Donald Porter, the V.P. of British Airways once said, "Customers don't expect you to be perfect. They expect you to fix things when they go wrong." This is a great model to look toward for any business looking to provide a form of customer service for their product. I have had a bout of non-existent customer service as of late, for some rather expensive pieces of equipment that are currently out for service. It is one thing when a mechanic or company only half does their job, but it is another when the customer is expected to pick up the slack. Just when I began to lose faith in the worlds ability to actually provide a product that works (or help when it doesn't) along came Garrett Wade's Parrot Vise.
Okay, so modern parlance is not my forte, and hip slang references to elaborate teeth are hard to come by.
Filing an entire new set of teeth by hand on a saw plate can be a very tedious and slow process. My most recent saw restoration project was a brief reminder of this tedium. This saw required me to file the teeth off of the plate entirely and file new ones in their stead, as the original teeth looked like they came from the mouth of a meth addict chewing limestone bubble gum. Once the right pitch was filed in, sharpening the saw was cake. This is why I have been searching the back alleys and speakeasies for a decent mechanical Retoother. Foley or Foley-Belsaw and Burr are of course often the popular answers to this common problem.
The problem with these machines is that they are difficult to find intact. They require ratchet and carrier bars which guide the saw through the machine and allow it to cut the appropriate teeth per inch, but the bars are almost never with the machines if the machines even operate in the first place. I considered a fly press with a triangular cutter to punch the teeth, and with a little jig I could cut the saw to any pitch required. Unfortunately, even a well worn antique fly press lies on the pricey side of the tool kingdom. This is why I was so excited to find a manually operated Foley Retoother with a bunch of ratchet bars for sale in Colorado. Apparently, no one wants the manual machines (why use meat power when electrons do the work?) so they tend to be less expensive. I actually prefer the manual machine as I can pay special attention to each tooth being punched. With a little machine work, I can even get this little guy to do progressive pitched saws, although I tend to agree with Mr. Andrew Lunn on the topic of progressive pitch.
|Foley Manual Retoother|
Sometimes life gets crazy and out of control but that is no reason not to cram in a little woodworking here and there (it's like Jell-O!). Between the day job, reorganizing the shop around my new power sources, and completing a bunch of "honey-do" (non-negotiable) projects, squeezing in time for some personal projects has been a little difficult... but nothing is impossible.
I found some spare minutes laying around in the evening this weekend and I immediately snatched them up and put them to work finishing this long overdue saw handle. I was very happy with the finished product...well, with one exception.