Chris Schwarz's Blog

Movie: Cutting Saw Teeth on a Hand-cranked Retoother

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There is always something going on at The Woodwright’s School in Pittsboro, N.C. Today as Roy Underhill and I were rehearsing to shoot two shows of the “The Woodwright’s Shop,” Tom Calisto was teaching a class at the school on making a dovetail saw.

During a break in the action, Tom show me how to run the Foley Automatic Retoother he uses to cut saw teeth on new sawblades. The hand-cranked retoother uses a track to pull the blade under the punch. The rake is set by angling the track as it passes by the punch.

Within a few minutes of setting up the machine, Tom was cranking out sawteeth on some webs for some frame saws.

Very cool.

— Christopher Schwarz

7 thoughts on “Movie: Cutting Saw Teeth on a Hand-cranked Retoother

  1. bloodsweatsawdust

    Very cool. A friend of mine has one of these, but I haven’t had time to see it in action yet. I have an old 5ppi Disston rip saw, but have been getting the itch to make my own 7ppi rip saw. I am assuming that you still need to give the saw a good filing after cutting the teeth, correct?

  2. metalworkingdude

    There is some kind of curse associated with those machines. I’ve looked at three or four that showed up for sale locally, and gobs of them on ebay, and none of them seem to have the tracks that advance the blade through the cutter. Typically they came with several tracks for different TPI pitches, and you could order more for specialty tooth counts.

    Somewhere there is an evil troll sitting on a pile of re-toother parts, laughing manically.

    1. tsstahl

      I’ve been looking for a toother on and off for about a year now. You must have a different ebay than I do. :(

      As far as I can tell nobody even makes something like this new. Then again, I don’t have ‘ins’ with the manufacturing machinery crowd.

      Granted, leads could be found easily enough if I were truly serious about it. :)

  3. slotteo

    I have a friend who has come across a Floey saw machine. It has a manual with it, with instructions, and a parts list. I am going to try to get it and set it up. Anyone interested in helping me out.

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