A dull saw makes for much more challenging projects, and can also quickly become a safety hazard, so if you notice your blades starting to wear down, it’s a good idea to sharpen them. You can take them to a hardware store or tool specialist to have them sharpen the blades for you, or you can do it yourself.
There are four main steps in sharpening a handsaw: setting, jointing, filing and stoning. Let’s take a quick look at each of these four steps so you can get a crash course in saw blade sharpening in Monroe, LA.
The “set” of the saw is the projection of the teeth from the saw plate to the left and right. This determines how wide the kerf will be when cutting, and also prevents the saw from binding during the cut.
You may or may not need to set the teeth. Make a cut in a piece of scrap wood, and if you notice the saw getting stuck in the cut (binding), then you’ll need to set it. If you notice the blade is actually a bit loose when cutting, it might be over-set, which will be corrected later.
If you need to set the saw, you’ll clamp it in a vise with the teeth a couple inches above the jaws of the vise. Start at the heel and find the first tooth that’s set away from you, and place the saw so the middle of the hammer lines up with the tooth’s point. Squeeze the tool firmly, making sure the casting rests on the toothline. Skip the next tooth to work on the next tooth set away from you and continue down the saw, then flip it around and work on the teeth going in the other direction.
This process gets all the teeth to be the same height. Keep the saw in the vise, and use a mill file. With both hands, run the file down the toothline toward the toe with medium pressure until there is a flat facet at the end of each tooth. You will likely need to take two to four passes. Always keep the file perpendicular to the blade—a block or card scraper jointing guide can help.
After you’ve jointed the saw, clamp it back up again, with the gullets 1/16” above the jaws of the vice. Set the saw file between the first set of teeth at the heel, with one tooth toward you on the right of the file and a tooth set away from you at the left side. Press the file down into the gullet, and don’t be afraid to be firm. You should file at a 15- to 25-degree angle for most crosscut saws. Work your way down every other gullet and file, then flip around to go the other direction.
Stoning is the final sharpening step. For this, set the saw flat on the bench with the handle hanging over the edge. Use an India stone or #600-grit diamond stone and run it along the teeth along the length of the saw, which will even out the set and remove any burrs you made during the filing process. Do one pass per side.
For more information about how to sharpen saw blades in Monroe, LA, get in touch with the team at Ram Rent-All, Inc. today.