Friday, April 27, 2018

The Saw Sharpening Rake and Fleam Angle Jig

I love simple solutions.  I don't recall where I first saw this jig, but it's not my own design.  I wish I could give proper credit because it's so simple and works so well.

Square up a small block of hard wood (soft woods will get worn out too quickly) about 3" long, 1" wide and 1/2" thick.  Knife a line to locate the lengthwise center of the block.
Line knifed in center of block
Drill a hole of appropriate size so that the file you intend to use will fit tightly in the hole.  The file should only go about 1/4" into the hole.  Most saw files are tapered at the end, so this works well.  I drill from both sides so the holes meet in the middle.

Mark the rake angle of your choice on the side of the block next to the hole, as shown above.  One line would have sufficed - not sure why I drew 3 lines.  Write the angle on the block for future reference.  Then line up one side of the saw file with that angle and tap it in.  This will leave three little indentations around the hole's edge that you can use later to repeatably place the file at the proper angle.
Using a ruler to get the angle right
The saw file sides are very small and it's tough to get the angle right.  But if you hold a ruler flat to the side of the file, then you can sight down the file to see that the ruler is lined up with the angle you drew on the block.

When a file in installed and you hold the block level, then the one side of the file will be held at the proper rake angle, in my case, 14°

For the fleam angle, mark and then cut the angle on the right side of the block.
Angle marked ...
... then cut and planed smooth (and the angle penciled on the side) 
In use, the jig is used as in the picture below.
Saw file held at 14° rake when block is level,
20° fleam when angle on right of block is parallel with saw
There is one very important thing to note about using the jig.  After filing every other tooth of a cross-cut saw, when you turn the saw around to file the remaining teeth you have to remember to turn the jig around.
Orientation of jig when filing saw with handle (H) on left
Orientation after turning saw around with handle (H) on right
Note that the rake angle marked on either side leans toward the handle (H) end.  It's important to get this right.  I've marked the top of the jig, as it stays the top no matter which way you are filing.

Also, I've written which file that I used with this jig since the hole is sized for that particular file.  I have a few of these jigs - one for each size file that I've used.

BTW, if you want to use a jig like this for filing a rip saw, just leave out the cutting of the arrow-point on one end and make the rake angle appropriate for a rip saw.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Sharpening the 12 TPI Cross-Cut Saw

I've sharpened my Spear & Jackson cross-cut tenon saw a few times, but I've noticed that I'm not getting the teeth even.  Actually, not all that close to even.  I've got a case of "cows and calves".
Would you call that uneven?
The tops of the teeth are level with each other, but the gullets are small, big, small, big, ...  During previous sharpenings I tried to use the technique of jointing the tops of the teeth to get a small flat on each tooth, then filing away half of the flats when filing every other tooth going one direction and getting the remaining flats when filing the remaining gullets going the other direction.
Overview of the teeth
That hasn't worked out too well for me.  So even though the saw has been cutting reasonably OK, I wanted to fix the tooth geometry and re-sharpen it.  At first I tried drawing a line to guide my filing to get an even depth to all gullets.
Thought about filing to a line
But a much better idea is to use a template.  Fortunately Isaac Smith of Blackburn Tools has such templates on his website and I used the template for 12 TPI.
When you print a template, you have to make it print 100% size, not "print to fit"
And you should always check it with a ruler
First step was to joint the tooth line.
Using a shop-made file holder to joint the teeth
Template taped to the saw plate and clamped in saw vise
Template lines are aligned with gullets
You've got to see what you're doing when filing a saw.  Here's my setup.  Having a chair at a comfortable height is helpful.
Task lamp just above the work, headlamp providing more light
I use a 3X magnifying headlamp to see better
An end-on view
I needed to reshape the teeth, so I filed straight across the teeth like I would do for a rip saw.  Going from heel to toe, with the file in contact with the front of one tooth and the back of the next tooth, I filed each gullet putting pressure forward (on back of next tooth) or backward (on front of prior tooth) to end up with the gullet lined up with the template.
About 60% of the teeth in this pic have been filed.
You can still see the flats on the remaining 40% of teeth on the right.
This worked very well in getting the teeth more consistently shaped.
Teeth looking far better already
Next I used a Somax saw set to add some set to the teeth.  Jointing and filing up to this point had removed most of the set I had previously.
Setting with a saw set
I have a problem with this saw set.  Even though I have it set at the smallest amount of set, I still get far too much set.
Saw set at minimum amount of set
Contrary to popular belief, the numbers on the dial in the Somax saw set do not correspond to the number of teeth on the saw being set.  You just have to use it and gain some experience to know what number setting to use.  Even at the minimum setting (largest number) I get too much set.
Out of the saw set I had 0.0405" total set at this point.
It ranged from about 0.040" to 0.045" along the toothline.
I used a medium diamond stone to knock back the set and take off any burrs.
"Stoning" the teeth after setting
After that I re-jointed the teeth using a few strokes of the flat file.  Then I marked every other tooth to avoid any screw-ups.
Marked every other tooth
Using a little angle-setting jig to help guide my filing, I made two file strokes in every other gullet.
The filing jig from above: 20° angle on right gives me the fleam angle,
lines on the front of the jig help me align the file for 14° rake.
I did not try to remove half of the flats on each tooth - that's where I had problems with uneven filing before.  I just used two strokes on every other gullet, then turned the saw around and filed the other direction, two strokes in all the unfiled gullets.
Looking much better
I could still see small flats on many of the teeth after that, so I gave all the teeth one more file stroke.  The teeth may not be perfect now, but they are FAR better than they were.  And a test cut felt pretty good.

On most of my saws I write the pertinent filing information, as well as the sharpening date.
The Spear & Jackson filing statistics
All for now.  I'll write about the filing jig another time.  It's a great jig you can make in a jiffy.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Stanley #7C Restoration, Part 4: Fixing the Tote

Part 1 of this series is here.
Part 2 of this series is here.
Part 3 of this series is here.

Note: this post is picture heavy.

Many people would probably just have bought a new tote.  I thought I'd try to fix this one.
Tote condition as found - broken off horn and who knows what under the tape
Hmm ...  Wonder what's under that tape.
Removed from the plane
Tape removed.  Yikes!
A nail in the back and resulting crack
Nail showing through bottom of top portion of tote

Well, that wouldn't have been my choice of how to fix this tote, but there it is.  To start this going, I placed the tote on a piece of paper and drew the outline.
The horizontal lines in center show where the break is.
The break angled from the upper line on the near side to the lower line on the far side
The break may have been clean years ago.  But many years of rubbing against each other rounded over the mating surfaces, so I didn't think that I could simply glue them back together without further modification.

Some years ago i fixed the horns of two #5 totes and to do so I made a planing jig to level off the broken surface.The jig comprises two equal sized pieces of pine, each with identical rabbets.  The broken plane part sits between the jig parts and the whole she-bang is clamped in the vise.
Jig with upper part of tote clamped
The rabbets act as a planing ramp
View from other end
Broken surface planed flat
This is the bottom of the upper portion that was cracked from the nail
For this crack, I thinned some PVA glue, forced it into the crack and clamped it overnight.  That and gluing the newly flattened surface to a piece of wood should keep the crack from ever propagating and letting the big chip fall out.
Gluing the crack in the upper section
I planed the lower portion the same way, trying to keep it level so that the new flat surface would be parallel to the upper portion's flat surface.
Compared to the template to see how big a block I needed to glue in (about 1/2" thick)
Man, the rosewood planed beautifully!  Look at these dark shavings!
Beautiful dark wood shavings
Used hide glue to glue on a piece of (what I think is) mahogany
Gluing on a piece for the horn repair
My usual hide glue setup - microwaved water, candy thermometer to monitor temperature,
glue in plastic cup
Drilling out the new horn using the existing hole to guide the 5/16" bit
Gluing the horn piece to the upper portion and the mahogany block to the lower piece gave me flat surfaces to clamp against when gluing the whole thing together.
Not yet gluing the whole thing - just seeing how they align
 I used a 5/16" dowel rod to align the mounting holes in the upper and lower portions of the tote.  The upper portion didn't mate just right with the mahogany block glued to the lower piece, so I planed the mahogany piece until they aligned properly.
Then glued them together
For shaping I used coping saw, rasps, files and scrapers to shape and smooth the new parts.
Tools for shaping
Clamping the tote so that I could work on the horn was challenging.  But a hand-screw clamp in the vise was the right call.  A little scrap of leather also helped.
Clamp in a clamp technique
Still a little shaping to go
The last step was to enlarge the 5/16" hole in the horn so that the 7/16" brass nut would fit.  For this I used a round rasp and tested for fit every few strokes when I got close.
Rasp to enlarge the hole
And there it is.
My zebra striped tote
I had thought the mahogany would be darker, but not so much.  After scraping all the old finish off the original parts of the tote, I tried staining the mahogany with three different stains that I had, but none of them was dark enough.  After staining I applied several coast of BLO, waiting a day between each coat.  Then a coat of wax and it was done!
Won't bother me that you can see it's been fixed.
In fact, I kind of like it that way
Knob was scraped, sanded oiled and waxed too.  Looks beautiful!
And there she is, ready for work
Out of curiosity, I compared it to my LN #8.  Man that #8 is HEAVY!  This #7 is so much lighter - maybe I'll have less fatigue when using it instead of the #8.
100+ year old Stanley #7 and 5-10 year old LN #8
BTW, I mentioned in an earlier post that the japanning was a bit rough.  Here are the pics.  What do you think - should I repaint? (OK, I know what Ralph thinks about that!)  I have no stripper and don't like working with harsh chemicals, so not sure how I'd go about it.
Heel end japanning mostly gone
Around the tote (where it's relatively protected), it's mostly intact
Some japanning missing in frog area
Front end missing some, but not too bad
So ends the rehab of the Stanley #7C.  Fun project and I'm looking forward to many years using it.  Thanks for following along.  Questions and comments are most welcome.