When it comes to getting a smooth cut on wood, you will need a crosscut saw. It can also cut the wood faster than any other hand cutting tools. Hence, many wood-carving professionals turn to this tool as it has a fine blade designed to cut wood perpendicular to its grain. But the saw can only be useful when it is sharpened. If you own this cutting material, then you must learn how to sharpen a crosscut hand saw correctly.
Equipment to Use in Sharpening a Crosscut Hand Saw
When sharpening a hand saw, you have to consider preparing some necessary equipment. But for you to know what to make, you also have to know the different equipment that you can use on how to sharpen a crosscut hand saw.
- Sharpening Vise – A sharpening vise is specially used for sharpening hand saw. This device will hold the hand saw to keep it still while you examine or check the saw’s teeth. The Saw Sharpening Vise can either be made of steel or wood. Carpenters or wood carving professionals usually make their own sharpening vise. This is for them to estimate the length of the vise and make it adjustable. The sharpening vise available to purchase only has one size.
- Triangular Hand Saw Sharpening Files – A triangular hand saw sharpening file is what you will use to shape the saw teeth. This tringle has 60 degrees angle to make spaces between saw teeth. The size of the file must depend on the size of the saw’s teeth. This means, smaller hand saw teeth needs a small triangular file, while the large saw teeth will need a larger triangular file. This sharpening file is made of different materials and quality. So, you must choose the one that is durable and does not wear out quickly.
- Hand Saw Sharpening File Guide – Sharpening hand saw can be very challenging, especially keeping it align and of the same angle. So, there must be consistency and accuracy in all the teeth in a row. Hence, you must also attach the saw sharpening file guide with the triangular hand saw sharpening file. This device will hold the sharpening file still to create a consistent angel for each saw tooth.
- Hand Saw Set – The teeth of the saw are formed from the body. They are aligned with the same thickness as the blade behind them. The Hand Saw Set is also used to give clearance by slightly bending the tooth, so it won’t bind up with the wood you are about to cut.
- Sawmill File or Saw Jointer – Once you know how to sharpen a crosscut hand saw, you will understand that you need something to level the tip or top of the saw’s teeth. The Saw jointing is ideal to use when you need to flatten the top for them to have the same height.
- Magnification and lighting – The magnification and lighting device for saw sharpening is used to magnify or light the small teeth. This equipment has a magnification function and, at the same time, light the target area to give you the clear and closer look of each tooth.
Guide on Sharpening a Crosscut Hand Saw
Now that you have identified the materials that you need to prepare and use, you can start learning how to sharpen a crosscut hand saw. You might want to practice using a cheaper saw, so there won’t be a waste when you practice how to sharpen a crosscut hand saw.
Step 1. Level the Teeth of your Saw
If you have an old saw that needs sharpening, you have to check if the teeth are of the same level or height. There is a possibility that the tip of the teeth is broken over time. Use the Saw Jointer for this. If you are to sharpen a newly purchased hand saw, you need not apply this step. The same is true if the hand saw is recently sharpened. If you are still unsure of the height of the saw teeth, you can slightly joint them, applying lesser force to avoid damaging good teeth. Too much jointing may result in reshaping the teeth all over and could be a waste of time.
Step 2. Set the Hand Saw Teeth
Setting the saw teeth means you have to bend them slightly using the hand saw set. This is for the saw plate not to get stuck to the wood you will cut. Setting the saw teeth first on the sharpening process allows you to have a better view, and you can quickly identify which one needs filing. The filing is applicable when the tooth is pointing away from you. That is why setting the teeth is necessary. The hand saw set is adjustable and limits your bending as to how far you can bend the teeth.
Step 3. Shape the Saw Teeth
The shape of the saw will tell you the saw’s performance on cutting the wood. If your saw teeth are still in good shape, and you want it as it is, then the procedure is no longer applicable. However, if you see that your saw’s teeth need reshaping, you have to determine its rake angel and the fleam angle. Generally, the rake angle of the crosscut hand saw is 8-15 degrees, while its fleam is between 15 to 25 degrees, depending on the type of wood to cut. With the sharpening file, you can start shaping the teeth, and filing every other tooth is necessary to ensure it gets the same angle. The number of stoke for the initial filing may vary on the size of the saw, but for newly punched teeth, you can apply 2 to 3 strokes per tooth.
Step 4. Jointing the Saw Teeth
Perform the second jointing to make sure. If you see that the teeth are of the same height, you will need to touch them lightly with the jointer. Do it from toe to heel of the saw.
Sept 5. Final Filing
There can be teeth that are flattened on the top as you run the second jointing. You can do then the final filing to make the saw sharp. Place a light right above the teeth for you to see the reflection. From there, you can judge if it is sharp enough to cut wood. If there is too much flat reflection, you can remove half of it from the tooth’s other side. It may require a half or a full stroke. Others may need more than one full stroke. Examine each tooth carefully. And when it grabs your finger when you lightly touch the tip, then it is ready to use.
Sharpening a crosscut hand saw is not easy. You have to be familiar with all the devices and the ways to use it. But if you are a carpenter or a woodcarver, a sharp saw is very useful. It will quickly cut the wood smoothly. Hence, you have to keep the saw teeth sharp by bringing it to the nearest shop, or you can learn how to sharpen a crosscut hand saw. Make yourself familiar with all the needed equipment and how to use them. The sharpening procedure can be easy to apply. You can also try to give some time watching video tutorials until you are ready to do it on your own. Know more about axes.