prepaid file packages for delivery at Sawfest – order by 23:59 hours 19 July

For files pre-ordered by midnight 19 July, I offer these VERY good prices for files at Sawfest 2018:

  1. For saws 30 inches and longer: £36 for 6 different files. This excludes the  10” crosscut file which many of you have already  from me.
  2. For panel and tenon saws under 30 inches: £19 for 5 different files
  3. For all saw lengths: £50 for 10 different files. => best value by far ☺


Some files may be available at Sawfest, but not close to these prices. And I may well run out. So please pre-order.

Frankly, I suggest you click on option 3. above. You won’t be disappointed.

There’s no fancy website, no wonderful images – just cracking good value


Small Saw vises for sale at Sawfest

Barry Bate offers these saw vises at Sawfest for £30 ready-to-use. They are good for saws up to 30″. You won’t have to assemble them.
Barry had 5 left and I have just ordered one.
They worked very well at Bodgers Ball where Barry ran a course with them. If you do already have one of these, please bring it to Sawfest!
If you want one of the 4 left, order here.

Sawsmithing – in Norwegian!

Andy Hyde kindly shared this link

I can just make sense of the diagrams, but the Norwegian defeats me.  At least look at the pictures about hammer-face orientation as they will help your choice of where to strike!

If you can help with Norwegian translation – please contact me!

Fly press help needed at Sawfest 2018


If you come to Sawfest 2018, tell me if you want to be  Flypress Monitor. You’ll vary gullet depth and pitch by adjusting the relative positions of the two plates. You’ll need a 13mm spanner and metric Allen keys.

The gullet depth plate is to the left and the pitch plate is to the right in this image.

I only have triangular punch and die – so if you happen to have  tooling to punch any other tooth pattern, please let me know.

Can you see the error I make in the last tooth alignment? I  now see I did not advance the second-last tooth to the right-hand plate far enough.

Edit 26/6/18: we have a fly press monitor ☺

Saw Cleaning with brick and water

Here is one way to lift rust. We will have a saw-cleaning tank at Sawfest in July 2018 so you can get your saws shiny again.

This tank is a sheet of plywood with softwood battens to form the walls and plastic membrane to keep the water in. To prevent leaks, put wooden shims between the saw and the plastic.

saw cleaning tank
saw cleaning tank

Fly Press at Sawfest 2018

Here is the lovely fly press, which will be at Sawfest.

Come and punch teeth in  both old saws and also in new steel.  Because rust will damage the punch, PLEASE shine the area where the punch will fall on the tooth-line before you start to swing that handle.

When I get  a price for the new steel, I will post that in the shop so you could pre-order your stock.

Here are close ups of the punch and die and the register plate arrangement…

Old and New Saws Compared – which would you prefer?

Here are 2 Great American saws. They are both 36 inches long. One is shiny and new out of the box. The other is second-hand and sharpened by me.

Brand-new Saw
Brand-new Saw
Refurbished saw
Refurbished saw


To cut a disc from this log the two videos show elapsed times of 3 minutes with new saw and under 2 minutes with old saw.

New saw: 3 minutes exactly


Old Saw: 1 minute 50 seconds

The new saw took more than one minute longer.

If you do watch the video, you’ll hear how out of breath I am with the new saw.

Sawing need not be this hard. It is surprisingly easy to fettle most saws to run sweetly given the right tools and instruction. Alternatively I can sharpen yours but do please send pictures first to

Sawfest, Sheffield July 27-29, 2018

Because I want hand-saws in wider use and your sawing to be easy, happy and relaxed I organise Sawfest in Sheffield, England from Fri 27 July to Sun 29 July. Bring ANY rusty, bent and blunt saws and go home with saw-knowledge ready to use – and with usable saws. If you are interested and will spend £80 to attend, I suggest you “Buy Tickets” at top right  because I limit this to just 25 people.

BTW: Sawfest is for ALL human-powered saws: small , medium and monster-long.

Pitsawing with Barbara


Here is Barbara Czoch as underdog at Chiltern Open Air museum.  We won’t dig  a  sawpit at Sawfest, so Barbara  brings trestles.

Here is Barbara at pitsawing day run at Shedtherapy HQ in 2012.

Fabricate ripsaw blade
Fabricate ripsaw blade
Frame saw
Frame saw
Frame saw
Frame saw
Frame saw
Frame saw

Saw Arcs

What radius is that saw?

There’s no point getting a saw sharp and straight if you cannot protect its edge. I experiment with plywood scabbards ( see video below) and will have some at Sawfest Sheffield July 27 to 29, 2018 to try.

My initial guess of 18 feet radius was too big. Most saws did not nest well in those scabbards.

I tried calculating the arc, but the results were variable.  Simpler by far was to get a surveyor’s reel-tape and chalk.

Here’s how I did it…

Saw vises too should conform to the most common arc.  For my current collection of saws, that is radius 14 feet.

Saws laid out on their different arcs

Here you’ll see  a gap of 20 mm arises from a 3 foot difference in radius…

Here is my prototype scabbard at 18 foot radius…

Taper Grinding at Sawfest

Brian Alcock grinding cross cut saw plate

I visited a grinder in Sheffield to explore taper grinding of long saws. Below you’ll see him freehanding an  unsupported junker blade over the stone.

Whilst his stone is smaller diameter than those shown in old drawings it did work quickly.  It sure works as a way to clean up old saws of rust and test out your taper-ideas.  Old saws are cheap and plentiful – what’s not to like about giving  some to Brian to have a go with?  We will visit his workshop Friday 27 July.

If we were to fix the blade to a ‘scorching board’ it will be more controllable.  I am back to visit him again next week and I will take saws fixed to such ‘scorching board’ planks.

To book your place at Sawfest Sheffield – and there are only 25 left at time of writing – go here.