Saw Sharpening tip

I was sharpening my small crosscut saw this morning it’s a 16 ppi LN 15° fleam and rake with a 3 thou set.  This is the first time I needed to sharpen since I first bought it a few years back as it isn’t my go to saw.  I sharpened it and put it to the wood and wham off it went to the left.  Why?  I thought, there was no need to set it as you do only after about half a dozen or so sharpenings.

So I ran a diamond stone along the offending side and still the same issue, now I was worried.  I ran the stone again and it didn’t fix the problem and I was none the wiser as to what I could do next.  There are no saw sharpeners who do it by hand where I live that I could get a second opinion and I don’t know anyone else besides Ian Wilkie in Brisbane whose number was stored in my old phone that was stolen from me.

My self esteem and confidence in my abilities to sharpen saws just plummeted, I felt helpless like a complete noob.

So here are my tips on how I eventually resolved the situation

  1.  Retrace your steps mentally, visualise how you sharpened.
  2. Lighting was it sufficient, in poor lighting you can easily have sharpened the wrong tooth.
  3. Examine the teeth are they all of equal length.
  4. Check your set with a caliper.

To explain what went wrong.

  1. I was sharpening in poor lighting and my eyes went all wonky on me.
  2. I didn’t use a sharpie to aid me in locating all the teeth so not to miss any and to make sure I sharpen the right one which is every other tooth away from you.  As Thomas Lie Nielson said the sharpie is the most important tool in sharpening saws.
  3. I got distracted by family members and forgot to do the other side.
  4. I didn’t set the teeth.

Now I know I said there is no need to set the teeth on the first half a dozen sharpenings but I only sharpened one side.  After realising that I then sharpened the entire both sides and used a sharpie to mark the teeth first but even then after all that it still drifted to the left.

It drifted because I ran the stone over it before a few hundred thousand times as I really lost the plot then.  Surprisingly I removed very little set despite how hard I pressed but here lies the key to the whole problem it was only set on side not the other and that’s why it drifted.  Upon realising that I set the saw on both sides using the highest number on the Somax.  It moved the tooth over just a smidgen but enough to make it track straight again.

I write this so you don’t blow an entire day trying to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it.  I devoured the internet hoping to find an answer and as usual you find what you don’t want, information that doesn’t pertain to the problem at hand including a naked chick at some pool now what has that got to do with sharpening.

Now this information is on the net and hopefully you can all refer to it when you fall into this same predicament as I did and hopefully never again.  Check off the above list and you shouldn’t have this problem.

An  entire day wasted but a a valuable lesson learned.

2 thoughts on “Saw Sharpening tip

  1. So, Salko If you learned a lesson then the day wasn’t such a big wasted after all 🙂
    But that’s just me… Always trying to look at the glass half full 😛


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