Making Old Saws Sharp Again

Making Old Saws Sharp Again

Whether you’re a fan of new or old saws, Gary Cook’s tips on resurrecting these handy bench tools will certainly pay dividends


A selection of old tenon and dovetail saws

I wonder how much of their monthly income the likes of George Hepplewhite and Thomas Chippendale spent on hand tools? Would they have scoffed at planes that cost £300 and more? Would they have placed a gouge back on a shelf, upon learning it was priced at nearly a day’s wage? I don’t know, but food for thought! A proportion of our finest modern makers seem happy to spend a good proportion of their income on the finest modern tools, and why not? They use them every day and feel that buying ‘quality’ reflects in their work.

A love of old tools

While I love some of the high-end tools available, I have to admit to being more fascinated by the older tools and the history attached to them. For me, working out how to maintain these and keep them in tip-top condition is all part of the interest. I enjoy bringing tools back from the dead and getting them in use again. To that end, I’ve been teaching myself saw sharpening this month: it’s really not as hard as you might think, and I’ve resurrected three or four saws, all with great results.

A collection of larger saws

Read the full article in The Woodworker October 2017

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