Page 5 of 5 FirstFirst 12345
Results 61 to 69 of 69

Thread: Saw files

  1. #61
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Broadview Heights, OH
    Posts
    438
    Jason,

    Such is the situation on the interwebs. Everyone is an expert, and your experience counts for nothing. I don't let it bother me though, I'll keep shipping razor sharp machine filed saws, and the arm chair skeptics can remain in their arm chairs.

    Happy Filing!

  2. #62
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Perth, Australia
    Posts
    5,769
    I'm amazed at the chutzpah that Stewie has in criticising Pete, who is the recognised doyen - father even - of modern era backsaw makers. I think that this thread has run its course.

    Regards from Perth

    Derek

  3. #63
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Not far enough from Chicago
    Posts
    850
    Pete, thanks for that explanation. If you look at this from the perspective of a hobbyist / consumer, I don't recall ever having a saw maker or sharpener refer to their using a filing machine (retoothing--yes) in a manufacturing tour, video, or personal appearance. I have read many accounts of the art of saw filing and how the relative randomness of the human sawtooth filing stroke makes for a smoother cutting saw. It makes no difference to me as a person, like many others, who is comfortable with saw sharpening. It does explain an instance where I had the opportunity to use a couple of NOS vintage saws that surprised me by their rough cuts and overset teeth. It also explains why saws from certain makers have similar sawing characteristics even between saws produced over a period of years; Lee Valley back saws, for instance. I don't mean to portray this as some sort of dirty little secret; but on the other hand, I can't say that anyone other than you has been forthcoming about it either.

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    2,848
    In 1974, I hired a good carpenter in his '70's, Mr. Randolph Pierce. Mr. Pierce had bought into the sales pitch of the Foley filing machines, and bought the equipment to sharpen hand saws, and circular saws, thinking that he would earn extra income. This was still the time when carpenters used handsaws a lot, because there was not a good power miter saw yet. Finish work got done with Langdon-Acme's for the most part, and handsaws used by all good carpenters for finish cuts on stair parts, and wide baseboards that were too large to get into the miter box. I doubt Mr. Pierce ever realized a profit from the machines.

    I forget what Mr. Pierce charged for sharpening a handsaw, but it was not much. A lot of other local carpenters sent him saws to sharpen. He did a good job with the machines, and our handsaws always cut true, and fast.

    Mr. Pierce died sometime in the '80's, and I sent some saws, by another carpenter, to a filer in the next county. Only after I got them back was I told that fellow had terrible eyesight. He got the plate on the big backsaw for my miterbox out of parallel, and I saw no choice but to learn how to sharpen handsaws myself. I was already pretty good at filing a chainsaw chain, so I picked it up fairly easily.

    There was nothing in the world wrong with the saws sharpened by Mr. Pierce, on his Foley machine. If he was still here, I doubt I would have ever picked up a file to sharpen a handsaw.

    This particular forum is the worst I know of anywhere, for chest thumping. Maybe it needs another name. This from one with 4% Neanderthal blood.

  5. #65
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Brady View Post
    It also explains why saws from certain makers have similar sawing characteristics even between saws produced over a period of years; Lee Valley back saws, for instance. I don't mean to portray this as some sort of dirty little secret; but on the other hand, I can't say that anyone other than you has been forthcoming about it either.
    I had the Bad Axe saw which is carried by Lee Valley and the product page clearly describes it as hand filed. One can take it that if the saws are not described as hand filed, one cannot assume it is hand filed. Same for rasps, some of which are described as hand cut. Origin should be treated the same manner: if it is not stated as made in USA, it cannot be assumed as America made.

    I see a huge difference in hand cut rasps vs machined rasps, but none between hand filed and machine filed backsaws, including the expensive Rob Cosman's.

    Simon

  6. #66
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    18,167
    Blog Entries
    1
    I have read many accounts of the art of saw filing and how the relative randomness of the human sawtooth filing stroke makes for a smoother cutting saw.
    From my limited experience filing saws, "relative randomness" of your teeth does NOT make for a smoother cutting saw. Especially if you end up with random tooth heights in the process.

    One curiosity of mine, if Pete would care to answer, is how many saws a day can a machine file compared to a person filing?

    Also while the machine is filing can the attendant be taking care of other business like packing and unpacking other orders?

    If a machine can increase throughput maybe it is wise of a business operator who uses such an advantage.

    My guess is a machine can also help to avoid a lot of headaches from eye strain.

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

  7. #67
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Broadview Heights, OH
    Posts
    438
    Jim,

    It's a mixed bag. The machine cannot be left unattended while working. There are so many moving parts, it requires constant attention. I watch it like a hawk. Having said that, a super, competent filer can likely file a saw complete in 30 minutes from jointing to shaping to cutting in fleam. The saw filer can do it in less than 5 minutes for a rip saw, slightly longer for a crosscut.

    As previously mentioned, I use it for the repeatability aspect of it. Also, as many saws as I have filed, I would surely have arthritis if I did it by hand.

    100% agree about the randomness comment. Even one tooth that is over set causes a rough cut. An occasional low tooth will not cause any harm. An occasional high tooth is just the opposite and can kink a saw in the hands of the wrong person.

    I got my first saw filer quite by accident. A good friend and a guy I worked with while I was an Army Officer near Baltimore owned a historic house in Gettysburg, PA. The home originally had a cupola on the very top of the roof that you could stand on and look over the town. At some point it was ripped off. He wanted to make a new one, but didn't really know much about joinery. I helped him timber frame a replacement which was a pretty complicated project. We framed it in his barn out of hemlock, and then hoisted it on the roof assembled with a crane.

    He wanted to pay me, but I wouldn't hear of it. He knew of my interest in saws, so he asked if I would like this saw filer contraption that was in the basement of the house that we were building the cupola for. I gladly accepted. It's my favorite out of the 6 that I own. It is the same filer I used to sharpen every IT dovetail saw that I ever made, except for the first few dozen.

    cupola.jpg

  8. #68
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    18,167
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Taran View Post
    [edited]

    As previously mentioned, I use it for the repeatability aspect of it. Also, as many saws as I have filed, I would surely have arthritis if I did it by hand.

    100% agree about the randomness comment. Even one tooth that is over set causes a rough cut. An occasional low tooth will not cause any harm. An occasional high tooth is just the opposite and can kink a saw in the hands of the wrong person.

    I got my first saw filer quite by accident.
    Thanks for the answer Pete. The story brings a smile.

    Many things in my life have been much better due to being able to count on their repeatability. My hope is such an accident rolls my way one day. There are a a few saws in my shop that could use attention. It is enough just to keep my regular users sharp.

    The first phrase that comes to mind about a high tooth is snaggle tooth. Haven't heard anyone say that since the 70s.

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

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
    Posts
    2,848
    Google " Foley 387 saw filer youtube " , and there are several videos, if you want to see one operate. Extra spaces to make it easier to copy, and paste, but the forums did away with the space.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •