An excellent guide - even for a beginner

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Review by Jon Spelbring posted 07-26-2011 09:06 PM 3078 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
An excellent guide - even for a beginner No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

So, do you want to play in the yard with the big kids? Impress The Schwarz? Follow in the footsteps of St. Roy, or just be able to actually use that saw that grandpa left you? Then I would recommend this DVD highly.

As a disclaimer, I’m no saw expert, and in fact, apart from my trusty dovetail saw, I haven’t had that much experience with other hand (panel) saws. I’ve never sharpened a saw before. So, look for a blog entry next week on how my first sharpening went.

Ron is a professional housewright and carpenter, and he knows his tools – especially saws. I just finished watching the entire DVD, and I was impressed with both the content, and Ron’s delivery. He explains what he’s about to do, and more importantly, why, then he shows you.

The DVD covers sharpening of western style handsaws – Rip and Crosscut panel saws, and a crosscut back saw. It concentrates on accuracy, and gives some nice tips for file jigs that will help you – especially setting the fleam on your crosscut saws.

The first part of the DVD is basic saw terminology (parts of the saw) and what tools needed. After that he jumps in with jointing and sharpening of a rip saw, cross cut saw, and back saw. He also shows how to test the run (can the thing cut a straight line?), and how to make corrections.

The DVD also has a PDF file that has 14 pages on useful info about saws and files from various sources

- Good introduction
- You can put it into practice immediatley (I have several saws that are going to get sharpened, starting tonight).
- Ron is easy to listen to. He’s all business, but doesn’t treat you like an idiot

- The only one that I can think of is that I would have liked to have seen him sharpen a dovetail saw. I know the principles are the same, but I would feel better to have watched it being done. It’s one thing to learn to sharpen on a $5 flea market saw – another to potentially mess up an expensive dovetail saw.
- The additional PDF file. It has some useful info, but some of the scans are so bad, they are all but illegible.
- The DVD doesn’t seem to have its chapters set up correctly. At least on my computer, there are only 4 chapters – Intro, Parts of the saw, Tools needed for sharpening, and Jointing or setting teeth in the same line. I would like to have separate chapters for rip, crosscut, and back saw. It’s a small quibble, but now you know.

-- To do is to be

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Jon Spelbring

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#1 posted 07-28-2011 07:35 AM

Thanks for the review.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

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19 posts in 3458 days

#2 posted 02-21-2013 04:28 AM

Thanks for the review.

-- A great woodworker is one who can make a masterpiece in someone else’s shop using someone else’s tools.

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