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Saw doctor

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Bob Lamb06/10/2019 17:05:50
133 forum posts
42 photos

I know this isn't model engineering but does anyone know a good saw doctor to sharpen my dovetail saws? I am in London but I am sure it could be done by post. The important thing is that he/she should be good. I used to have them done when I taught woodwork at a school (in the days when it was a real subject). I then got them done at a local tool shop - but this closed down. My favourite one is from about 1965 and I don't want to have a go myself as I have neither the skill nor the patience! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated and, I am sure, would be of use to others.

Thanks in advance, Bob

ega06/10/2019 17:28:00
2539 forum posts
201 photos

Axminster Power Tools sell some fancy dovetail saws and might help you.

I agree that it would be useful to know if any saw doctors survive. I used to sharpen and set my own but, like you, am not now confident of doing so.

I now tend to reach for a Japanese pull-saw whose blade can, of course, be replaced when blunt.

Edited By ega on 06/10/2019 17:28:25

Philip Burley06/10/2019 18:02:22
198 forum posts
1 photos

I spent my whole working life as a saw doctor in various saw mills , with a good sideline sharpening hand saws . The cost of proper files and cheap hard tips saws put an end to that , these days deteriorating eyesight prevents me doing the fine tooth ones , bur still sharpen my own hand saw ,


JohnF06/10/2019 18:10:56
1152 forum posts
190 photos

Bob have a look at Skelton Saws **LINK** they make excellent hand made traditional saws and may well be able to assist


Bob Lamb06/10/2019 23:19:01
133 forum posts
42 photos

Thanks for the replies - the Skelton saw link was certainly fascinating to watch but somehow I don't think I could justify the price of a new one (even though I would like one) and I suspect my poor old saws would not be worthy of his attention! I would imagine that, if he sharpens saws, he would have more than enough work sharpening his own bespoke ones.

I don't use mine that often now and suspect they will have to carry on as they are. I always had great respect for the saw doctor and remember the difference he used to make. Yet another example of progress....... but I live in hope.


peak407/10/2019 01:52:17
1713 forum posts
183 photos

You could try East Midland Saw Services, in Sheffield, who I used to sharpen several saws for me last year; dovetail, tenon,and hand saws. With the back saws, he even enquired whether I wanted them crosscut or rip; the hand saws were obvious.
The sharpening was fine, but he's not as sympathetic with the handles as I'd like. I think I'd take the handles off at home before posting the blades, always assuming he offers a mail order service.

He should by now have got his Foley tooth cutting machine up and running again, so aught to be able to guillotine old teeth off and re-cut at a different pitch.


pgk pgk07/10/2019 05:21:09
2563 forum posts
293 photos

Back in the day my Dad used to get his saws sharpened here: Bedfords Saw & Tool

I can't comment on their current quality since we're going back 60 yrs but they are still in business.

Not too bad a run from London

Andrew Moyes 107/10/2019 08:45:16
145 forum posts
23 photos

Tewkesbury Saw Company can be recommended.


JohnF07/10/2019 11:02:37
1152 forum posts
190 photos

Bob, have look at these links,




I don't know where you are located but if close enough to Harrogate there is a woodwork show there in November and I'm pretty sure there may well be a demo on saw sharpening ?

Even so you have little to loose by having a go yourself, buy an old saw of a car boot or ??? study the links and have a try. It is indeed and art and will only come with practise but you may well surprise yourself !


Bob Lamb07/10/2019 11:26:11
133 forum posts
42 photos

Thanks again for the all the replies. I have contacted East Midlands Saw Services and they are going to do them by post. They said they are very busy at the moment and it would probably take two or three weeks but that isn't the end of the world. I will report back when they are returned but it has cheered me up to know in this throwaway era there are still people left with the skills to maintain old tools.


larry phelan 107/10/2019 13:16:17
1180 forum posts
15 photos

There used to be many saw doctors in Dublin years ago, now I don't think there are any left. Indeed there are very few small workshops of any kind left.

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