Lost Set

A forum about crosscut saw filing

Re: Lost Set

Postby sumnergeo » February 7th, 2018, 7:00 am

I had to go through a setting routine with a ruler in hand to figure out the answer!

I have a large (16X11X1.25 inch) piece of flat steel that I use as an anvil. the edge is beveled and rounded with a 1/8 inch radius.

After running along the length of saw with a spider, let's say set for 0.014", I mark all the under and over set teeth. Repeat for the other side. I can feel or hear how much a tooth needs to move with the tap or rock of the spider on the long arm (underset) or short arms (overset) and have confirmed this with a feeler gauge. For the underset teeth, I start with the tooth overhanging the edge of my anvil by 3/8". I whack hard on the tooth exactly at the edge of the anvil and then move out on the tooth 1/16" from the edge and hit two or three times with lighter blows. The number of hits varies with how much I think the tooth has to move.

Measure again along the length of the saw with the spider. Typically the teeth that didn't need much set are now okay. Back to hammering. On this pass, I will have the teeth over hanging by 5/16". Again, hard whacks (I do this to make sure I have the hammer hitting the saw plate correctly) at the edge and then shift out 1/16" and two or three strikes of the hammer.

Measure again along the length of the saw. By now, most teeth are properly set. For those that aren't, I'll repeat with a couple more hammer strikes until all is properly set. If I have a tooth that really won't move enough, I will shift the overhang to 1/4" and repeat my setting technique. If that doesn't work and it is only a tooth or two, I have broken enough teeth to know that one underset tooth is not that big a deal and underset is better than snapping off the tip.

For overset teeth, I put the saw plate and tooth on my anvil and tap the back about 3/16" from the tip.

As to the canvas sheath versus U-channel, on the trail I carry my D-handle between my back and the pack so the canvas sheath is much friendlier to my back. For transporting to the trailhead, I'll use the U-channel to protect the set!
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Re: Lost Set

Postby soli » February 14th, 2018, 4:55 am

I have a large (16X11X1.25 inch) piece of flat steel that I use as an anvil. the edge is beveled and rounded with a 1/8 inch radius.


Thanks, I'll give your 50lb stationary anvil a try. Do you set along the 16" or 11" or 1" length? The thought of carrying a saw against my back gives me the willies. I clip a shoulder strap onto my 5-1/2" and carry it parallel to the trail.

backhone to exact set.


Another good tip (pun not intended).
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Re: Lost Set

Postby sumnergeo » February 17th, 2018, 11:31 am

Only carry a D-handle against my back since it leaves my hands free. Long saws I carry similarly.

I use the longest side so I keep repositioning to a minimum.
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