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.

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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Sharpening a Veritas carcass saw

The time finally came to sharpen my Veritas cross cut carcass saw. The saw is 14 tpi and, according to the LV website, has 15 degrees of rake and 15 degrees of fleam. Up until now I've only sharpened my full size vintage saws. So I was ever-so-slightly apprehensive about putting a file to this saw. However...with the help of my new file guide, things went smoothly (not mention quickly).

The patient, ready for sharpening.

Loaded into the saw vise. I think my vise is due for some tuning itself, I noticed a spot or two where it doesn't clamp as nicely as I'd like it to.

The file guide is set to go: 15 degrees rake, and 15 degrees fleam. This thing really is easy to use, and makes sharpening a saw a snap. Set the angle and go. Just keep in mind that for cross cut saws, you will file every other tooth, then reset the angle, and file the teeth you skipped.
First cut after sharpening, not too bad.

Straight enough for me. A swipe or two on the shooting board and we're back in business.

I mentioned in the above caption about resetting the angle of the file guide. This is not a draw back to the guide, and it fits with how many people would normally sharpen a saw. The way I first learned was to file every other tooth, then turn the saw around in the vise and go back down the tooth line. The reason behind that is that it's easier for some of us to judge the fleam angle that way. Having the guide allows me to get the angle correct on both sets of teeth without turning the saw. All you have to do is turn the angle guide.

While we're on the topic. I genuinely like these saws. Even though I'm a fan of traditional form, these saws perform very well, and they bring a little modern form into the workshop. I don't run into many back saws at the antique shops (I've seen two, and they were with mitre boxes), and the prices for some of the new saws out there aren't just expensive, they're absurd! Yeah...I said it. I'm going to stop this monologue before I get going...


  1. I did the same thing, although some experts recommend that you always file in the same direction as the set on the tooth.

    1. Andy- I think I've read arguments both ways on that, and they both have their merits. If you wanted to do it that way, you would reset the rake angle on the guide, and leave the fleam angle. While sharpening this saw, there was no difference in feel between each set of teeth. Now, we're talking about a 14tpi saw. I will have to look into that with a 7 and see if the larger tooth size makes a difference in feed back. Seeing as how I have a 7tpi saw that needs sharpening, all I have to do is get off my butt and do it!

  2. I want to see your result. However, thanks for great sharing

    1. Apologies for the slow reply and lack of content lately, I haven't been home very much.
      I think the last two pictures illustrate the results of sharpening well. Unless you want to see a close up of the teeth. If that's the case, I'll try to get a good picture the next time I sharpen a saw. I'll have a look through the old pics as well, to see if I took one already.