Long ago I got from Brookestone what looks like a hack-saw but instead of a blade it held a triangular file
with a flexible steel button that slid along the blade. Set correct angle for file and it was I simply slid it a few
times to sharpen. For those that do not have the steady hand like milomilo. Now I shall in his honor name
my file holder Milo's_Sharpener.
I have in a collection of tools from my grandfather and my wife's grandfather a number of saw sets, saw files, and a simple saw file jig. i kept them out of curiosity, but I haven't used them yet.
a month or so ago i found Paul Sellers on Youtube, and his videos on sharpening hand saws with hand tools are among the easiest to follow i've seen. Check him out and see what you think.
Best Regards and good luck,
The first reply you got from Jon has what you need to know - when you "joint" the teeth with a file across the top you will get all the teeth to the same height. You then file the gullets behind until the flat spots on top JUST dissapear, and no more! your teeth will now be the same height, and sharp. That article is bang on how to do it. Unless your eyes are much less tired than mine, you will need glasses to see when the flat is gone. Best of luck!
To sharpen a hand saw you will first need a saw set. This is what gives the saw the kerf.
before setting the teeth level the teeth of the saw with a file or similar then set them choosing the correct set. ( A backsaw saw has a small set, a ripping saw a larger set) Alterative teeth are set pointing to one side and the others set pointing to the opposite side.
Then with the correct sized file for the saw start to sharpen the teeth (remembering that every other tooth is sharpened to the same angle. When one side is completed turn the saw round and sharpen that side as before.
If done correctly, with a large toothed saw you should be able to place a needle lenghtways between the teeth and when the saw is inclined the needle should slide down the saw.
Hope that this is of some help to you.
To all who are decrying the terrors of chainsaw sharpeners: do not use an electric one. Any good hardware store should have a hand chainsaw sharpening jig: a round file in an enclosure, attached to a bar with several angles marked on it and some stops. These can be readily adapted to hand saws, with a flat or thread file.
The only other tip I was told, which goes the same for knifes, chains, axes and any similiarly edged tool: ALWAYS 1=1. If you file one tooth three time, the next tooth must be three times, and the one after and the one after and the one after... If you lose count knitting row counters will handily fit on the file. Slow and laborius, but all good things...
Clean your file often and well. Nothing worse than a nice clean cut that has a notch out of it because there was swage in the file.
Do one side at a time. Easiest way to screw a hand saw is to go tooth by tooth, changing side every time.
P.s. I hate sharpening handsaws and have on occassion been known to go by a new one before sharpening my favorite.
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