For the manner in which men live is so different from the way in which they ought to live, that he who leaves the common course for that which he ought to follow will find that it leads him to ruin rather than safety.
-Machiavelli

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Simonds Saga (part 2)

Part one is here .

I couldn't let this saw continue to mock me. I could hear it laughing whenever I was in my shop. When your shop is only 77 square feet, it's hard to escape the taunting of a tool that's out to get you. "Now is the time!" I said. In reality, I needed an excuse to avoid sanding drywall for a bit. The drywall can wait until tomorrow.

Back into the trusty saw vise for another round. I jointed the teeth one last time, and went for it.


That's a huge improvement. There's still little flaws in the teeth, but they will go away in future sharpenings. I approached the process a little differently this time. I did all the teeth from the same side, instead of the skip and flip method. I actually found it easier this way and was able to maintain better control over the teeth. I believe this is how I will continue in the future.

The refinished handle. A light sanding, some oil, shellac, and wax.

I like skew backs. I don't know if they improve function, as I believe they were originally intended to lighten the saw plate. I just like the way they look.
A few test cuts to check the blade. I had to stone it lightly to track straight, pretty normal. It's running out of set, though, and will require resetting the next time I sharpen.

Close up on the medallion. As you can see, I didn't sand all the nicks out of the handle. This is an old saw, it should retain some character.
This saw was definitely a learning experience! My other saws have all been in better shape, and required nowhere near the work that this one did. I had to take on each individual tooth on its own. What I learned from that is how to even out gnarly teeth. Counting file strokes is not the way to go with a saw like this...which wasn't my method anyway. I looked at a small section at a time and worked my way through it. I also found that rake is easier to control when I file the whole plate from one side. Fleam can have some variance without messing up the saw. Rake angle is less tolerant. If your rake changes, the tooth profile changes, and the profile of surrounding teeth gets changed as well. Better to try and maintain the rake, it's easier to make small adjustments to fleam as you go.
The plate still needs just a little bit of work. I'm going to try and pop the etch out, then it needs a good waxing.
Phew...made it through the saga alive!

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