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Thread: Greetings, and tool sharpening ideas

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    Greetings, and tool sharpening ideas

    Greetings all. Looking forward to seeing ideas I didn't know I was looking for yet. I do have one thing I really wish I knew how to do. I have tried sharpening my own hand saws, and have the clamping vise that screws to my bench edge to hold the blade. But when I try to file the teeth by hand I never come close to even cutting of the teeth. I've got the angle right, I understand the goal - but I just don't have the hand skill to sharpen the teeth without leaving one bigger than the other. Seems to me there must be a better way. Has anyone come up with a home-built idea for a tooth index and jig?

    To make matters harder, I have one backsaw that was of excellent quality - until I set my file to it. In the end, I wound up grinding it all down flat with the plan to cut new teeth. But, well, I need that indexer. It would have to be one that can vary in tpi, or else build several. I've searched, but either there isn't anything listed, or my keyword search is out of touch with the articles.

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    Jon
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    Hi groesener - welcome to HomemadeTools.net

    I'm going to put this in our Tools in Progress subforum so you can gather some ideas. Here's an article that we previously featured, that might help you: Welcome to Vintage Saw's Saw Filing Treatise

    Improper sharpening is a time-honored DIY tradition. The first time I took a file to a chainsaw chain, it was not pretty.

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    I have a Harbor Freight Chain Saw sharpening tool. It is electric and may be able to be adapted to your handsaw use. It uses the saw teeth for indexing. The grinding wheel can be shaped with a diamond cluster. This would make the sharpening job quick and easy. Everything is adjustable so you could do any tooth pitch.

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    Do NOT under any circumstances use a chain saw sharpener on a hand saw. The heat generated will destroy the saw.

    1) do a Google and/or YouTube search on sharpening hand saws.

    Even better find a retired carpenter to teach you how to sharpen hand saws. You may be able to find one via your local vo-tech or community college.

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    Saw sharpening: The only jig I have seen came with the saw sharpening courses From years ago. DIY time honored tradition. Yep! Practice makes perfect. Practice on cheap Saws first. You tube is my go to for just about any how too's. one thing that is just as important is a good saw set tool. I have one from the 20's. don't know if they still make them in this throw away society. Some of the "older" carpenters may know how. Most don't because it was as production first so you didn't have time to sharpen saws. Buy another one. One more thing. You can't get it right if you can't see, so good lighting and probably even a lower power set of cheaters would be helpful.

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    I agree... learn to file any saw by hand. (Steel saws that is) I would never use a chainsaw sharpener on a chain saw either. Filing a chain is easy and quick, IF you learn how. Your chain will last much longer too.
    ---
    Ken

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    I am afraid on chain saws, I use a dremel free hand, not pretty but gets me back out in the woods fast.
    On handsaws..... I dont think I have the patience anymore. You may be having issues because of the "tooth set".
    It makes it hard to get the teeth even. I would do as suggested above, check out youtube, I love and learn tons
    on youtube. Just remember just because you saw it on youtube, its not the right way but at least one way to
    do somthing. Sorry I could not be more help.

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    Look around ebay junk stores and the like for a saw tooth hand set and learn how to use it, then google how to file a hand saw and study the the set up and execution of filing the teeth. Without a proper set it will NEVER cut any way near right!!!
    There arnt any short cuts to learning how to file sharpen hand saws, I have done mine for most of my life and I am 76 years old this month and still take a file to the blades and have my hand setter to set the teeth.
    GL and dont give up you will have an A HA moment and it will fall into place. look at a new good quality hand saw by looking down the row of teeth to get an idea on what they should look like, then look at it from the side so you get a idea how every other tooth has a different angle and set.
    All saws are not filed the same such as a Japanese wood saw has no set just alternating file profiles.
    Dont know if I helped or hurt your efforts but it is not that hard if you study the angles.

    Quote Originally Posted by groesener View Post
    Greetings all. Looking forward to seeing ideas I didn't know I was looking for yet. I do have one thing I really wish I knew how to do. I have tried sharpening my own hand saws, and have the clamping vise that screws to my bench edge to hold the blade. But when I try to file the teeth by hand I never come close to even cutting of the teeth. I've got the angle right, I understand the goal - but I just don't have the hand skill to sharpen the teeth without leaving one bigger than the other. Seems to me there must be a better way. Has anyone come up with a home-built idea for a tooth index and jig?

    To make matters harder, I have one backsaw that was of excellent quality - until I set my file to it. In the end, I wound up grinding it all down flat with the plan to cut new teeth. But, well, I need that indexer. It would have to be one that can vary in tpi, or else build several. I've searched, but either there isn't anything listed, or my keyword search is out of touch with the articles.
    Bill in SE Idaho, Given enough incentive and proper motivation anything can be fixed

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    Before you sharpen you need to use a saw set to get the proper even set to the teeth. Since your efforts doing it by hand do not give you the results you are looking for, you may want to modify a clamp on chain saw filer by adding an indexer to the tool so you can keep the correct spacing. Obviously use a triangular file instead of the round file for chain saws. At least you would keep the right angles and depth this way.

    The most important things in hand filing saw teeth are angles, filing depth and filing an even number of strokes for each tooth.

    Here is a on how to sharpen a hand saw.
    Last edited by milomilo; 10-20-2016 at 10:20 PM.
    Chris

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    groesener,

    I remember reading John Muir's autobiography "The Story of My Boyhood and Youth" where the author made his own saw. Here's the excerpt: " There were a few tools in a corner of the cellar,--a vise, files, a hammer, chisels, etc., that father had brought from Scotland, but no saw excepting a coarse crooked one that was unfit for sawing dry hickory or oak. So I made a fine-tooth saw suitable for my work out of a strip of steel that had formed part of an old-fashioned corset, that cut the hardest wood smoothly."

    You could try that approach, but that would be extreme.

    ---Joe

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