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Sharpening

Sharpening

Now that the teeth are shaped, it's time to do the sharpening.  I start by giving the teeth some set with a Stanley 42X saw set (every other tooth, then flip and do the other side):

Now is time to sharpen every other tooth, and flip sides to do the other, after lightly jointing the teeth to account for the new set.  I find it easier to maintain a constant rake if I jam one end of the file into a hole drilled into the end of a block of wood, as you can see below.  I angle the file about 15 to 20 degrees off of perpendicular (called the fleam angle) - more than that makes the saw sharper, but it dulls too quickly.  For a guide to help maintain a constant fleam angle, you can use the same trick as with the lines for the number of teeth and mount a piece of paper with lines matching your fleam angle drawn on it - you'll need a left version and a right version as the angle "flips" when you flip the saw blade.

One needs to be aware of which tooth is being filed, making sure it is not the wrong one.  Start with a tooth bent away from you and keep it to the right side of the file.  Then reverse the blade, switch the fleam angle to mirror the flip, and start on the remaining teeth.  Keep it so you are sharpening the teeth with the sharp point to the outside of the tooth.  This is one of those hard to explain, easy to show sort of things... review the sharpening primer at www.vintagesaws.com again if there are more questions.   Or even if you don't have more questions.  That's some good stuff, there.

 

One thing that helps is to darken the teeth with something before you file, so you can tell which teeth you haven't sharpened - you can see on the left of the file above that I've done that.  You can use chalk, Sight Black, layout dye... they all work equally well.

Now, I have a nice, new, sharpened blade, ready to mount in my new stair saw:

 

Mount the Blade and Try It Out!!!

The real test of the saw is seeing it in action, so I grabbed a piece of hickory, put the blade in the saw, and gave it a go...

Works great!  What a blast to make!  I still have some finishing to do, but the saws are essentially complete.

The next page is photos of all the saws I made during this session - I've updated them with finished shots now that the finish is completed on all the saws.  And the last page.  I promise.