate industrialist mindset driven by Enlightenment thinking.
What did Horace say, Winnie?* :-s

Cheers, Alf

*Someone's bound to ask, so look here.
 

kygaloot

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Needs a bit of unpacking does it?

The Enlightenment, and its stepchildren, its promises of “progress”, and its approach to all things as objects of scientific empirical analysis rob life of all of its richness. That such thinking finds its way into a resurgence in the use of hand tools is ironic but not surprising. After all, one can see how difficult it is for the erstwhile computer programmer to shed all of the de-humanizing notions of “efficiency” and “exactitude” from his industrialised grey matter upon leaving his Dilbertesque confines. Ironic, because this is exactly what he really seeks to escape in his seeking out the use of his hands.

We are now told by these woodworking hand tool scientists that one needs granite plates, float glass (not plate glass mind you, Nay!), shaving measuring micrometers, 5-axis sharpening jigs, 15000 grit waterstones, cubic zirconium sanding belts, back bevels, microbevels, low angle- bevel up, cryogenically and genetically modified space shuttle steel..... ad nauseum, ad infinitum .Some poor fellow wanders into Woodcentral asking about a jointer plane and leaves with his head spinning and eyes glazed. One wonders how Mr. Goddard was able to rise in the morning and face another day of building highboys without knowing about the grain structure of the steel in his coffin smoother.

So in short, like, mikew, I don't think saw sharpening is rocket science..... or any other kind of science.
 

Alf

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I think Horace said "Just do it" :-k :lol:

I vacillate wildly twixt that approach and a more pseudo-scientific one, usually depending on what day of the week it is. I can't bring myself to entirely dismiss all the measurement and such because it has it's uses in this modern age. The majority of us don't have a time-served craftsman looking over our shoulder (or us looking over his) to say "yep, that's right" or "no, for the love of Norm, not that way!", but rely instead on reading articles, books and fora such as this. Replicable measurements and so forth give the lone learner the benefit of knowing if they're doing such-and-such right or not.

That covers the measurement stuff; for the rest I fear it's 'cos every other hobbyist woodworker seems to be a damn engineer and they can't help themselves, poor devils. :wink:

Cheers, Alf
 

Brent

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Hi Bugbear,

I've watched the video a few times, and I do agree that there's very little in the way of why do this or that. But, I've sharpened a few swas after watching it and they came out great. Don't get me wrong, there is a need for background in any technique that's new to someone, but is it really neccessary to get the job done.

It kind of reminds me of helping my Dad build a deck when I was about 13. The ground needed to be built up at one end and leveled at the other. Being the inquisitive kid I was I spent all night reading up about doing the job.....water levels and all. Next day, getting ready, I asked where we start. He looked at me and said "Take the dirt from that end, and bring it to this end." Sometimes it just gets in the way knowing all the whys.

Brent
 

bugbear

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Don't get me wrong, there is a need for background in any technique that's new to someone, but is it really neccessary to get the job done.

No neccesary, but I find understanding a tremendously valuable guide to the doing.

Some people are happy just "doing what works" without understanding. I'm not.

Different strokes...

BugBear[/i]
 

Benchwayze

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kygaloot":3o2q5gn7 said:
I think there is an unfortunate tendency amongst us moderns to hyper-empiricize processes. It is an unfortunate industrialist mindset driven by Enlightenment thinking.
I think kygaloot is trying to say that these days we tend to think a little too deeply about things, in an effort to really understand what gives.


I think this kind of expression was known as tautology, but there was never any law against it, and anyway I could be wrong.
:D
John
I was wrong. I'll keep surfing! :D
 
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