Foley machines or Jigs to assist filing

A forum about crosscut saw filing
Gavin Longrain
PostsCOLON 653
JoinedCOLON May 17th, 2012, 10:51 am
LocationCOLON Dalbeattie, near Dumfries, Scotland

Foley machines or Jigs to assist filing

Post by Gavin Longrain » July 7th, 2013, 12:50 pm

Foley made saw-sharpening machines. The file is held at a constant attitude and is drawn back and forth over the saw plate. When one tooth is filed, the file lifts up and the saw advances one tooth. This image may help
Because the file seems to be a right-angles to the saw plate, I guess this is a rip saw.

Question: Why would such a machine not be used for filing big-toothed crosscuts? Or even a jig to steer the tip of the file in exactly the right place. From my reading it seems big-toothed cross-cuts were all filed by hand and by eye, and that dedicated filing machinery - or even jigs - played no part.

I am offered a Foley at a fair price, so I am wondering if that is adaptable for cross-cuts.

User avatar
PostsCOLON 298
JoinedCOLON February 22nd, 2011, 12:31 pm
LocationCOLON Chiricahua Wilderness Area; Houston, Texas; Minneapolis

Re: Foley machines or Jigs to assist filing

Post by sumnergeo » July 7th, 2013, 2:52 pm

I've used these for handsaws and don't know how small the teeth per inch can go. Here is a set for sale: ... 77720.html

PostsCOLON 147
JoinedCOLON January 24th, 2013, 9:25 pm

Re: Foley machines or Jigs to assist filing

Post by soli » July 7th, 2013, 3:49 pm

Maybe because of the clear space to the left and right for needed for long saws?

If the arc of crosscuts was perfectly circular, it'd be relatively easy to build a special carriage, or adapt the factory carriages designed for handsaws. Then again, the arc radius varies from model to model, so that would add complexity. But it is a bit mute as few crosscuts live out their life with perfectly circular arcs. My intuition is that even the quality jigs that are used to hand join do not guarantee a circular arc because the flexibility of a file depends on its cross section, which varies from point to heel in general, with exceptions. There might also be precision issues such that even a minute deviation in arc uniformity would cause a pronounced difference in the quality of the sharpening job in terms of field performance, but it's hard for me to think clearly about that one.
Last edited by 1 on soli, edited 0 times in total.

User avatar
PostsCOLON 370
JoinedCOLON February 16th, 2011, 9:47 am
LocationCOLON Asheville, NC

Re: Foley machines or Jigs to assist filing

Post by trailcrew » July 7th, 2013, 4:34 pm

My understanding is that a number of professional handsaw filers use Foleys to retooth saws. They then finish the teeth by hand. I'm not familiar with the settings or adjustments you can make on a Foley, but perhaps it would be useful for reprofiling teeth or "v"ing out rakers.
Tuatahi in New Zealand manufactures a jig for saw filing. Pictured below. At some point, I plan on making one of my own from stock aluminum and a knife sharpening jig I have. I'll certainly post pictures whenever I get it done.

PostsCOLON 122
JoinedCOLON July 31st, 2014, 11:33 am
LocationCOLON Bella Vista Arkansas

Re: Foley machines or Jigs to assist filing

Post by dayle1960 » April 29th, 2017, 11:50 pm

Gavin, I have the opportunity to get my hands on one of these machines for $25. The only downside is the weight of the machine and the associated cost of having it shipped. Would you know approximately how much the Foley filer weighs?



PostsCOLON 210
JoinedCOLON February 19th, 2011, 9:02 am
LocationCOLON Southwest Washington State

Re: Foley machines or Jigs to assist filing

Post by Starling_Saw » May 1st, 2017, 5:39 pm

From my experience with the Foley handsaw sharpeners, they work OK for Carpenter handsaws and some circular saw applications. Because the cutter teeth of a large crosscut saw tends to be a complex convex shape, it is best to hand file the teeth. To get the proper convex shape (Almond shape) it takes a bit of a knack and lots of practice. and Only a 5 axis CNC machine might be able to do the same movement with a file. I have sharpened a few Tuatahi lance tooth saws that were sharpened on a CNC machine as new. The cutter teeth on these, had a slight concave shape to the bevel because of the type and size of the CBN wheel used to grind the tooth. So the possibility of a machine being used to file or grind a crosscut saw is possible. Cost ???? You would have to build a lot of saws to make it cost effective.
There are a few Foley Re-toothers and filing machines in my area here, but most are in the $2500 - $3000 range. with lots of extra parts and saw steel blanks. For the few carpenter hand saws that are being used now a days, the cost is prohibitive. that would be a bit of money to just sit and rust.