Mid-week tool sneak peek no. 6

August 3, 2011

Hand saws are all the rage these days. Unlike fads such as this internet thing, hand saws have stood the time. Once you’ve learned how to use one the right way and can appreciate a well-tuned saw the next step is learning how to sharpen it. Just like with any tool in your shop, a sharp hand saw is easier to use AND much safer for you and the wood.

Learning to sharpen a saw can look intimidating, there’s all those teeth and gullets and something called “FLEAM” to deal with. But having someone with a lot of experience and a good teaching manner about them makes all the difference.

Thankfully the folks at Popular Woodworking Magazine brought in just that person, Ron Herman. Ron is the owner of Antiquity Builders of Ohio, a century-old family business. As a master housewright and carpenter, Ron works on historically accurate restoration projects and has sharpened thousands of saws in his career.

In his new DVD “Sharpen Your Handsaws” you’ll discover:

* Secrets to sharpening backsaws & handsaws
* The truth about “shaping” and “set”
* Cut fleam into a saw & learn how to “test the run”
* Achieve consistent results with Ron’s methods
* BONUS: Includes Ron’s primer on saws and sharpening in PDF format

After watching this DVD myself, I can tell you WITHOUT A DOUBT you’ll learn how to sharpen your own saws. Ripsaws, crosscuts and even a look at sharpening backsaws is all within this title. The best part about it, you can sharpen while you watch! A must have resource for anyone wanting to sharpen their own saws, especially for restoring those flea-market finds.


To sharpen hand scrapers and even hand saws you need to start with a nice flat edge or teeth. This is accomplished using a good quality mill file held 90 degrees to the face of the tool. While free-handing this task is an option, using a jig that guarantees the desired angle is a better option for consistent results.

To help make this task is easier than ever Veritas created the Jointer/Edger:

* For use on cabinet scrapers, scraper plane blades, handsaws and ski edges.
* 45° & 90° jointing options.
* Comfortable, ergonomic handle.
* Fence is relieved next to the file to accommodate tooth set.
* Anodized aluminum with solid brass screws.
* For use with a 6″ or 8″ mill file.
Image thanks to Lee Valley


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