By suggesting where to focus their attention first, it helps
new filers get their saws sharp and cutting true with the
shortest learning curve.
First, make sure all of the teeth are the same height.
Jointing the saw before sharpening creates a visual “flat”
on each tooth that guides this process. File until the flat
is gone, but not a micro-spec further.
At that moment, the tooth is sharp and it is equal in height
to the rest of the teeth. Continue to file after the flat
has disappeared and the tooth may remain sharp, but you have
now filed it lower than the neighboring teeth. This tooth
will then do no work in the kerf.
Once you’ve mastered this skill, you can turn your focus to
evening your gullet depth, or tooth size. This is a more
difficult skill for beginning filers to master. It requires
mastery of your file stroke…knowing where and how to
accentuate your stroke to remove more material from one face
of a tooth while sparing a neighboring tooth.
The list goes on from there, but these are the two greatest
elements in creating a toothline that functions smoothly and
accurately. If all you accomplish is the first objective,
then you’ll be able to make a saw cut true and smooth.
some, they stop there…they want to get back to making things
out of wood, not fine tuning their saws. For others, they
become obsessed with reaching the ACME of saw performance.
There’s no right or wrong, just what works for you.
If you’d like to learn more about saw sharpening and are
going to be in New England later this month, there are still
2 or 3 spots left in my upcoming ‘Saw Sharpening 101′ class
at the CT Valley School of Woodworking on Saturday November
23rd. This class almost always fills up, so don’t wait.
Details and registration here:
CT Valley School of Woodworking.
And I’m also very happy to announce that I’ve scheduled two
classes next year at the Port Townsend School of Woodworking
I’ll be there in June 2014 for a week-long
‘Foundations of Handsawing’ course and a two-day ‘Build a
Dovetail Saw’ . I’m very excited to be coming to the West
coast… I’ve heard Jim Tolpin’s school is fabulous. More