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Thread: where to go for hand saw sharpening tools

  1. #1

    Question where to go for hand saw sharpening tools

    If all goes well, I'm picking up a set of 3 old Disston hand saws tonight. They are certainly not museum pieces, but the price is certainly right at $30 and they look like they're in decent shape for saws I intend to use. I guess I'll see about that when I check them out in person tonight. Keeping my fingers crossed that they aren't trashed

    But now I will be in a new world...I'm going to have to sharpen these things. I've been reading threads on here and at vintage saws about how to do that, but I'm not finding much in the way of where to get the files and saw set I'm going to need.

    What's the best place to look for these items?

    I'll make a saw vise myself. Are there any other tools that I should be looking into besides files and a set?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Dave,

    Tools for Working Wood has most of what you are looking for.

  3. #3
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    Make an apparatus to joint the saw, and it may make your life easier to get red dykem to mark the teeth (something simple like a board with a notch/kerf/rout in it to hold a bastard file at 90 degrees). Red is easiest to see on the metal, blue works OK too if you already have it.

    McMaster Carr (i'm not suggesting this as the only place to go) has reasonable prices on files, and the ones I've gotten from there have all been swiss, even though they don't spec (you get whatever they have, I think). They also have red dykem, and they charge only actual shipping cost, and they ship fast.

    If you get a saw that's been sharpened a few times without jointing or the teeth aren't uniform for any other reason, do the sharpening in three phases:
    * joint the teeth
    * shape the teeth so they are fairly uniform
    * sharpen them how you want them to be (fleam, etc).

    It's difficult to do the second two steps together, for me at least, when the teeth are whacked out from being improperly done previously.

  4. #4
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    You can find saw sets on ebay, or here.
    http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/M...rch=saw%20sets

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  6. #6
    Thanks guys! I am putting together a shopping cart at tools for working wood. Looks like the saw set I need is out of stock. I'll shoot an email to them and see what an ETA might be because I'm not finding them anywhere else. Hopefully it won't be a long wait.

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    TFWW IS out of stock on the regular size saw set, Most likely the size you need, and seems to have been for quite some time. I got the small saw set from them and some files, a few of the files were back ordered, but arrived before I needed them. TFWW is a great company, but because they are small sometimes you have to be patient.
    if you want a vintage saw set be patient and settle for nothing less then the Stanley 42X. I have both a 42X and the small set from TFWW and both are quality tools I would expect the regular saw set from TFWW or LV to be good as well.

    Lee valley sells the same saw sets as TFWW... http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/pag...=1,43072,43086
    Lee valley also has Nicholson triangle files... not sure how good the quality is but they should easily get the job done. you might be able to find a file at the BORG if you don't need a Very small one.
    http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/pag...=1,43072,43089
    Make sure you buy (or make) handles for your files.

    Then all you need are a couple scraps to make fleam and rake blocks.

    Best video I have found on sharpening saws... http://logancabinetshoppe.weebly.com...9/episode.html
    Last edited by Andrew Gibson; 07-28-2010 at 4:17 PM.
    ...Dyslexic...
    Gibson Woodworking & Design
    Find my homepage in my profile, not allowed to put it here.

  8. #8
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    I didn't read the "out of stock" when I posted the link. Depending on how quickly you need them, I think Highland Woodworking has them in stock. The two saw sets I sent a link for are labeled Coarse Saw Set and Fine Saw Set at Highland ($19.99 each). Highland also carries files.
    http://www.highlandwoodworking.com/h...harpening.aspx

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Gibson View Post
    TFWW IS out of stock on the regular size saw set, Most likely the size you need, and seems to have been for quite some time. I got the small saw set from them and some files, a few of the files were back ordered, but arrived before I needed them. TFWW is a great company, but because they are small sometimes you have to be patient.
    if you want a vintage saw set be patient and settle for nothing less then the Stanley 42X. I have both a 42X and the small set from TFWW and both are quality tools I would expect the regular saw set from TFWW or LV to be good as well.

    Lee valley sells the same saw sets as TFWW... http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/pag...=1,43072,43086
    Lee valley also has Nicholson triangle files... not sure how good the quality is but they should easily get the job done. you might be able to find a file at the BORG if you don't need a Very small one.
    http://www.leevalley.com/US/wood/pag...=1,43072,43089
    Make sure you buy (or make) handles for your files.

    Then all you need are a couple scraps to make fleam and rake blocks.

    Best video I have found on sharpening saws... http://logancabinetshoppe.weebly.com...9/episode.html
    The nicholson files are fine, the made in mexico ones. Of the second-rate files I've tried, the ones made in portugal (i think, can't remember if they're bahco or grobet) and the mexican nicholsons are fine, *far* better than anything coming from china, which to my experience are not fit for filing hardened metal.

    I've sharpened at least a dozen saws with the nicholson mexico files with no issue in terms of the quality of the file edges or the longevity of the files (they are available at the Borg in 6xx and 6 regular taper (maybe 7?), and can be used generally for everything other than fine tooth backsaws.

    I had a falling out with cooper tools, though, via an exchange (or lack of) regarding customer service, so won't be using them any longer, especially when mcmaster carr supplies first-rate swiss files for the same price.

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