Filer Guide for Hand-Saws




Sharpening a saw can be one of the most "difficult" tasks for a woodworker. I built this guide for sharpening hand-saw teeth at the required relief angles, for both rip saw and crosscut saw.

Inspired in an old tool from 1987 hard to achieve (at least where I live) and using materials available to anyone, I show you the step by step to make it by yourself.

  • It is very important to clarify that the files work only forward. Therefore, the force when sharpening only has to be in that direction and the backwards without pressing, thus, we will avoid premature wear of the file.

If you like the video please Subscribe to my Youtube Channel.

I would also apologize for my English as a non-native English speaker some terms are very difficult for me. Forward, Intractable!! I will be happy to answer any questions.

Step 1: Material and Tools



Step 2: Guide Bed

The first thing we have to do is the guide that will help us to maintain the sharpening system straight at all times.

I used beech wood and two iron plates, I leave the photos with the measurements used. I cut off the ends of the pieces of wood squarely and the interiors curved.

To calculate the bolting distance of the plates, I took the thicker blade of my hand saw as reference in order to be able to be used with more hand saws.

Step 3: A and B Guides

Guide A:

For this guide I came up with the idea of using a brass hinge that I cut in such a way that on one side it served as a sliding guide and on the other to calculate the point of the wanted degree.

This guide is designed to sharpen crosscut and rip saw so I marked the different angles in the wood and pointed out with some small brass tips. To attach the "hinge" to the wood I used a 4mm double thread screw and a finger nut.

Guide B:

We have to make a support that can be adjusted in height since it will be the one which marks the size of the tooth. I made it in a simply way using a 5mm steel rod that I bent at 90º and incrusted into the top of the wood. I used a 6mm wood insert and a wing nut for fastening.

Step 4: Handle for Needle File

To hold the file I made a structure with Elondo wood, 2 steel rods and a handle for needle files. I leave the measurements that I used for a file of 15m, in the case of using larger files you only have to increase the length of the steel rods.

I cut and drilled the 2 pieces of wood. For this, I used 2 templates printed on paper that I attach in the Instructable. I marked the silhouette of the handle and with the help of a chisel I embedded it in the wood sticking it with epoxy.

I cut the steel rods with the right size for my file and threaded the ends to be screwed. This step is done with a mini proxxon fd150 lathe but you can also do it with a dril press. I made this step with a mini proton FD150 lathe, but you can also make it with a drill press.

Step 5: Montaje Final Y Conclusiones

To protect the wood I use transparent wax for wood and join all the parts of the guide with its corresponding screws.

I'm happy with the final result, it takes a little time to hold the saw blade and adjust the guide but then the process is very very fast.

This is just an idea and I'm sure many of you will improve it, I just ask that if anyone creates their own guide let me know!



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    16 Discussions


    8 months ago

    Very nice tool! The video was thoroughly enjoyable to watch, it's easy to tell the work you put in producing it. Great work man


    8 months ago

    At the begging of the great video you hammer the teeth removing the set.

    Then you flatten the teeth and proceed to sharpening the teeth using your great device.

    How do you re-set the teeth? As it looks you have nicely sharpened angles all in a straight line I do not see how that would cut very well without set to the teeth.


    2 replies

    Reply 8 months ago

    Hi Ralph

    One would use a saw set (saw tooth setter) to reset the teeth to the angle you want.

    Here is an example of my Eclipse No. 77.


    Reply 8 months ago

    Thanks that is what I was looking for.

    Seems like you should have included setting the teeth in your video. As it is the saw blade illustrated is useless.


    8 months ago on Step 5

    Beautiful project. Eventually, it could be a museum piece. The Stradivarius of saw sharpeners!


    8 months ago

    Holy moly! This is absolutely gorgeous. I really admire your patience! This project looks so clean and well made! You are a true craftsman! Voted, followed, subscribed! Keep up the good work! Pretty interesting choice for music in the video :D

    1 reply

    Reply 8 months ago

    After hearing this, I can go sleep happy! ;-) Thank you for your support!!


    8 months ago

    Very nice built on such a tool. And it would be extremely great to built IF you used a lot of hand saws or refurbished them for yourself or others. But to built one for a few hand saws that I own and hardly ever use, would be just for the fun of it and probably wouldn't get utilized much at all. But very nice quality work, that's for sure.

    1 reply

    Reply 8 months ago

    I mostly use it to refurbish old saws and the truth is that I am very happy with it, thanks for your comment!!