Retirement

First attempt at sharpening the saw

Some time ago, I bought an old Disston (like our grandparents) for $50 on eBay (if you’re lucky, you might be able to pick one up at a yard sale for a few bucks) and I’ve slowly been assembling and building the tools needed to sharpen it. especially,

  • Saw Vise – You used to be able to buy these, but since no one sharpens their saws anymore, they’re hard to find. Fortunately, you can build your own. It’s just a wooden clip that you insert into your vise. I used the Tage Frid design, except I don’t have a hinge at the bottom of my design.
  • a 6-inch thin tapered saw file.
  • A jig is placed on the front of the file to hold the edge at 98 degrees to make an 8 degree rake

.

My saw cut crosswise (to cut through the grain) but I decided to rip my saw to saw along the grain. This will allow me to split the panels more easily. I followed theseSee filing instructions

. The set looked pretty good to me already, so all I did was attach it (**), make sure all the teeth were the same height, and repackage it for shredding. The rip saws had no flea which cut my filing work in half. Although this is my first attempt at saving files, the result was a definite improvement. He’s really eating through that pine nut now! Compared to a $20 big box shop saw, its performance is amazing. Touching the teeth with your finger literally grabs the skin. I’ve never felt anything like this except in a $200 Lie-Nielsen panel saw. (And now I’m wondering why I spent so much money on an LN when I could have made my own).

The 8 degree rake is a very aggressive angle which makes it a very fast saw. I don’t think you can buy this for money. You have to do it yourself.

(**) Hence the term “out of joint”. If the saw is out of joint, not all of the teeth are working. Your chainsaw will likely jump around and be a general pain to handle.


So instead of buying a new plastic saw, you might want to consider buying an old saw and a $6 file and repairing it. It is not difficult. In fact, it is frustrating and somewhat annoying to repeatedly realize that although modern solutions are usually cheap, quick and easy, they are usually inferior to the tools and skills they replace. It’s just that no one knows this anymore. Those who are old enough to know have forgotten, and those who are too young to remember never knew it in the first place.
Lessons Learned: Saving a saw for ripping is easy, so making your own saw vise and buying a file and an old saw is an inexpensive way to get a superior saw and keep it running for a lifetime. If you need a saw, do it this way instead of heading to the home improvement center to buy some plastic pieces of stamped sheet metal that will end up in a landfill in 10 years.
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