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Good Handsaw needed?

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  • Good Handsaw needed?

    Hi,

    I don’t know if anyone can help? I am trying to source a reliable handsaw!
    I have been using cheap saws up until now but I’m fed up with the teeth going blunt pretty fast and the handles not being very comfortable.

    I use my saw on a daily basis for my job so I’d be happy to spend some money on getting the right tool.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Tommo

  • #2
    Haven't had any better luck with new ones than you, but don't use them on a daily basis. I do use them frequently, tho, for a few cuts. If you can find an older Disston, they have good steel in them. Whatever you get you will probably have to sharpen it yourself to get it to cut right. If you sharpen them yourself, you can adjust the angle of the teeth to get better wear and to match the hardness of the woods you work with most commonly. You can start with as little as a taper file, a vise and a couple straight boards to support the blade as you file it. Sears sells a tool for setting the kerf that is inexpensive. Check out the following link. About midway thru it it gets into how the angle affects the longevity of the sharpness:
    http://www.vintagesaws.com/library/primer/sharp.html
    If you sharpen what you have to match your work, and do a little shaping on the handle, you may find you don't need new ones.
    Hope this helps.
    Go
    Practicing at practical wood working

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the reply Gofor, I do like the idea of sharpening my own saw but I'm worried it may be a little time consuming, I'm also worried that when working on site it may get stolen if its to good.

      For the time I may have to stick with a newer plastic handle design, I quite like the ones with the soft grip handles. Is it possible to resharpen the newer cheaper type saws or is it best to just throw then away

      Thanks
      Tommo

      Comment


      • #4
        They are easy to sharpen. Once you get the hang of it it doesn't take too much time, and you'll be amazed a how well they cut. The first couple of times it may take an hour or two, depending on how exacting you are.
        If you want to try it, get a 6" slim taper file. You'll also need a couple of 1 x 6's as long as the blade, or cut a couple of 5" wide pieces of 3/4 plywood. First put the boards in a vice with the top edges even and mark them evey couple inches with a 60 degree angle pencil mark from both sides. This is a guide for your filing angle (assuming you are sharpening it for cross-cut. If its a rip saw make the marks at 90 degrees straight across.) I take the handle off to make the next step easier but you don't have to.
        Put the blade between the boards with the teeth about 1/4 to 1/2" above the edges. You will probable have to clamp the ends of the boards with a couple c-clamps to keep the boards tight against the blade if you're using a regular bench vise like I do. starting at the handle end, pick the first tooth leaning away from you and set the file in the V in front of that tooth. With the top of the triangular file level with the floor, angle the file to match your 60 degree guideline with the point of the file angled away from the handle end (towards the "toe" end of the blade.) Hit it with about four strokes and move up to the next tooth leaning away from you, put the file in front of it and repeat. (If the saw is really dull, it may take a few more strokes) When you get to the end, flip the board around and do the same thing, but realize you will be filing in the other direction as it relates to you.(the toe will be at the other end and you will still be filing toward the toe.) You will be filing every other tooth as you did on the first side. Once you get comfortable with it, it only takes about 10 - 15 minutes per side on a 26" 7 teeth per inch saw.
        To really fine-tune it, you may want to joint it flat (takes a 10" bastard file and a home-made guide) and you will want to repitch the teeth, but to start off with, the above will drastically improve the ease of use. After you do a couple and if you feel its worth the effort to keep sharpening your own, to can angle the top surface of the file down more toward the toe. This will make the saw harder to start in a cut but will make it more agressive and cut faster. If you get a tooth set you can give more kerf or less ( I prefer the minimum needed to prevent binding). Once you get the technique and start getting all the teeth the same angle (that includes the kerf set) you will find you don't have to grip the handle much after starting the saw as it will track straight using only the pressure of the web between your thumb and forefinger on the push stroke.
        I recommend you try it at least once. I couldn't believe how well the cheap stanley I bought cut after sharpening it myself one time.

        The above technique is for a traditional tooth cross-cut saw. If you have something like the Fat Max Fast cut, you will have to file at an uphill angle to match the bevel on the teeth. Try a couple of the back teeth first until you get the angle to match the original if you want the fast cut profile. My personal experience is that they dull faster, tho.because there isn't much meat on the end of the tooth.

        Good Luck. Hope this helps.
        Go

        By the way, I never throw a saw blade away. If its bent badly I cut it up and make cabinet scrapers from it.
        Practicing at practical wood working

        Comment


        • #5
          Gofor, nice explanation.
          I have not had any luck sharpening the hardend black teeth on the cheeper saws, does it work for you with a standard taper file?

          Comment


          • #6
            Tommo, you might take a look at these http://www.irwin.com/irwin/consumer/...IrwinCat100259
            I picked one up a while back and it seems to cut better than my Stanley.
            Jeff

            Comment


            • #7
              wbrooks: The only hardened tooth saws I have sharpened have been back saws (14-18 tpi). It worked, but it wore out the file. I also had to move my support wood up to almost the bottom of the tooth. I did this several times to one that I was experimenting with to find the best angle for dove-tails, changing it back and forth from cross-cut to rip, etc. I have now gotten below the hard temper and it still seems to do okay, so I may have gotten lucky and got one with decent steel in it. If I was doing one of the fast-cut profiles, I would probably bevel the top edge of the clamping boards to 45 degrees so I could get the support closer to the teeth and still be able to angle the file to match the original bevel. Maybe one of these days I will find a real saw vise at a yard sale, but I never seem to find time to get to the yard sales or flea markets!
              Just to anticipate the next question, I have it currently set as a cross-cut profile with almost no kerf and the leading angle is almost 90 degrees. It works well in red oak, but I am still a novice at hand-cut dovetails!!. Logic tells me it should work better as a rip profile, but the cross cut profile seems to cut a little easier for me. The rip profile did work well with the softer woods (pine and poplar).

              Go
              Practicing at practical wood working

              Comment


              • #8
                Tommo, sorry for hijacking your thread here.
                Gofor, the cross cut config will work fine but I find it easier to cut straight lines for dovetails with a rip saw. I have also found that dovetails in pine are harder to do than hardwood because it requires super sharp tools or you tend to crush the end grain while chopping the waste and planing true. If you happen to go to a woodworking show stop at the Lee Valley both and ask to try one of these ...
                http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.a...38&cat=1,42884

                Comment


                • #9
                  wbrooks: Thank you. I'll look at Woodcraft and see if they have this (have a discount coupon.) I was stationed in Okinawa in the past and noticed all their saws were the "pull" type, but never had the opportunity to try one. Guess this ol' dog might still be able to learn a few new tricks. Now, if I can learn to "pull" in a straight line (only took years to learn how to "push" straight) I might get it right!!

                  Go
                  Practicing at practical wood working

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Here's an agressively toothed handsaw for you. At 2TPI, it ought to make short work of any cutting job.

                    ---------------
                    Light is faster than sound. That's why some people seem really bright until you hear them speak.
                    ---------------
                    “If I had my life to live over again, I'd be a plumber.” - Albert Einstein
                    ---------
                    "Its a table saw.... Do you know where your fingers are?"
                    ---------
                    sigpic http://www.helmetstohardhats.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      i've had real good luck with those "japanese pull saws".

                      they are great for abs pipe as they leave no burrs much better than the saws that they sell at the supply house for plastic.

                      also great for the occasional 2x4 and plywood that i need to cut. these tend to be a fine cut tooth. 18-24 tpi. don't think that you can resharpen them to easily.

                      my saw even came with a drywall jab saw that is the best i've ever used

                      rick.
                      phoebe it is

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