Saw Talk #22: Combination Saw Tooth Geometries Compared

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Brit posted 08-12-2012 09:14 PM 9170 reads 0 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 21: What the heck is a sash saw? Part 22 of Saw Talk series Part 23: 12" W. Tyzack, Sons & Turner Carcase Saw - Fitting a folded back »

In my last post I said I would re-sharpen the Drabble and Sanderson to try Mark Harrell’s hybrid sharpening, but I decided to leave that one with 10 degrees of rake and 10 degrees of fleam. Instead, I re-toothed my 12” Spear and Jackson Leap Frog carcass saw from 10 tpi to 12tpi and applied Mark’s hybrid filing to that. I figured it would be good to have a 12” carcass saw with a combination filing as well as a 14” sash saw.

Mark also recommends 10 degrees of rake, but he relaxes the rake on the first 30 teeth at the toe and the last 20 teeth at the heel to give each stroke an easier start and finish. He doesn’t say by how much he relaxes the rake, so I went for 12 degrees. Instead of the 10 degrees of fleam that I filed on the Drabble and Sanderson, I tried the 17.5 degrees of fleam that Mark suggests.

If truth be told guys, I’m playing now. My head tells me that there is no need to relax the rake because I don’t have a problem starting a saw with 10 degrees of rake. My head also tells me that when you start to consider ½ a degree of fleam, it is time to hang up your saw set. Does ½ a degree of fleam really make a discernible difference? I doubt it, but Mark is the real deal and his saws speak for themselves, so I had to try his formula.

Well now I’ve got two saws filed with different combination tooth geometries, but which one’s best? There’s only one way to find out….....FIGHT!!!

It didn’t really surprise me that Mark’s filing with 17.5 degrees of fleam produced a better crosscut finish and Matt’s 10 degrees of fleam produced a better rip finish. The problem is that now I can’t help wondering if 15 degrees of fleam would be a nice compromise between the two. :o)

Thanks for watching!

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

27 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

20190 posts in 3815 days

#1 posted 08-12-2012 09:22 PM

if I could only remember everything you say. I’d be a saw expert. I’m really more of a chainsaw guy anyhow.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4582 days

#2 posted 08-12-2012 11:36 PM

Only one way to find out for sure.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3846 days

#3 posted 08-13-2012 12:29 AM

Its just difficult to get past the pics…very distracting. They are just beauties, thanks for sharing.

View jjw5858's profile


1135 posts in 3850 days

#4 posted 08-13-2012 02:44 AM

Man these saws are wonderful Andy. Thanks so much for taking time on keepng the handsaws alive and well with these really informative blogs. Great stuff indeed. I am not sure if you ever did watch the Woodrights Shop episode about the saws…lol. But when I watch it….I always think of my friend Andy…and think….omg..he would be gritting his teeth watching Roys sharpening approach…..lmao! Not that it is at all bad….it’s just a complete different style compared to your tlc….lol.

Always enjoy the knowledge you share, thanks again Andy!


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View thedude50's profile


3613 posts in 3725 days

#5 posted 08-13-2012 07:12 AM

Nice set of saws Andy. I think they both are keepers. In your next video a little narration would be cool

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 4104 days

#6 posted 08-13-2012 07:39 AM

Andy, can I send you some saws to hone your

skills on? LoL

You are getting them real nice. Must be a

pleasure to use.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View mafe's profile


13350 posts in 4337 days

#7 posted 08-13-2012 09:00 AM

I can see the rain stopped.
Now the sun lights up your wonderful saws and you light us up with your visdom.
Thank you Andy.

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Johnnyblot's profile


319 posts in 3524 days

#8 posted 08-13-2012 09:40 AM

I’m struggling to keep up myself, but it is fascinating. :-). I’m pleased you’re doing it and not me cos my head would’ve exploded by now! Lol

I love my saws but a well tuned & setup bandsaw does the rest for me – just saying.

Again -Gorgeous saws. I was wondering where you are storing them now they are done? I’ve got 7 backsaws now that need storage/ till. So I’m guessing a till is next on yr list.

-- Gossamer shavings just floating around the back yard….-Bandit

View terryR's profile


7660 posts in 3556 days

#9 posted 08-13-2012 12:05 PM

Yep, Andy, I think you’ve left us all behind…and progressed to a new level of saw masterdom! But, at least, you’ve provided beautiful photos for us to stare at. :-)

I have also wanted to see your current saw till…however temporary it may appear…any photos???

-- tr ...see one, do one, teach one...

View lysdexic's profile


5349 posts in 3870 days

#10 posted 08-13-2012 03:21 PM

Thanks for the information and video. I too am glad to see that you have some sunshine.

Although I am not internalizing the details of this blog. I am keenly interested in your conclusion about hybrid filing. I am not ready to start filing/sharpening myself yet but the Tyzack 14” back saw restoration is on the short list. I will send it off for sharpening and don’t know what to request. It needs to compliment my current saws.

These are a LN progressive pitch DT saw that also doubles as a small tenon saw and the BA 12” x-cut saw.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View Mauricio's profile


7168 posts in 4399 days

#11 posted 08-13-2012 06:03 PM

Andy you are the saw master! I’m learning a lot here. I bought a saw the other day thinking of you, I need to post a picture…

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View lysdexic's profile


5349 posts in 3870 days

#12 posted 08-13-2012 07:38 PM

Yep, we all like to see pics.

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

View Brit's profile


8448 posts in 4090 days

#13 posted 08-13-2012 08:27 PM

Don – I’m a chainsaw guy too. It’s just one saw after another.

Mike – Very true and next time one of them needs sharpening, I’ll give 15 degrees of fleam a go.

Shane – My pleasure.

Joe – I watched the preview but didn’t go ahead an purchase the episode. I’m sure Roy knows what he’s doing though.

Lance – I’ve thught about it, but usually adding narration makes the video difficult to edit. What I do is grab the camera, start filming and then cut out the boring bits to condense it into something which is ideally no more than about 4 minutes. If I was talking whilst filming, it becomes difficult to cut bits out. I don’t spend much time on these videos at all, but they are a pain to upload to YouTube. 4 minutes of HD will take around 2 1/2 hours.

Jamie – I’ve got one more backsaw to do and then I need a break from them. On Sunday I got my saw vise out and jointed the last saw and picked up my file to start shaping the teeth. Then I thought, sod it I don’t feel like it today, so I restored four old wooden spirit levels instead just for a bit of variation. :o)

Mads – The sun has been kind to me for the last couple of weeks, but I fear the rain is coming back now the Olympics have finished.

John & Terry – I bashed a nail into one of the roof beams and hung a bent metal coat hanger from it. The saws hang from the coat hanger. No expense spared. LOL.

Scot – I know it seems like I’m getting really anal about saw sharpening, but I can assure you I’m not. Once I’ve sharpened my last backsaw, I’m going to compare and contrast all these different rip, crosscut and combination filings and tell you what I think of them all. My conclusions might just surprise you.

Mauricio – Yeah lots of pictures that’s what we want.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Johnnyblot's profile


319 posts in 3524 days

#14 posted 08-13-2012 10:11 PM

Geez Andy, I don’t know whether to laugh at that or cry? You’re a philistine? But a talented one :-)


-- Gossamer shavings just floating around the back yard….-Bandit

View Brit's profile


8448 posts in 4090 days

#15 posted 08-13-2012 10:24 PM

Only temporary John. I had to put them somewhere until the time comes.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

showing 1 through 15 of 27 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics