Resharpen, Restore a Dovetail Saw
Five easy steps to a smooth, straight-cutting saw
Over the years, I have sent out dovetail saws for sharpening to many different services, and the results have ranged from fair to downright unacceptable. Consequently, I decided to bite the bullet and acquire the skills of saw sharpening myself. As it turns out, this task is not difficult, and the tools required are minimal.
Although all saws dull, not all can be resharpened. Japanese-style saws, which cut on the pull stroke, have thin, razor-sharp blades that are difficult to resharpen. When they dull, they often are sent out for sharpening or simply discarded. Western-style saws, which cut on the push stroke, have thicker blades that can be sharpened easily. And with my approach, any Western-style dovetail saw can be tuned up to perform as well as an expensive, finely tuned saw.
Most dovetail cuts are made with the grain, so I sharpen my dovetail saws with a rip-tooth pattern.…