Breaking teeth when setting

Discussion in 'Help Forum' started by Tom Meaney, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. Tom Meaney

    Tom Meaney New Member

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    4
    First off I am a novice woodworker.
    I have a Crownshaw & Chapman 14" backsaw I purchased at a used tool store. Teeth were in bad shape so I filed them down completely.
    I've never attempted filing in new teeth but I took my time and filed them in at 10 tpi. They came out reasonably well.
    As I set them about 4 to 6 teeth broke off. Is it something I'm doing or is the steel defective or what?
    Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. Underthedirt

    Underthedirt Most Valued Member

    Messages:
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    Hi, one thing that I always to do before setting the teeth on a hand saw is to warm up the plate slightly by leaving it in the sun for a little while, so the plate is not cold.
    If I may ask, how are you setting the teeth?
    Regards

    Mari
     
  3. Tom Meaney

    Tom Meaney New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Thank you for the reply. I am using one of the commercial saw set tools I purchased from Highland Woodworker. I got a tool for both fine teeth and course. I used the fine set tool setting the anvil at approx 12 on the tool.
    I live in Tucson Az so good strong sunshine is not difficult to find, thank you for the tip.

    Tom
     
  4. Dusty Shed Dweller

    Dusty Shed Dweller Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    93
    A quick answer to an issue that has raised essays before;

    1. The set itself;

    You mention that you have a pair of sets... I assume that they are the Somax (or equivalent) brand ones? These have a steeper anvil angle and hence are more prone to snap teeth than other common "plier" type sets (eg the Stanley 42 family). The numbers on the sets DO NOT correspond to the tooth spacing but are simply for reference. Always start at the lowest setting.

    Assuming that you don't have a dud plate (over-hard or poor, coarse grained steel)...

    2. The process;

    Don't work on a cold plate
    Use less set (3-5 thou each side is plenty on most saws) - you can always add more later.
    Work slowly and systematically and aim for consistent results - consistent set is a major factor in smoothly working saws.
    Always apply the set to the upper part quarter of the tooth DO NOT set lower in the tooth or you'll snap it off. With fleamed teeth aim try to set where the fleam angles meet.
    Side dress after setting to assist an even set.

    A scratchy looking cut surface indicates excessive set or an odd, over set tooth. I test and remove set until I get a saw that runs smoothly and leaves the desired quality of surface.
     
  5. Underthedirt

    Underthedirt Most Valued Member

    Messages:
    206
    +1 to what Dustysheddweller has posted above, also it can be easy to "lever or swing" on the pliers / set if one is not careful, & that can create extra unwanted leverage stress on the tooth. Just squeeze & relax, squeeze & relax etc, oh- & wear a glove...:)

    Regards

    Mari
     
  6. Tom Meaney

    Tom Meaney New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Thanks all for your input. As I suspected "Operator Error". I'm getting used to that. but I refuse to give up. Going to try again.

    Tom
     
  7. MarvW

    MarvW New Member

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    3
    Hi Tom,
    I bought a new Somax once, the blue one for setting the smaller teeth. The same thing happened to me. I had the anvil set at it's lowest setting. It started breaking teeth off one after the other. I had been using a Stanley 42X with no problems except when I needed to set teeth at the heal end of the blade, just below the handle. When an old saw has been filed a lot, the teeth get close to the handle. With a saw like that, the lower part of a 42X will hit the lower part of the handle and not be able to set the teeth. The Somax being made much shorter at the front end, can reach those teeth without hitting the handle. Removing the handle is the obvious solution, but sometimes you just don't want to remove a handle for various reasons. I ended up grinding off all the teeth on that saw and filing in new ones and never used that Somax again. When I compared the angle of the bevel on the Somax to the anvil on the 42X, I found a dramatic difference. The Somax had a 23 degree angle compared to only a 15 degree angle on the 42X. Heating the plate, as has been suggested sounds like a good idea, but I had been setting teeth with a 42X for years without thinking to heat the plate and never had that problem. Once in awhile I'd break a tooth or two, but I always contributed it to an extra hard plate or a hard spot on the tooth edge. I don't think it's operator error on your part. I've heard from several other saw filers who have had the same problem with the Somax. I now use two 42X,s. One I have modified for setting teeth 14PPI or smaller. The modification is grinding the front end of the hammer so the edges are at about a 45 degree angle, leaving the center 1/3 of the front surface unchanged. Don't grind the front surface, only the two edges. That angle is the same as the angle on the anvil. I finally came to realize that there is no need to set the teeth that are too close to the handle. Those teeth won't be doing much work anyway. So, I now use only a 42X. Good luck.... :)

    Marv
     
  8. Tom Meaney

    Tom Meaney New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Marv, Thank you for the input. I'm on the hunt for a 42X. Ebay here I come.

    Tom