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 email@example.com
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.
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.
Here you’ll see a gap of 20 mm arises from a 3 foot difference in radius…
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.
Here is picture of a fly-press. Spinning the balls screws down a punch through the sawplate into a die , notching out a tooth.
We will have Lui Rocca’s fly press at Sawfest in Sheffield July 27 to 29 , 2018. So if you fancy punching out teeth in a plate contact me and we’ll make it happen. All we need is suitable steel and I do think we can get some in Sheffield. Or bring an old saw and we’ll have it toothed up far quicker than filing it from scratch and with far less expense in wearing out your files. Lui tells me he has a way of making progressive pitch happen. I look forward to seeing this!
Spiders allow you to set your saw-teeth quickly and precisely. With one leg shorter than the others, the spider ‘limps’ along the tooth tips. The shortness of the leg measures the set of the tooth. I prefer the spider and not some dial gauge because I can hear when a spider works.
My knowledge is only about long saws. I imagine the spider will work fine for small saws too and I have not tried this.
Here is how I use them. (There will be other ways too – if you come to sawfest, I’d love to see yours and what length of saw you use it on e.g. some folks set teeth with the saw vertical, and others with saw on an anvil. )
Here is how I calibrate with a feeler gauge to check the shortness of one leg…
Here is how I shorten one leg if the calibration needs changing. If you drop it, or have just taken delivery, you may need to adjust it.
And if you have read this far, Dolly Chapman labelling convention will interest you. Each file notch indicates 5 thou of an inch. This prevents confusion and use of the wrong size spider.
You can make them fairly easily. Here is a selection ( some home-made) from the sawcourse taught by Dolly Chapman at shedtherapy.com course in May 2017.
If you don’t want to make your own, go to my shedtherapy website to buy a ready-made spider.
Nadine Fox-Grundy asked me “What is saw smithing?” Saw smithing is hammering a saw plate to get it straight and also stiff. I found it hard to understand why hammering the middle of a saw plate could make that saw stiff, and why that matters. I am delighted to have met Bully of Atkinson Walker who will lead the smithing classes in Sheffield on July 27th 2018 at 9:00 or 10:30. After my sessions with Bully I now understand the theory about straightening any saw with a twist or a curve.
In 3 words: hit the hump. Find where any curve or twist is and set that curve uppermost on your anvil. Then whack it.
Reading my comments won’t help much nearly as much as having a go with ANY hammer you happen to have on some scrap sheet metal or an old junker saw.
Wonderfully, Bully demonstrated that just looking along the saw against a dark background is enough to show where the lumps are.