OldTools Archive

Recent Bios FAQ

274470 Brian Ward <bri@a...> 2021‑08‑31 Re: Saws/pros/etc [was: Re: No saw painting here]
Regarding Foleys and other saw filing machines: This is definitely true in North
America, but the articles I was originally referencing are English in origin. I
don't know how much we need to rehash it, but there's a historical refrain that
automation was of prime importance in the US/Canada because skilled labor was in
such short supply.

I don't know how common saw filing machines were over in England (and the UK in
general), but I sure can't seem to find any online listings for any, and all of
the big-name manufacturers (at least that I know about) were American. Now, I'm
only speculating here, but knowing how the general woodworking trade progressed
in both places, it might not be a stretch to suspect that saw sharpening by hand
might have been common in England at the time that the articles were written.

Perhaps someone over on the other side of the Atlantic can provide some actual

Anyways, I guess I should give my not-too-valuable take on the Foleys. They are
super neat to see in action. Was it Kirk's that I've seen? I don't know how much
I trust one to sharpen a saw, but again, that is speculation without actual
experience. (I'd need to run experiments, which is unlikely to happen unless
someone around here has one and an abundance of time and patience.)

Aside: For a somewhat related and perhaps amusing take on bandsaw sharpening,
here is a July 1909 article from "The Wood-Worker" (not to be confused with "The
Woodworker;" read a little and you'll see why):


Recent Bios FAQ