Saw Sharpening (Part 3)

After sharpening and setting the teeth along the cross-cut saw blade, remove the blade from the vice.

1. Using a diamond stone and a small amount of lubricant, file very, very lightly down either side of the blade. Pressure should be just light enough to take down any high spots along the teeth and ensure that the set is even on both sides.

– If the blade is set too far on one side, the saw will veer in that direction while in use.

Note: If this veering already occurs with a saw consistently, the problem is with the saw blade, not with method or style of use.

2. Using the newly set cross-cut saw, test the set and sharpness, starting always by sawing away from the body with a slight upward angle.

– When starting the cut, do not allow the timber to bear the bulk of the weight of the saw; this creates friction similar to sitting in a racing car at the starting line and flooring the gas pedal to get wheel spin. Bearing most of the weight of the saw allows the saw to grab the timber without producing unnecessary friction.

3. Using the tip of your thumb as a guide along the side of the saw blade, begin the cut with long, full strokes.

– Once the cut is established, the only motion required is forward and backward; no downward pressure need be applied to finish.

Tip: Once the cut is started, the reflection on the saw blade should give the illusion that the timber continues straight through the metal; if the reflection is angled in any way, the cut is not straight.