Hand saw sharpening jigs

My father-in-law just bequeathed unto me a couple of nice old Disston hand saws, and I'm looking forward to bringing them back to life. I really want to try my hand at learning to sharpen them, and these two jigs have caught my eye:
http://www.tools-for-woodworking.com/product.asp?0=0&1=0&3 9 http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.asp?page2955&category=1,43072,43086&abspage=1&ccurrency=2&SID Any thoughts about which one is superior? Has anyone used either one of these jigs?
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On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 02:47:54 GMT, Steve Turner

The second (simpler) one - but I wouldn't use either.
Saw filing is a quick and easy task, where the correct action is important. So you need to learn this, then you'll be able to sharpen freehand. In the meantime, you'll be making a mess of things.
The solution is to practice on a piece-of-junk first until your action is right, not to put your faith in jigs. Then afterwards you'll be able to do it all freehand.
It's most important that your teeth are even, not necessarily at the perfect angle. This needs a smooth action between them; file-move, file-move. Having to work a jig is too much of a slowdown and it breaks the rhythm. You only need two strokes to sharpen a tooth (the same on every tooth).
If you need some angle guidance, then a simple solution is a small, but wide wooden block in front of the blade. It doesn't have to touch the file, just suggest the angle.
What are you doing here? Minor sharpening or re-cutting from a ruin?
If you're re-cutting a saw, rather than sharpening it, then you may need to work some teeth more than others, and cutting the angle from scratch may need guidance rather than just following the old tooth.
Similarly if you're working on a big tree-felling crosscut saw. A tooth 1/2" across may take several strokes just to sharpen it.
There's also the cost of files. Hand-held files are cheaper. You don't need a new file for every saw, but you should use a new edge (6 to a file - it's hardly extravagant). Using files of about the right size helps too, and most of these jigs only take one.

Used a couple of similar ones, not those.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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I agree with Andy, practice on junk and get a piece of junk for each of the different types of saws you want to sharpen. Also an absolute must is the Beginner's Primer by Peter Tartan:
http://www.vintagesaws.com/cgi-bin/frameset.cgi?left=sawcare&right=/library/primer/sharp.html
Peter doesn't really recommend jigs but does show how to make some simple blocks, similar to what Andy was suggesting, to help you see your file alignment. Also read about fleam angle, it may help you understand why a particular saw may be more difficult than another to get started in a cut but yields a smoother surface.
David

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Thanks David (and Andy). Lots of good information, and that's a great web page. Lee Valley has a saw vise, and I was going to pass on that and just get the jig, but it looks like I should skip the jig and get the vise instead.
I don't know if I can stomach the piece of junk approach; there's nothing I like more than throwing pieces of junk as far as my arms are able, but I suppose I shouldn't ignore such good advice. :-)
As for the condition of the saws, the steel is in great shape (only minor surface rust), but the teeth are a mess. It appears they've been sharpened rather poorly on several occasions, with varying gaps and angles between the teeth, and they definitely need to be jointed. I'll be following the beginner's primer on vintagesaws.com rather closely before I tackle the task, and I do have at least one piece of junk that I'll try not to throw away just yet...
BTW, do you guys know where I can get the replacement fasteners (what do you call 'em?) that fasten the handle to the blade?
Bannerstone wrote:

http://www.vintagesaws.com/cgi-bin/frameset.cgi?left=sawcare&right=/library/primer/sharp.html
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Steve Turner wrote:

YOu don't really need the jig or the vise. All you need is a piece of wood with lines drawn on it at the angle you want to sharpen to and clamp the saw blade dwon in a woodworkers vise.
If you want more info get Tom Law's video http://www.toolsforworkingwood.com/Merchant/merchant.mvc?Session_IDae6fd3b2b42c79f395dd2ff790dfde8&Screen=PROD&Store_Code=toolshop&Product_Code=AQ-1019V&Category_Code The best thing to do is prctice on an old 5 or 7 point rip saw
Good luck jw
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On Thu, 16 Oct 2003 00:44:55 GMT, Steve Turner

You need a saw vice, but there are several ways to make your own form a couple of bits of plywood.
Some sizes of saw also fit into a Workmate. -- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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Andy Dingley wrote:

Aren't you guys going to let me buy *anything*? :-) I still need to buy some files I guess. One of the saws appears to be a D8 with 10-point teeth. The other is an old Craftsman made by Disston, and its teeth are more coarse. File recommendations? I'd like to file one rip and one crosscut.

I have a Workmate; I'll try that.
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On Thu, 16 Oct 2003 14:17:28 GMT, Steve Turner

Who still makes saw vices ? Disstons are still in circulation, but they generally eBay for the thick end of 50

Saw files. Double ended triangular things, sold as sawfiles. You need a sawfile handle to hold them, usually supplied. I'd generally use an 8" for sharpening a panel saw - same files for both rip and crosscut.

If you're stripping the saws down for derusting, you may also find they fit the Workmate better before you put the handles back on.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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Aren't you guys going to let me buy *anything*? :-) I still need to buy

You should by Tom Law's video on sharpening. When you say file recomendations do yoiu mean size or brand? The size is determined by the tooth count. you cn get good files in all sizes from toolsforworkingwood.com Call them, the owner, Joel, sharpens his own saws and can give recomendations. You need to get a saw set as well. Make sure to get one that is appropriate for the tooth count of your saw.
jt
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I'm with you Steve, this is a perfect opportunity to buy something. I was in pretty much the same situation a few years ago. My Dad passed away and one of the many treasures I received were 6 brand new Disston saws that had never been used, in fact I had to install the handles on them. Anyway, I needed to learn what to do with them since I wanted to be able to use them, but I didn't want to ruin them either. So, long story but here is what I bought: A nice old saw vice (cool tool) - local auction for $5. BTW, I screwed it to a piece of plywood then I clamp the plywood in my bench vice. About 6 saw sets also at auction, no I didn't need 6 but I got carried away - $3-$5 each. I didn't need files as I also inherited about 30 boxes of brand new files in just about every assortment you could think of. However, in your case I'd buy these new and not at an auction/estate sale/etc. I enjoy the local auction scene (search for auctions and your city to find them, most have web sites with pictures of upcoming auctions) so I'm always looking for a new set of toys, er tools I need. I expect that is the best place to buy handtools because "no one" wants them anymore.
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