The Sad Saw, Part 3 (Not So Sad Anymore)

OK, it’s done.  Well, maybe a few more coats of Tried & True on the handle.

When we left off a few days ago I’d used up 3 files re-toothing the saw, starting with cutting starting notches in using a spacing template.  I ordered more files from McMaster-Carr, and they were waiting at home after work.

Initially I thought to cut finer teeth on the first 2 inches – which is why those teeth are further along — but along the way they ended up evening out with the rest of the teeth.  I got all of the starting notches pretty accurately spaced out, although there were maybe 3 spots where where one tooth was off a little.

I filed every tooth, trying to even it out checking from the side of the saw plate, and from above.  I was looking for discrepancies in the depth of the gullets and in the flat left on the top of each tooth.  That helped even things up and kept me from over-filing in any one area.

Then jointed the teeth lightly – until I had a flat on all of the tips of the teeth – and painted the teeth with some blue Dykem.  Then I filed each tooth one stroke.  Then I went from end to end looking for flats that were different widths.  I filed these even, applying pressure to either the face or the back of a tooth depending on which direction I thought it needed to move to even out the flats.  Then I jointed it with just two strokes, applied more Dyekem and filed again, keeping my strokes even for an entire pass, then adjusting teeth as necessary to even out the flats.

One more jointing, just a single stroke with a mill file, more Dykem and I filed every tooth the same amount, leaving just the tiniest hint of blue on the tip at the most.  I set the teeth, inked the tips of the teeth a final time and filed them all to a nice sharp point.  Looking at the teeth close up I can see some small discrepancies, but the tips of the teeth are all  in the same plane, the toothline is straight and it feels sharp.

I gave the handle nuts a quick polish and assembled the saw for a test drive.  It’s filed 10ppt rip, because I wanted a fine rip panel saw.  I made several test cuts in a piece of 4/4 white pine, and also in 1/2″ claro walnut.  It cuts great!  It leaves a smooth edge, no tear out on the backside and tracks straight.  I’m really pleased.

I know the teeth could be made more even, but it cuts twice as good as the Vaughn pull saw I have.  It’s really comfortable in my hand, and the length is nice.  I’m also thrilled to be cutting something thinner than 5″ after doing all that sawing on my workbench project.


I’m still in the process of putting more finish on the handle; I just applied another coat, which is still wet, before this picture. I want about this much sheen when it’s dry.  Probably two more coats.

But it’s officially a “user” saw now, and it lives in a pile with my other saws.  It’s time to build some proper saw storage.



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