Saw shop questions and answers: setting a handsaw, M tooth crosscut saws, and more!


Vern Burke, SwiftWater Edge Tool Works

Skowhegan, ME

The questions are piling up again, so here come the answers!

1. Should you sharpen a handsaw first or set the teeth first.

Set the teeth first, absolutely. If you file first and the teeth are significantly out of set, neither the bevel angles or the rake angles will come out correctly after the teeth are set.

2. (question about M tooth crosscut saws)

On my last sharpening run down to the Arundel Flea Market, I ran across the first M tooth 2 man bucking saw that I’ve ever seen in the wild. Considering I’ve been through dozens of perforated lance tooth and Champion tooth saws, this gives you some idea how popular the M tooth was (not very).

Myself, I see little to no benefit at the least to the M tooth pattern. If you find one, nail it up over the mantle and pick a more normal tooth pattern.

3. (question about repeat cracking of circular saw blades)

Overheating them from feeding the wood too fast, overheating from running them at the wrong speed, excessive pitch buildup on the blade, too much runout in the arbor causing the blade to wobble, or some combination of the above.

Visit me at any of the following locations:

Elm Plaza, Waterville, ME (Mondays)
Tractor Supply, Skowhegan, ME (Tuesday and Wednesday)
Arundel Flea Market, Rt 1 & Log Cabin Rd, Arundel, ME (Fridays)
298 W Front St, Skowhegan, ME (all other days)

If you’re looking for a special tool, please drop me an
email and let me know and I’ll restore one just for you!

SwiftWater Edge Tool Works provides mobile sharpening services across Maine and mail in services around the world for handsaws, carbide blades, planer knives, hand planes, chain saws, knives, scissors, hair clippers, router bits, and almost any blade!

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