Monday, November 5, 2012

Ready, Set, Go!

Sharpening is getting a bit easier. At least while I am practicing on my 5 point rip saw.

I had another resawing task today, and after the last time I knew that any efforts spent sharpening the saw would not go unrewarded.

The last time I sharpened, I just took the ripsaw that has been rolling around in my shop for a couple years and honed the teeth with a file. 

It dawned on me that this saw may never have been set since these teeth were cut.

I remedied that today using tips I remembered from Ron Herman's video about saw sharpening.  I only set the teeth in the center of the saw, leaving about a quarter of the teeth unset at the front and the back.  That's all Ron says you really need.  He also said not to go too crazy clamping down with the saw set.  Had I not seen his video, I would have pressed very hard indeed, because the difference between a set and an unset tooth is not easily visible.

What a difference it makes in performance!  Granted, this was a piece of soft pine about 3" by 9", but the saw sailed through it.  My previous resawing endeavor resulted in the saw pushing very difficult in the middle of the board when it was in danger of binding. 

Not this time, the extra set increased the kerf just enough to make the saw push easy the whole way through.  Perhaps this is a side benefit of only setting half of the teeth, fewer opportunities to screw up.

Here is a view of the piece right off the saw.

Shortly before I tried the saw out on this pine piece, I tested it on scrap to make sure it would track straight.  It did with no adjustment to the set.  I was concerned that my left-handed setting would have been different than my right-handed.  I realized that if one presses firm and evenly, it is easy to ensure that the pressure is the same on every tooth regardless from which side you impart set.

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