Sharpening a rip saw

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.

Before
Before

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.

still need to remove the layout fluid but looks pretty nice

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.

Harvey Ellis Saw Till – Part 9 – Resawing

With the lumber rack finally complete I was able to focus on the saw till again. The two ready back panels were cut down to size and then received a rabbit (rebate) around the edges using my Stanley 45 and Veritas medium shoulder plane. A quick test fit showed that things went together well though I may need to trim the vertical dividers a bit.

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Next it was time to resaw another piece of the Douglas fir to make the remaining back panels. I marked out where I wanted the saw kerf to go and started the end grain cuts with the board vertical before moving to the saw horse to cut the side kerfs. You will notice I am using a the same modern disposable saw that I used for the strand board; my rip saw was very dull when I purchased it and I have never sharped a saw before so I figured I would try with the Husky. I have never resawn by hand before but I think this may have been a mistake as the cutting was very slow and it kept jumping the kerf I had made (hard to tell if this is just a lack of skill or the set of the saw). After an hour my hands were sick of the handle and my body was worn out; I had made it through less than 20% of the board.

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My next post will likely be related to sharpening a rip saw.