Hand saw sharpening - troubleshooting

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Forum topic by AGolden posted 06-12-2020 07:25 PM 1060 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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147 posts in 617 days

06-12-2020 07:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: saw sash saw hand saw sharpening saw sharpening blackburn

Hello all,

I just finished building a sash saw from a kit by blackburn tools (highly recommended by the way!). It is filed for rip cuts and has 12 ppi.

It was the first saw I ever sharpened and it cuts fairly well for a first attempt but when I first sharpened it i noticed it consistently catching and stopping about half way through the stroke. Eventually i got a nice smooth cut that didn’t hiccup through a haphazard application of several techniques.

It left me wondering if there was a good troubleshooting procedure for tuneing up your sharpening job? Should you start by reducing the set of the teeth by filing or hammering? or should you try jointing the teeth again? or maybe sharpening the teeth that are catching? are there different steps you should take for different performance deficiencies? I hope to hear some good discussion!

3 replies so far

View Aj2's profile


4129 posts in 3080 days

#1 posted 06-12-2020 08:26 PM

It’s a good looking saw. I too have found a freshly sharpened saw can be grabby. If your happy with your filing work and set try wrapping paper around the teeth. Sandwich the both sides with rock hard maple and squeeze in your vise of biggest best clamps.
This will even out the set and reduce it slightly.
Good Luck

-- Aj

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5361 posts in 5243 days

#2 posted 06-12-2020 08:36 PM

Some folks actually “stone” the sides of the plate after sharpening to even the set.
Just a thought.

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View SMP's profile


4952 posts in 1188 days

#3 posted 06-12-2020 09:19 PM

Watch some Paul Sellers videos on saw sharpening. I use his two hammers method to remove some set and even it out, looking/listening for high spots. Then I stone the sides as mentioned. Usually just a light pass with an 8000 waterstone or 2 just to get the burs off.

BUT also check your sawing technique. Not making any judgements, since I don’t know your skill level. But its important to let the saw do the cutting. If you try to manhandle a saw it can tend to grab regardless of sharpening and set etc.

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