If you’ve ever wanted to sharpen your own saws, but didn’t know where to start, I can’t think of a better setting to learn the skill than at Lie-Nielsen’s headquarters in beautiful Warren, ME. Lie-Nielsen has a well-deserved reputation for being first class hosts, and this is sure to be no exception.
Lie-Nielsen Saw Sharpening Workshop, May 13-14 in Warren, ME.
Over the course of two days, I will cover the basics of saw tooth geometry before moving on to practice filing both rip and crosscut teeth.
Danish style frame saw made from Blackburn Tools hardware kit, blade, and plans.
Frame saw hardware: This hardware is basic, but well-made from stainless steel for reliable performance and durability. PDF plans for the saw are freely available.
Closeup of Danish frame saw.
Danish frame saw blade and hardware kit.
Frame saw blades: For far too long, woodworkers have had to choose between machine-sharpened and set Western style blades and those with Japanese teeth that cannot be resharpened. My sharpened blades fill the empty niche between those two. Made from premium 1095 spring steel, they cut as fast and cleanly as Japanese teeth, but are easily resharpened. Ready to cut out of the box, although like any other frame saw blade, tracking is often improved by dressing the side of the teeth once the saw is fitted to the frame. Blades are also available unsharpened for those who prefer to sharpen and set their own teeth.
For now, I am making two different blades: a 16″, 9 ppi and a 24″, 6 ppi blade. Both are filed rip. If there is demand for other sizes and configurations, I will expand the range.
Please not that any blades that are ordered now will not ship until the New Year.
DVDs: I’ve added a new DVD section, with three titles for the time being. The first is Build Your Own Classic Frame Saws, a DVD I made this summer with Popular Woodworking that covers the construction and use of the Roubo and Danish frame saws.
Well, the last few weeks have been a blur around here. I’m still not sure what happened, but I’ve been blindsided by a sudden influx of new orders. While I should be able to fill existing orders before Christmas, any orders that contain saw parts (for Roubo frame saws, Danish frame saws, or backsaws) placed after this point may not ship until the New Year. If you have any questions about when a potential order may ship, please email me at email@example.com.
Thanks to all of my friends, family, and customers for their support; without your help, Blackburn Tools simply would not be possible.
This summer, I was given the opportunity to shoot a video for Popular Woodworking. Over the course of two days in coastal Maine, we filmed a video that covers the construction and use of two frame saws; the first a Roubo frame saw, and the second a frame saw like that used by Tage Frid.
The DVD will be available on my website sometime next week, along with hardware and blades for building the Danish style frame saw.
A big thanks to Billy Sims, the producer, as well as David Thiel and the Popular Woodworking editors for making this possible.
40,000 square feet of architectural salvage and building supplies and home furnishings is a lot to search through in one day. Which is why I’m happy that I’ll be at the Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event hosted by Community Forklift both Friday and Saturday.
Remember, the admission to this event is free, and you will have a chance to play with a lot of beautiful tools, as well as talk to other people who share your passion for them. Hope to see a few of you there!
I have attended this show for several years now, and it never fails to impress me. While the obvious attraction is the world class selection of a mind-boggling array of woods, the live music, catered foods, and guest demonstrators (I’m particularly looking forward to meeting Steve Voigt this year) makes this an event not to be missed.
The Open House runs from Friday, September 30 – Saturday, October 1; I will be there both days.
Just a few days to go until the Lie-Nielsen Open House up in Maine…if you’re still on the fence, it’s time to hop down and get in your car. This is LN’s 35th anniversary, and it looks like they’re putting on a great celebration. With at least 30 of the finest toolmakers and top craftsmen coming from all over the nation (Happy Birthday to the US!), as well as several presentations sprinkled throughout the day, there’s something of interest for everyone.
If your Saturday evening is free, the evening lobster bake is highly recommended.
A little over a month ago, James Wright ordered a rebate saw-plane fence kit and Roubo frame saw kit from me. At the time, I had not heard of him, so it was a pleasant surprise when I learned that he was featuring their construction in two videos on his YouTube channel, Wood by Wright.
While waiting for those videos to come out, I had time to watch some of his work. James is dedicated to working wood entirely with hand tools, and does a great job of sharing what goes on in his shop. His natural and pleasant screen presence make for a thoroughly enjoyable viewing experience. As someone who dabbles in the blogging world, I keenly appreciate the dedication and discipline it takes to put those videos out on a regular schedule. Here’s hoping that he keeps it up for a long time to come and gains followers with whom to share the craft.
When I was sent an older Disston backsaw to rehandle, it was requested that I reuse the saw bolts and medallion. While there was nothing wrong with them, they were too short to reach through the new and larger handle. While I could have sunk them below the surface of the handle, such a solution would have looked awkward and amateurish. Rejection of that option meant the reach of the bolt or nut had to be extended. I chose to extend the bolt.
To extend the bolt, I used a short length of 1/4″ brass rod. I began by drilling a 1/8″ hole in one end, to a depth of about 3/8″. I then trued that end up so that the face was perpendicular to the sides. Finally, I filed a couple of grooves into the face to give the solder an easy entry point into the joint.
Drilling 1/8″ hole in bolt extension.
Grooves filed in extension for solder entry.
Next, I chucked the medallion in the lathe, then took light cuts to remove the existing threads. Because I did not want to damage the head of the bolt, I did not tighten the chuck as much as I could have or normally would, so limited myself to light cuts. I took multiple passes until I had turned the bolt shank down to 1/8″.
First pass at turning bolt shank down.
Approaching final diameter (1/8″) on existing bolt shank.
With the bolt still in the lathe, I slipped the extension over the reduced shank on the bolt, then used a scrap of metal rod mounted in the tailstock to hold it in place while I joined them with silver-bearing solder.
Soldering the extension onto the bolt.
With the extension in place, I turned to threading the new shank. Like Stanley, Disston used 12-20 threads, a size that has now fallen out of favor. 12-20 threads have a major diameter of 0.212 inches, so I first turned the extension down to that dimension in several light passes.
Turning bolt extension down to size.
Bolt extension turned to final diameter and ready for threading.
Because 12-20 threads are rarely used nowadays, the taps and dies needed to cut them are not commonly found items. While I do not own such a die, I do have a die head that can cut 12-20 threads in a pinch. Using 1/4″-20 chasers, I can adjust the die head to cut a 12-20 thread. I cut the threads in multiple light passes to prevent the cutting torque from spinning the bolt in the chuck. The video below shows a couple of those passes (the adjustment shown between threading passes reduces the diameter that the die cuts).
At the smallest setting, there was still a hint of a flat spot on the crest of the threads, so the nut would only thread on one or two turns before binding. With the lathe running, I used a three square needle file to finish off the thread.
I ran out of adjustment on the die chaser before the threads were entirely cut.
The finished threads.
And that’s it. After a little polishing on the lathe, these now look almost as good as new.
A dab of Autosol on 0000 steel wool took these from grungy to a near mirror polish in under 15 seconds.
The end results – a lot of work to add about 3/16″ of an inch!
The bolts installed in the new handle. The wood is Brazilian ebony.
Early this Saturday morning, the saw elves and I will pack up and head east for this weekend’s Lie-Nielsen Hand Tool Event®, which is being hosted by the Independence Seaport Museum (the event is located in the Boat Shop). We have never been there, and are really looking forward to seeing an aspect of woodworking that is new to us.
Although the event will be held on both Friday and Saturday, I will only be in attendance on Saturday.
Remember, the admission to these events is free, and you will have a chance to play with a lot of beautiful tools, as well as talk to other people who share your passion for them. Hope to see a few of you there!