Sharpening a Japanese Saw

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  • #752974
    sanford
    Participant

    Hi all. Anyone have any experience sharpening Japanese saws? I have a dozuki which I have been playing around with a bit. It does not have a replaceable blade, and the teeth do not look hardened, so I assume it is sharpenable. It looks to me as if it is filed for rip cuts. I may be wrong about that since (I believe) dozukis tend to be filed crosscut. Maybe I just do not know what to look for in a Japanese blade. In any event, at some point I want to try to sharpen it, but I have not found much good info. I am even a bit unclear on the files. Woodcraft has a single 4 inch “feather file” which it declares is good for all Japanese saws. Highland has three different feather files for saws with different numbers of teeth. That obviously sounds more plausible, but what do I know? If anyone has any help to offer on this (files and sharpening) it would be much appreciated. Thanks!

    Oh, I have no idea what brand this saw is. The sticker has no English on it. I bought it maybe 20 years ago some where or other when I was just trying out hand tools and wanted to cut some dovetails. It was a disaster. I gave up on all that until, years later, I found Paul’s videos and then his website. I got a Western dovetail saw and never pulled out the dozuki again till recently.

    #753135
    Fritz Walker
    Participant

    I’m no expert on this, but I do know some Japanese saws including some of the top tier brands have a combination sharpening profile that is good for both crosscut and rip. Exactly how they pull this off I cannot explain. Check out the Nakaya web site where you can find more information on the M270 Kataba.

    Fritz Walker

    #753159
    sanford
    Participant

    Thanks Fritz, i checked out their website. I do not know how Nakaya or other Japanese saw makers get their saws to do both cross cutting and ripping, but I do know that western saw makers sometimes do the same thing. Bad Axe (very pricy) has what they call hybrid saws, as well as straight rip and cross cut saws. And some of the most common blades for table saws are “combination” blades. These combination blades for table saws generally have two kinds of teeth which allow both cross cutting and ripping. For example, it is common to see raker teeth combined with alternating top bevel teeth (ATB-R). I cannot remember what Bad Axe does, if I ever knew, but I bet it is similar: two sorts of teeth. I vaguely remember some reference to two sorts of teeth on some Japanese saws as well. Maybe I misremember that.

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