Saw Sets

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BWhitney

Bruce
Corporate Member
I am interested in hand sharpening some saws. For those of you who do this, which saw set should I consider? Vintage Stanley 42X's are available on amazon and ebay but Highland Woodworking and Lee Valley have new comparably priced (Japan made?) that also seem to be quality tools?
 

KenOfCary

Board of Directors, Secretary
Ken
Staff member
Corporate Member
Just be sure whatever you get is a double action saw set. The first action should pinch or clamp the blade and then the second action should actually bend the tooth. Not sure I described that properly but these work better than the single action saw sets. The ones Lee Valley sells are double action and have been on my wish list there for a while. One day when they're offering free shipping I will buy one or both (two different sizes for different TPI.)
 

Chris C

Chris
Senior User
I see one almost every time I go into a junk shop. Usually a few dollars. I have an vintage one that Mike Davis sent me. It's a single action but I don't think thats a big deal.

It took a little fettling to get the hammer right but it works like a charm.

20160110_191523.jpg
 

Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
IMG_1595.JPGIMG_1596.JPG

I'll have to look to be sure but I think this is Millers Falls. Was very inexpensive on eBay. And works as well as the 42x.

edit: OK, I can see now, this is a Millers Falls #214. I like it so much I bought two more.
 

bluedawg76

New User
Sam
my saw set is from LV and I've been happy with it. I'm pretty sure it's the finer one, but I think it's plenty of set for even a larger rip saw ~6 tpi. I don't think this is one of those items where there's much distinction between new or vintage. just get whichever one is easiest/cheapest to acquire.
 

sandfarm

Joe
User
I have a Beaver that I should sell, foot pedal operated, does about four hundred teeth a minute.
I like hand setting better.

Joe
 

BWhitney

Bruce
Corporate Member
I settled on a new one from LV. I got the fine one and have been second guessing myself. I haven't set a saw yet, but when I finish a couple of things . . .
 

willarda

New User
Bill Anderson
It makes a big difference if the sawset is single action or double action! When you set the set on a tooth and squeeze the handle, depending on the gap between the plunger and the anvil, you can overset the tooth from the leverage on single action sets. Double action sets grab the saw plate first with a large plunger, then a second plunger comes out and bends the tooth over the specified amount.

The Stanley 42X is a double action plunger. This is a "pistol" type saw set. The Disston sawset is a "pliers" type saw set and it is also double action. The Stanleys sell for >$75 (I did get a pristine one at an antique store in Maine for $5!). The Disstons are much cheaper.

Both of these saw sets are really designed for panel saws. If you want to set a back saw, the second plunger is too coarse. However, both saw sets generally are assembled with threaded bolts, etc so that you can take the tool apart, remove the small plunger, regrind it to a narrower profile, then re-insert. I have two each of these types of saw sets, one ground for backsaws and one for panel saws.

The Disston sawset is excellent for backsaws because the metal back prevents the saw from being held adequately in saw vises, plus once you do get the saw inserted, there is no room for your knuckles to operate the Stanley sawset.

Another advantage of the Disston over the Stanley is that the Stanley bends to 15 degrees only. If you bend at the root of the tooth, you get a large set, if you bend at the top of the tooth you get a small set. The Disston has a rotating anvil with 4 beveled angles so that you can set at any given height 4 different degrees of set angle.

The new commercial sawsets are very cheap, and may work for a time. I believe they are aluminum with a steel plunger. Supposedly youcan get a panel saw set and a back saw set. Easier enough to do this yourself with a good steel Stanley or Disston, however!
 
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