Saw Filing-An Exercise In Futility…

So, as I stated in my previous post, my miter box saw was in dire need of sharpening. My inner idiot whispered reassuringly “Hey weiner, you can do that…”,  so I dug out my saw files and clamped the saw in my  twin screw vise. So it begins…IMG_0487[1]First, I took a single cut mill file and jointed the top of the teeth level, once that was complete I was ready for filing. I originally started out with the idea of filing 20 degrees of fleam (angle across the front edge of the teeth) but quickly realized that was going to get me in trouble with this being my first major saw sharpening, so I decided to keep it simple (KISS) and file straight across the teeth rip fashion and concentrate on maintaining tooth shape and actually getting the saw sharp. Filing a fleam angle into the tooth will result in a saw that will shear the wood fibers more efficiently and is smoother running in the cut, but I am more concerned at this point in getting it in working condition again. I may experiment with fleam angles during subsequent sharpenings.IMG_0490[2]Once I had completed the filing from the heel of the saw to the toe, it was time to look at tooth set. Running my finger down the side of the teeth told me there was not much set, and what was there was pretty uneven…I put a pine board on edge in the miter box and made a cut down the width of the board and the saw drifted towards the side with the most set.

Next step was to set the teeth on my newly sharpened saw. On the saw set there is a dial that sets the offset based on the number of TPI of the sawplate. Once the set was dialed to 11 TPI, I started at the heel of the saw once again, and worked my way down the sawplate setting every second tooth with the plunger on the saw set. Once I reached the toe of the saw I turned it around and worked my way back down the saw setting the alternate teeth in the other direction.IMG_0491[1]So far the saw cuts like corn through a goose. The filing is not perfect, but it isn’t too bad considering…after all, even idiots can surprise you sometimes.


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