Cross cut saw knowledge

discussion of anything related to tools

Moderators: jrccaim, Bob_Fleet, gavin, Robin Fawcett, HughSpencer

Cross cut saw knowledge

Postby gavin » Tue May 29, 2012 6:43 am

Here is a good forum for those interested in saw maintenance. If you don't have ( or want to use) a chainsaw, you will benefit from some saw better than a hard-to-steer straight bowsaw.
Maintaining these big saws is not impossible to do yourself but is potentially confusing. I am learning loads just now! :D
Gavin Phillips


- teacher, demonstrator & supporter of greenwoodworking & human-powered turning
- Supplier of Fun & Confidence

info@shed-therapy.com
http://www.shed-therapy.com
User avatar
gavin
Regular
 
Posts: 1595
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 4:17 pm
Location: Dalbeattie, near Dumfries, Scotland

Re: Cross cut saw knowledge

Postby nnykamp » Tue May 29, 2012 4:23 pm

I'll second gavin's recommendation of this forum. In the US, much of the land under the control of the Forest Service prohibits the use of chainsaws so there are a good number of people who use the large crosscut saws on a weekly or daily basis for trial maintenance and the like. Like gavin mentioned, large crosscuts take some unique methods to sharpen, but its no harder than putting a good edge on anything else.

One other thing: Many saw doctors will make mention of specialized tools for sharpening (spiders, raker gauges). These can be rather hard to get, or really expensive. Some of these you can make(spiders), some can be done without(raker gauges) if you are careful and not planning on starting a career as a saw doctor.

Check the forum for more info.
User avatar
nnykamp
Regular
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:15 pm
Location: Iowa, United Sates

Re: Cross cut saw knowledge

Postby JermyB » Wed May 30, 2012 1:04 pm

Gavin

I bought a Flinn Garlick 1 man crosscut saw about a year ago and I was surprised when I looked down the teeth that the shape was more like a rip saw rather than the shark tooth crosscut type profile (see picture below).

profile.gif
profile.gif (6.51 KiB) Viewed 17649 times


I am guessing they only way Garlick would be able to achieve this profile is to file each tooth by hand which for a saw that cost £70 would be un-economical. I did a bit of research via Roy Underhill's book and good old Youtube to try and pick up some pointers. I decided that I would convert the Flinn Garlick tooth profile myself. The tooth profile of the Garlick is an "M" profile, see below. From the limited research I did it seems as though this profile is used more commonly in Europe and it is a good compromise between ease of manufacture and cutting performance.

300px-Crosscut_saw_tooth_patterns.jpg
300px-Crosscut_saw_tooth_patterns.jpg (24.48 KiB) Viewed 17649 times


1. Jointing (i.e. setting all the teeth level is easy to do by 'brightening' the tops of all the teeth with a flat file. I was surprised by the variation is tooth height on my very new Garlick :?

2. This "M" profile does however throw up and quandary about raker teeth. The grouping of the teeth does not lend itself to a very uniform raker tooth pitch and so I just had to make it is good as possible (I think I went for 4 or 5 cutting teeth to every 1 raker tooth). I found the rakers depth quite easy to set, you just need to chose what depth you want (recommended in Roy Underhill's book) and then use a feeler gauge to ensure the rakers are set back slightly from the main cutters.

3. When it came to shaping the new cutters this was remarkably easy with a triangular saw file. The steel is easy to work and although time consuming, it is quite therapeutic really.

4. The last operation of 'setting' was not applicable for my saw. The set on the Garlick is good from new and so I kept it the same. I am told the small hand held saw setters are too small for large cross cuts and some people talk of a small hammer and hand anvil. The amount of set also varies with wood type but there are some good recommendations online as to the optimum set.

The result is a saw that is now AMAZING to use :D . I would guess that I have increased the speed through a piece of wood by 50% easily. It is like bring a old axe head back to a razor sharp edge, absolute joy.
You can always take more off...
User avatar
JermyB
Regular
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:02 pm
Location: Nottinghamshire, UK

Re: Cross cut saw knowledge

Postby davestovell » Wed May 30, 2012 8:31 pm

This might be of interest, It is a US crosscut users saw manual.

http://www.fs.fed.us/eng/pubs/pdfpubs/pdf77712508/pdf77712508dpi300.pdf

I found it after one of those link chases! :D
User avatar
davestovell
Regular
 
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:33 pm
Location: braintree

Re: Cross cut saw knowledge

Postby Darrell » Wed May 30, 2012 11:42 pm

Perfect timing Gavin!

I went to an auction on Friday last, and picked up a sledge hammer, a double bit axe (in dire need of a handle) and a 2-man cross cut saw.

I tossed the hammer in the garage, to be ignored until such time as I need to destroy something, and brought the axe & saw to the Scout camp on the weekend. I scavenged a slightly too small piece of white ash for a new axe handle, and got it mostly fitted on Saturday. Left the rest until last night, the handle is now installed and the axe head has much less rust than it did last week. Not sharp yet, as I think I may remove the handle and try again. I'm not happy with it, but maybe I'll try sharpening and using it first to see how bad it really is...

I did a very rough sharpening job on the saw at camp with the one file I had in my tool kit, and set the Scouts to work on some firewood. They did OK, but I need to sharpen the rakers properly I think. Especially after spending some time on that crosscut website. I have now discovered a whole new world of sharpening. There are a number of tools I need to acquire to allow me to properly sharpen my big saws. And even better, the subtle remarks I was getting due to having TWO crosscut saws can now be easily deflected. My first saw is a Bucking saw, the new one is a Felling saw. They are for very different tasks, not the same thing at all!

Life is good when you have lots of tools and have a perfectly good reason to acquire more, and an unknowing enabler like Gavin to help out...
Wood Hoarder, Blade Sharpener, and Occasional Tool User
User avatar
Darrell
Regular
 
Posts: 127
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2006 8:42 pm
Location: Oakville Ontario, Canada

Re: Cross cut saw knowledge

Postby gavin » Thu May 31, 2012 8:09 am

JermyB wrote:...This "M" profile does however throw up and quandary about raker teeth. The grouping of the teeth does not lend itself to a very uniform raker tooth pitch and so I just had to make it is good as possible (I think I went for 4 or 5 cutting teeth to every 1 raker tooth)..

I am an absolute newbie to all of this, so my next question is serious: Does an "M" profile have raker teeth? I thought it had not. The fact you have a saw that works at least 50% better is telling indeed.

I am delighted you have so wonderfully increased your saw's performance.
Gavin Phillips


- teacher, demonstrator & supporter of greenwoodworking & human-powered turning
- Supplier of Fun & Confidence

info@shed-therapy.com
http://www.shed-therapy.com
User avatar
gavin
Regular
 
Posts: 1595
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 4:17 pm
Location: Dalbeattie, near Dumfries, Scotland

Re: Cross cut saw knowledge

Postby gavin » Thu May 31, 2012 10:02 am

Jermy B,
You indicate above your saw is an 'M' pattern. Does your saw look like this, with straight gullets and 3 teeth between gullets?
Attachments
Flinn Garlick How its made saw.png
Flinn Garlick How its made saw.png (63.63 KiB) Viewed 17594 times
Gavin Phillips


- teacher, demonstrator & supporter of greenwoodworking & human-powered turning
- Supplier of Fun & Confidence

info@shed-therapy.com
http://www.shed-therapy.com
User avatar
gavin
Regular
 
Posts: 1595
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 4:17 pm
Location: Dalbeattie, near Dumfries, Scotland

Re: Cross cut saw knowledge

Postby nnykamp » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:57 pm

I think what you have there gavin is a Great American Pattern. If you look closely at JeremyB's diagram, you'll see that the M tooth goes cutter/raker/cutter/raker. I believe with a Great American pattern, you'd have a cutter centered between two swaged rakers.
User avatar
nnykamp
Regular
 
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:15 pm
Location: Iowa, United Sates

Re: Cross cut saw knowledge

Postby JermyB » Fri Jun 01, 2012 3:24 pm

Gavin
The saw I have is exactly what you have. In response to "nnykamps" comment

nnykamp wrote:I think what you have there gavin is a Great American Pattern. If you look closely at JeremyB's diagram, you'll see that the M tooth goes cutter/raker/cutter/raker. I believe with a Great American pattern, you'd have a cutter centered between two swaged rakers.


I concluded that the saw profile is a cross between the "Great American" and the "M" pattern. From online searches I couldn't find an actual name for the exact shape that Garlick use.

In regard to your question regarding raker teeth...

gavin wrote:so my next question is serious: Does an "M" profile have raker teeth? I thought it had not.


My understanding of raker teeth is they are designed to remove the swarf from the kerf. To do this they need to be a tiny bit shorter than the cutter teeth so they do not actually touch the un-cut fibres, instead they draw out the debris. For a raker tooth to do this it needs to be shaped more like a rip saw tooth profile and not like a sharks tooth. It also helps if they are shaped like the tooth at the very left hand end of the "Champion pattern" (see the diagram at the beginning of the post).

I had a big quandary whether to include raker teeth in or not with the Garlick. The tooth profile does not immediately imply there SHOULD be raker teeth but my concern is that without ANY then I would end up will loads of cutting teeth and no teeth to clear out the swarf (especially when cutting fibrous green wood). Therefore I took inspiration from a standard BACHO bowsaw blade (the ones with rakers). On these they have about 3-4 cutting teeth (shark tooth shaped) and then 2 raker teeth. If it works for them I thought it should be OK for me.

I am writing this at work at the moment (boo) but when I get home tonight I will try and get some pictures, and post them here.

P.S. DO NOT tried to remove the handle of the Garlick when you come to sharpen it (it is the norm to clamp it in-between two planks to try and stop vibration). They have done something funny to the handle and it will not come off. I think they have drilled the holes in the wood/metal at the same time resulting in large burrs on the entry/exit of the steel sheet which have now subsequently fixed the handle to the saw. I fractured and nearly broke my handle trying to get it off.
You can always take more off...
User avatar
JermyB
Regular
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:02 pm
Location: Nottinghamshire, UK

Re: Cross cut saw knowledge

Postby davestovell » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:37 pm

Jermyb said
I think they have drilled the holes in the wood/metal at the same time resulting in large burrs on the entry/exit of the steel sheet which have now subsequently fixed the handle to the saw. I fractured and nearly broke my handle trying to get it off.


If you watch this video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_qf9QGHfBg

And go to 3:22 you will see them doing exactly this.
User avatar
davestovell
Regular
 
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:33 pm
Location: braintree

Re: Cross cut saw knowledge

Postby gavin » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:24 pm

Jermy B above describes his filing and re-profiling of a Flinn-Garlick saw which is in fact a Great American ( 3 points per set) and not an M tooth pattern ( 2 points per set).
For this information I rely not on my slender knowledge of this topic, but this post on http://www.crosscutsawyer.com .

To sum that all up, long-established wisdom is that Great American saw needs no rakers. Now because Jermy B has shortened some teeth to make the shorter ones into rakers and has had at least a 50% improvement in his saw - this could indicate:
    1. he has stumbled on an exciting discovery :shock: or
    2. The saw before he sharpened it was not very sharp and he was just restoring it to where it was or should have been when it left the factory, or
    3. I am about to learn some new and interesting thing I have not yet thought of :D

I am in communication with Katie Flinn of that company. She is highly responsive and I imagine will offer further comment after she returns from USA.
Gavin Phillips


- teacher, demonstrator & supporter of greenwoodworking & human-powered turning
- Supplier of Fun & Confidence

info@shed-therapy.com
http://www.shed-therapy.com
User avatar
gavin
Regular
 
Posts: 1595
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 4:17 pm
Location: Dalbeattie, near Dumfries, Scotland

Re: Cross cut saw knowledge

Postby JermyB » Fri Jun 01, 2012 6:55 pm

Gavin

I have taken some pictures of the Garlick saw that I re-sharpened. I have gone for a pattern of 4x cutters ~ 2x rakers ~ 4x cutters ~ 2x cutters, repeated all the way along. I have spaced it so that the pair of rakers is either side of a deep gullet so that the debris has somewhere to go. This seems to keep a regular pattern of left / right hand cutters plus rakers. I'm assuming that an uneven number of cutter/rakers could cause the saw to veer off to the left/right.

I am not professing to be any expert on saw sharpening (this was the first saw I had sharpened :? ). What I did recognise is that the Garlick saw (from new) seemed to create dust not flakes of debris. All the reading I did about crosscut saws at the time described the best type of tooth shape for cutting across the grain was knife-shaped, the Garlick one just look too chisel like in comparison. My decision to keep some rakers in was purely based on the fact that I can easy turn rakers into cutters, but it is significantly difficult to turn cutters back into rakers. I don't think Garlick have a "sharpening guide" for their saws and I could not find one bespoke to the American tooth pattern, so I had to take a bit of flyer based on several document I read. Who knows if I turn every single one into a cutter I may get even better performance.

Rightly or wrongly, the modifications that I did have made (in my opinion) a significant difference to the time through a log. The debris is also much flakier and larger than before.

P.S. I've just watched the video showing how the attached the handle, no wonder I couldn't get it off.

2012_06_01~18_10_12-9 (533x640) (333x400).jpg
2012_06_01~18_10_12-9 (533x640) (333x400).jpg (106.33 KiB) Viewed 17542 times


2012_06_01~18_12_40-9 (640x427) (400x267).jpg
2012_06_01~18_12_40-9 (640x427) (400x267).jpg (91.55 KiB) Viewed 17542 times


2012_06_01~18_11_01-9 (480x640) (300x400).jpg
2012_06_01~18_11_01-9 (480x640) (300x400).jpg (90.46 KiB) Viewed 17542 times
You can always take more off...
User avatar
JermyB
Regular
 
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:02 pm
Location: Nottinghamshire, UK

Re: Cross cut saw knowledge

Postby davestovell » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:33 pm

Nice photos, thanks :D
User avatar
davestovell
Regular
 
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 4:33 pm
Location: braintree

Re: Cross cut saw knowledge

Postby gavin » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:46 pm

JermyB wrote:...the Garlick saw (from new) seemed to create dust not flakes of debris...

Well that's just plain wrong! I wonder if they test 'em before they leave factory?
If I bought a saw 2nd hand, I'd want to see it cut. And if I could not see it cut, I'd want to see its swarf.

Swarf is fascinating - I often ask people I teach to look at the swarf from any process: shave-horse whittling, bowl-lathe turning, spindle-lathe turning, cross-cutting or ripping logs. The swarf lets you look inside the cut. Feather-y edges tell you you ain't cutting, rather you are scraping and tearing. Sometimes I will hold swarf up to the light to show where it is thick or thin. I have yet to put a micrometer on it, but I will! :lol:

I wonder if it would be a big ask for a saw maker to supply the swarf from that saw along with the saw - as a witness to the quality it had when it left the factory?
Would such a 'swarf witness' be helpful to buyers? Or am I off on an anorak's analytical joyride...?
Gavin Phillips


- teacher, demonstrator & supporter of greenwoodworking & human-powered turning
- Supplier of Fun & Confidence

info@shed-therapy.com
http://www.shed-therapy.com
User avatar
gavin
Regular
 
Posts: 1595
Joined: Mon May 16, 2005 4:17 pm
Location: Dalbeattie, near Dumfries, Scotland

Re: Cross cut saw knowledge

Postby Bob_Fleet » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:32 pm

You seem very swarf eager Gavin.
http://www.onegoodturn.co.uk

Society is like a stew. If you don't keep it stirred up, you get a lot of scum on top.--Edward Abbey

Come and see us all at http://www.wooplaw.org.uk
User avatar
Bob_Fleet
Regular
 
Posts: 666
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:11 pm
Location: Sunny Dunbar

Next

Return to Tools

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests