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  • Check out this old saw set

    While looking for info/ideas on hand saw tooth setters, I found this setter:



    Looks like it would be a real drag to use, but might do a good job. Any comments or opinions?

    Anyone know how well the old pistol grip & pliers type setters work on modern handsaws? I assume they were designed for the old two man saws.

    uute

  • #2
    Sets seem to be pretty much a waste of time on modern saws, uute.
    They all seem to be hard point throw-aways.

    The only "real" saw I have left is a tenon saw, Canadian Disston.
    That aint seen much use for quite a few years.
    Just got my head together
    now my body's falling apart

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    • #3
      Maybe its that my saws aren't as "modern" as I thought!!

      They are prolly from the '60s & '70s, cross cut and rips. I don't think they are the Hard Point types. I'm sure I could get them sharpened professionally, but still would like to know a bit about setters.

      Thanks, uute

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      • #4
        If they have wooden handles they are probably worth hanging onto

        Sorry uute, thought you meant "modern".

        Yup, the plier type sets work just fine. Invest in a file or two and put the saw blade between a couple of boards in the vice.

        I'm sure there's a wealth of information (and the usual bullsh1t) if you google.

        One issue with older saws is hydrogen embrittlement (also worth a google).

        Basically, the teeth can snap off if you try to set them.
        This is quite easily cured by putting the blades in a hot oven for a few hours. (minus the aforementioned wooden handles, of course!)
        Just got my head together
        now my body's falling apart

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        • #5
          Yep. all wooden handles.

          Thanks for the heads up on embrittlement, broken teeth wouldn't hold much set!!

          uute

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          • #6
            Originally posted by uute
            While looking for info/ideas on hand saw tooth setters, I found this setter:



            Looks like it would be a real drag to use, but might do a good job. Any comments or opinions?

            Anyone know how well the old pistol grip & pliers type setters work on modern handsaws? I assume they were designed for the old two man saws.

            uute
            The pistol grip and pliers types will work nicely on any saw with teeth that aren't so hard they break. What modern saws fall into that category I do not know, since my best saws are all old. If you can file the teeth without killing the file, you can probably set them.

            The small pistol grip sets were made for handsaws. The ones for bigger saws are a good deal bigger, and many of the old two man saws were not set but swaged.

            Make sure you don't overdo it at first and start breaking teeth. It might be good to practice on a junk saw. A good set should have an adjustment for the teeth per inch of the blade. Make sure you adjust it so that you're not bending the tooth too far down into the gullet. You'll break teeth like crazy if you do. The screwed-in part of the set should be a snug but not binding fit on the blade. When it's right, you just walk down the blade, squeezing gently for every other tooth, and turn around and walk back for the other side. Don't squeeze it to death. It's very quick when you get the hang of it.

            There's a rare and rather pricey collectible set made by Stanley that had a double-action. Instead of requiring you to tighten it to the saw, the piston would first clamp the saw and then set it. Very elegant. If you stumble on one of these, do not let it go.

            The one shown looks as if it might actually work pretty well, but I think it would be inconvenient to hold. Since most saw vises run side to side, it might be awkward to position yourself for it. But if you can, I think it might be pretty easy and quick to use, and you could do all the teeth in one pass.

            If you have a good saw file and a set, just about any old saw whose teeth are not too badly misfiled already, and which is not kinked or bent up, can be made useful. But some people, used to the nasty, rough, tearing, half-rip-half-crossuct saws sold these days, will take a well sharpened old saw to be dull, because it doesn't cut as fast when it's sharpened right.

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            • #7
              The two-man saws were set using a chilled iron "bucking dolly" and a small hammer, about 4 oz. The dolly has a bevel ground on one edge. It was held tight to the saw blade, with the appropriate amount of tooth projecting, and the tooth was struck smartly on the filed tip. Done correctly and you had a perfectly set tooth, if you hit too high, you had a little stump, (dont ask how I know that!) When all the teeth on one side were set, the process was repeated on the other side. The accuracy of the set was checked with a chilled iron "spider" that had one short leg. there were different spiders for resinous (soft) and hard wood. The setting hammer also had a slot in the back of the head. It was used as a lever for straightening overset teeth. This was a pretty skilled business and yet virtually every sawyer could do it well.
              Duffy, Gatineau, Quebec

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              • #8
                Thanks for the replies, Gents. Always learn on this board! My first thought was that the pistol type sets may have a over large "plunger" for the old, is it Double Cut saws (one & two man saws that cut in both directions)? I see that is not the case and will find one to try on my saws.

                TA
                uute

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                • #9
                  My guess is that your two-handed saw set is for use on circular saw blades.

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