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.

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Chisel Sharpening and “New” Tool Setup – 03/23/2015

Other than finishing the rocking dinosaurs, most of last weekend and last night’s shop time was spent sharpening tools, including a couple of rehab/initial setup projects. Thanks to the purchase of a boot tray and hardboard base, my sharpening setup is portable and much easier to work with. As with most amateurs, my sharpening routine is still evolving but here is what is currently consists of.

  • two Atoma diamond stones
    • one 140x for tough restoration/initial setups
    • one 400x for restoration/initial setups and flattening my water stones
  • a dual grit 1000x & 4000x water stone for primary sharpening
  • two Japanese water stones for final polishing
    • one 10,000 grit yellow stone
    • one 15,000 girt white stone
  • One “horse butt” leather strop which is a recent addition, I use it without compound

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I use a Veritas honing guide with both the straight and rounded rollers and I do not currently have a grinder, though I have been contemplating buying a hand crank one from eBay.

I finally got my Record 65 (courtesy of Patrick Leach over at SuperTool.com) set up by flattening the back of the blade to a minor polish and sharpening a 32 degree bevel edge (there were some nicks and I don’t have a grinder at the moment). When I started setting up the NOS English made Stanley 151 spokeshave I purchased during Tools for Woodworking’s Cyber Monday event I had a bit more difficulty. Thanks to a large depression at the tools edge it took quite a while to flatten the back and since the edge is not straight thanks to that same depression I have a feeling making the initial bevel will also take a while.

Darn manufacturing defect
Darn manufacturing defect
woodworker selfie
woodworker selfie
The cap iron needs some TLC as well
The cap iron needs some TLC as well

Almost all (except of the two below) of my chisels are now razor sharp and ready for their next project but when I was going through them I realized that my Buck Brothers ½ inch chisel has been put away covered in glue and since I primarily use my Narex ½ inch chisel it sat that way for a long time; rust everywhere. Upon contemplating how to deal with this rusty mess I remembered an older Chris Schwarz post regarding making your own dovetail chisel by grinding down the sides of a cheaper chisel; since the chisel was a mess anyway I decided while I had my belt sander out for the 3 inch chisel I would give it a go. After some time on the belt sander the results are pretty dramatic when you compare it to the ¾ inch chisel from the same set; my next project involves dovetails so we will soon discover how well it works.

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Last year I purchased several tools from a collector that needed to clear out some space (we met in a grocery store parking lot for the exchange where I purchased the goods out of his trunk) and I am finally getting around to turning some of those purchases into functional users. Amongst those tools was an old 2 inch wide socket chisel which looked like someone had used as a pry bar and there wise abused. This meant the chisel back was quite out of flat and since I want to use to for cleaning up the leg mortises on my Rubo style bench I decided to flatten the back using my belt sander. After a few minutes of work I started to mark the back with a pencil and then remembered the Marking Fluid I bought for saw sharpening; the blue fluid quickly showed where my high and low spots were and once the blue areas moved away from the edge I swapped to the 140 grid diamond plate. After a couple of hours I ended up with a fairly good surface near the edge however one corner must have caught the belt and left and low spot.

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Project Interlude – Sharpening Station & Moxon Vise

Unfortunately no progress was made over the weekend or over the past couple of days due to work so I decided to play hooky from work yesterday and run some errands (got the car serviced etc.); I also decided to make use of my remaining TechShop membership and make some progress on a couple of other projects.

I finally got around to unpacking my sharpening gear so I am taking Chris Schwarz’s advice and putting a hardboard base within a boot tray as a sharpening station. A few quick cuts on the table saw and I had a fitted base and a few strips to hold the stones in place. Now I just need to buy a new bottle of TiteBond III.

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The main purpose for the trip was to get started on a Moxon Vise; I have had some hard maple sitting in my garage for the past 3 or 4 months along with some ¾ inch acme threaded rod and some bronze bushings. I also decided to use a chunk of African Teak (which was given to me by the same friend who gave me the white oak from the coat rack project) as the handles.  After some quick milling I had my handle blanks (I have never had wood smoke so much and it’s pretty foul smelling smoke at that) and the front and back vise jaws. I also finally used the liquid cooled metal chop saw to cut 12 inch chunks of acme rod.

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The plan is to imbed the bronze bushings on the inside face of the rear jaw and attach the Acme nut to the back. Since the bushing has a flange and a main body, I needed to step down through three sizes of Forstner bits: 1.25 inches, 1 inch, and finally .75 inches for the rod itself. I also drilled the corresponding rod holes in the front jaw.

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Next I took my handle blanks and drilled a socket in the end for the shaft; unfortunately I mucked this up and the socket is not square to the sides so there will be some extra work getting the parts together.

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I will put together a Moxon Vise centric post once I am finished and have taken the tome to photograph everything.