Saw Sharpening

I want to take my Dad's old handsaws (which I still use) and have them sharpened, since I'm not smart enough to do it myself. The saws are 75 years old and not been sharpened since Dad died, and I don't know if Dad sharpened them himself, or had someone else do it. What should I look for, or how should I find someone to do a good job? I just moved to Tennessee, so I don't know anyone around here. Would I be better off doing it myself?
2 crosscut and a rip saw.
GW
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Handsaws are not that difficult to sharpen. You're really only concerned with two things. The sharpening of the teeth and the set of the teeth.
Here's a few useful tools when it comes to sharpening saws. http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=3&pC086&cat=1,43072
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Upscale wrote:
<snipped>

You should also be concerned with jointing the teeth to ensure they're all at the same level (and quite a few other things).
A sharpening primer can be found at:
http://www.vintagesaws.com/library/primer/sharp.html
--
Jack Novak
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Upscale wrote:

There is also jointing, which is filing the tops of the teeth so that after you've sharpened them they will all be the same height. You may be able to skip that once or twice but your saw will get 'bumpier' each time.
For crosscut saws you have compound angles on the teeth. The rake angle (which you also have on ripsaws), and the other angle, I don't remember what it is. Either way you cut the tooth with a single stroke of the file, held at the proper angle. The hard part for me is getting the depth of the cut right.

Aside from the file, the most important tool is the jointer, followed by the saw vise which is easy to improvise. A jointer used for scrapers will work fine.
--

FF


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Gwidman wrote:
> I want to take my Dad's old handsaws (which I still use) and have them > sharpened, since I'm not smart enough to do it myself. The saws are 75 years > old and not been sharpened since Dad died, and I don't know if Dad sharpened > them himself, or had someone else do it. What should I look for, or how > should I find someone to do a good job? I just moved to Tennessee, so I > don't know anyone around here. Would I be better off doing it myself? > > 2 crosscut and a rip saw.
Any Amish in the area?
If so, find an old one who does/did cut and sell logs.
If not, find an old timber man.
Either one will know somebody who can do the job.
Lew
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I taught myself how to sharpen hand saws, and do a pretty good job of it, if I do say so myself.
Had to mess up a few first though. If you go this route, go to an antique/junque/old tool store and buy a few old ones for practice.
My problem is that after I got them sharpened (and cleaned up a little) I liked them so much that I kept them.
Old guy Hoping for warmer weather in MN (Yeah right!)

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There's usually folks who'll sharpen saws in most metropolitan areas. Try the yellow pages.
Gwidman wrote:

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Gwidman wrote:

Tom Law here in Maryland used to sharpen saws by mail order. I've watched him work and recommend him highly. Here is some information:
http://www.toolsofthetrade.net/articles/showarticle.asp?articleID 11&position=0&type=article
http://www.thebestthings.com/books/dvd_handsawsharpening.htm
However, I do not currently know how to contact him.
--

FF


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I'm sure he is out of the sharpening business these day.
Old Guy

http://www.toolsofthetrade.net/articles/showarticle.asp?articleID 11&position=0&type=article
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Old guy wrote:

I skipped patina/Damascus this year but as I recall he was there the year before. Do you know him personally?
--

FF


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I seriously doubt you are not smart enough to sharpen them yourself :)
Check out you yellow pages; in my area, there's a listing for "sharpening services" and another listing for "Saws: sharpening and repairing"
It is not difficult to learn to sharpen your own hand saws and the tool investment is minimal; For just a touch-up sharpening all you need is a taper file of the correct size for your saw's teeth and a vise. More extensive sharpening or repair may require a flat mill file for "jointing" the teeth and a saw set. There are addtional tools and fixtures that make it easier, and they are commonly available on ebay at reasonable prices. Just DAGS on saw sharpening and you should find some pretty good instructions. You may want to purchase a yard-sale Disston or 2 to practice on before attempting your Dad's saws.
--
No dumb questions, just dumb answers.

Larry Wasserman - Baltimore, Maryland - snipped-for-privacy@charm.net
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wrote:

First of all, I'd be careful if you do have a service sharpen them. Old saw have value (personal and $$) and they could get pinched. Make sure the place is a good standing business. The rip saw is probably the easiest to sharpen yourself as the teeth are larger but that one needs the most set. Sharpening is not that difficult but a good set can be a challenge. The crosscuts are a bit more difficult. If you will be depending on them for clean cuts then it is pretty difficult to do the job yourself. Some of the guys above indicate that they can do a good job but I've never been able to match what my service can do.
Good Luck, J
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Thanks for the replies, all. I'll be checking out all the options.
GW
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Joe Bemier wrote:

It is easy to improve a very dull saw. It takes a bit of skill to do a really good job.
Typically you do not have to set the teeth every time it is sharpened. Many saws have too much set in them from the factory. After sharpening, try cutting some scrap with it. If it cuts straight without binding, no need to joint it.
You may not even have to joint it, though usually that is a good idea.
--

FF


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Thanks Fred and all who responded. With all your responses, I think I can get the saws up to snuff. I'll initially try to do it myself, if that fails, I'll find somebody locally, then fine tune them myself.
Thanks all
gw

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