Friday, January 25, 2008

Stoning your Saw

By stoning, I don't mean that if your handsaw is misbehaving, you should go all biblical on it. Instead, I mean there is a way to gently persuade it back to the straight and narrow by using your sharpening stones.

If your saw is consistently listing to one side when you are trying to saw a straight line, the problem might not be with you, but with the set of the saw's teeth.

If it's listing to the same side all the time, that means it is cutting more agressively on that side, which in turn means the teeth have a greater set on that side. You can decrease the set by laying your handsaw on a flat surface and lightly dragging your fine grit sharpening stone along the aggressive side of the saw's teeth. Take light passes and test the saw often. It doesn't take much to correct the cut. By doing this, the saw kerf will be made a bit thinner, so if you don't want that to happen, you might want to enlist the help of an expert sharpener.

Or, play it safe, and just purchase Lie-Nielsen saws.

Last photo added afterwards because one sharp reader noticed that I had used a rip saw to make the crosscuts. (I used my dovetail saw because it is my favorite, it was within reach, and I like the physically smaller size of the saw, compared to my crosscut saw). Nonetheless, the proof is in the photo—both the rip and crosscut Lie-Nielsen saws work great!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello, Your last picture: why do you take cross cuts to test a rip saw?
cheers pedder

The Village Carpenter said...

I was wondering if anyone would notice that. That is my dovetail saw and I'm very used to using it. My crosscut saw is larger and I haven't used it all that much.

...and I wanted to make sure I showed some nice, straight cuts! ; )

Al Navas said...

That sure sounds like ME... lol

NOW I will have to spend more money, and get me some of the nice, modern-day/era saws.

Nice tip on the saw set. I would never have known this, as I am just now starting to learn the hand tools. AND I hope they will help with my woodworking.

Of course, it will NOT end my infatuation with the l;arge iron, as Chris Schwarz has mentioned in one of his recent posts - and I agree wholeheartedly!

The Village Carpenter said...

Welcome to the wonderful world of handtools, Al! It is a slippery slope, just to forewarn you....

Ace said...

Just a warning to the unaware, there is NO offramp on the slippery slope of hand tool collec-- Um use. The ride down the slope is exponential in scope and speed.

Al said...

I have a feeling the off-ramp will be most difficult to find. But, I have started to use these more and more:

http://sandal-woodsblog.com/2007/09/25/the-woodworking-shop-part-ii-2/

That is the main reason I am staying with Scary Sharp. I don't want to hurt any nice, expensive stones. :)

The Village Idiot said...

It doesn't matter what tool you use as long as you get the same end result and you are happy with that end result. Colonial Williamsburg cabinetmakers only uses rip saws.

The Village Carpenter said...

Thanks VI...good to know!

Julio Alonso said...

Hi Kari, since I´m working on saw sharpening I´m surfing the web everywhere to gather info you know, I´d like to ask you, what do you think about using the burnisher and steel wool, instead of stones ?, I guess the main reason is the stones bite much more saw set and it is supposed it depends on the situation
Glad to see your blog as usual

The Village Carpenter said...

Julio, I'm not familiar with using a burnisher and steel wool to sharpen a saw blade (or remove set). Do you have a link where I can read about it?

Michael said...

I read once that Anthony Guidice said that you only need a crosscut saw to cut wood that's not completely dry. He only uses rip saws.