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Thread: Can a rip saw be sharpened for a crosscut?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
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    Syracuse, New York
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    Can a rip saw be sharpened for a crosscut?

    I have 3 old saws all three are sharpened for a rip cut. 2 out of the 3 have more TPI then one. I want to make one of the 2 a crosscut if it is easy. Can i simply sharpen it at the correct angle or is there something else that makes a crosscut saw a crosscut saw?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Longview WA
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    It is actually rather easy to change between rip cut and crosscut filing.

    TheVintage Saws Library has the information you need to know:

    http://www.vintagesaws.com/library/library.html

    Click on "Saw Filing--A Beginner's Primer"

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  3. #3
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    Just sharpen with more rake and fleam. 15 degrees of each seems pretty standard, I am no expert on exact degrees though.

  4. #4
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    twomiles from the "peak of Ohio
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    And maybe a bit more "set" to the teeth.

  5. #5
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    Aug 2007
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    Dickinson, Texas
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    I have successfully re-toothed hand saws. Just file the tooth line smooth, tape a tooth pattern to the saw.

    Take a red marker and coat the smooth tooth line. Take saw file and file a single stroke at each line on the pattern. If you take
    a small flat stick with a hole in it and insert the pointed end of the saw file in that hole, you can precisely file a single line at
    each tooth point. After that shape the teeth, introduce fleam to the teeth, set teeth, and then sharpen the saw.
    I only do this to saws that need it.

    I made saw tooth patterns on the computer with a drafting program, but I remember tooth patterns can be down loaded.

  6. #6
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    I don't know what you have, but a 7 point crosscut handsaw will cut a 2x4 in 7 strokes. I don't see the need for a crosscut saw with fewer teeth than that.

  7. #7
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    Dickinson, Texas
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    I consider a 7 point saw to be a rip saw and my crosscut saws are 8 to 10 point saws. My D-12 Disston came as a 10 tpi crosscut.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Michiana
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    To answer the OP, yes. That said, I've had better luck sharpening a crosscut for rip. I've done this to a couple backsaws to create tenon saws.
    It's wood dust. Saw dust would suggest a problem.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Borger, Texas
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    947
    Adam,

    Good advise above, but wanted to add a little explanation to help with understanding. First, rip saws are typically a much smaller point saw than are crosscut. My framing carpenters cross cut saws are mostly 8 point saws, and my finish cross cut saws are either 10 or 12 point saws. On the other hand, my coarse work rip is a 5&1/2 point and my finish rip is a 7 point.

    If you have a rip with a low point number, you may want to re-tooth to a more typical point number for a cross cut.

    Secondly, the fleam, rake, and set are different on a cross cut than on a rip, as was mentioned above. If you do a search for hand saw sharpening you will find simple explanations for this, as well as explanations for each of the terms.

    Beyond that, if the point count is OK, it is a very simple fix to convert from rip to cross cut but it will take some time.

    Stew

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