For once, I blamed the tool and was actually right. Those of you who read my resawing post saw the mess I made using a modern disposable saw. As a result, on Saturday I decided to sharpen my Disston D8 rip saw.
I acquired this saw from the same collector I bought Big Bertha from and according to the Disstonian Institute medallion directory it was manufactured between 1895 and 1917 meaning it is likely around the same age as our house. It has around 5.5 TPI and is dull as a hammer but the previous owner had removed the visible rust.
I made my Moxon vise large enough to hold a full size saw plate (though the leather is about 2 inches short) so I removed the handle and placed it in the vise and followed the sharpening method described in the Heritage School of Woodworking video.
After two rounds of jointing and shaping I checked the tooth set (it was more than I needed) and then did a final sharpening pass with my 7 slim taper file. A few passes with a medium and fine rust eraser removed the rust and grime than had been hidden under the handle.
The handle was sanded with 220 and 320 then was wet sanded with BLO and 400 grit paper. I left a bit of the old patina and the BLO showed a bit of curly Apple which was a nice surprise. Two coats of spray shellac and a coat of wax left a nice surface. The brass was sanded, buffed with steel wool and waxed.
If you will remember, after an hour with the disposable saw I had made very little progress resawing the board and the progress I did make was a mess. After my son went to bed I waxed the handle, cleaned the brass, reassembled the and finished splitting the board. All told I was done in hour, so it was the tool that made the difference. It saw amazingly easy to follow my marked lines and the saw actually stay within the defined saw kerfs, something the modern saw refused to do (I suspect it is due to the hybrid teeth and large set).
The Results were not to shabby though the ends that were started with the new saw were a mangled mess, luckily I was able to cut most of the bad parts off and smooth up the remaining marks with my number 6.