Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Dozuki rehab

So, today I was sitting drinking tea when the postman rings the bell. I had forgotten I had an EMS saw coming my way.

It was less than 10 euros plus expensive shipping. But EMS is so fast that it's almost worth it.

Here the saw, together with my dozuki:

Close up to the nice surface:

I know, it looks like crap, but somehow I had the impression it was only surface rust. Comparing the teeth, the one I got has slightly larger teeth, that's nice for sharpening.

Ok, if you look closely you will realise the steel was cleaned with a file as I described in a previous post. THIS is the way to go, the saw cuts so much better, and if you work hard enough it will look like new.

That was around lunch, a test cut in spruce. From another side:

Later, I made the teeth longer, it was a bit slow with this chubby teeth, like 2 passes deeper, not much. I also changed the handle, it was impossible to clean with the old one.

All in all, 3 hours of work and it's ready to go with her sisters.

And yes! I sold the workbench. It felt good, we are selling it to the son of the woman who bought our shoemaking tools. It was a present for her husband, a physicist who wants to move into the shoemaking thing. Sounds like a nice coincidence. Funny enough, the daughter works in the same institute I do, Graz is a small town.

Edit: Some pictures for Ernest, hope this clarifies the cleaning. With a Ryoba I would use a larger file but as Ernest says Dosuki are more delicate so you need to be imaginative.

 Then I put the feather file on one of its sides, it's not so stable but that helps to make light passes. Maybe I make some magnetic holder later, but at the moment it works. It's also a great use for used files. When you sharpen the gullet edge is the first on dying, and the rest of the file is pretty much new but you cannot use it for sharpening anymore, just for jointing.

This is a Ryoba, I thought I had put this picture already. As you can see I use both the safe side (which works as a kind of scraper) and the cut side which you don't see. 

I want to get something like this. In german they are called Riffelfeile, I'm getting some next month when Julia goes to germany, like that I save the shipping.

I think this kind of file would be easier to use in saws than the ones I'm using. Since the saw is not flat but has an slight hollow in the middle you need a file that is curved so it can go there.


  1. Looking nice. Are you planning on working on the floor?

    1. Thanks! yep, I have no other option now. The wood on the back is for making a planing beam and some horses, nothing fancy since in 3 months will go to the oven. I also don't have much wood left, just a bit to make some boxes for our kitchen stuff so almost anything will do. I wanted to try it tho, In Chile I have a Roubo bench but I was thinking on making a japanese style room in the workshop, will see.


  2. Your space is so neat and tidy - can I send you some of the clutter from my shop? I look forward to you doing posts about setting and "tensioning".

    1. My wife doesn't agree with you Paul... I do use the pictures as an excuse for cleaning, it works.

      Tensioning will come, I just need some time to learn to use FEM and an anvil, I guess in may.

  3. Hello,

    "...cleaned with a file as mentioned in a previous posting."
    Where might that be S, I'm curious? I have a small douzuki in need of a clean but then oh so tender because of its diminutive scale. Thought you might point me in the good direction.



    1. Hi Ernest,
      I meant the shortening saws post, but I realised I didn't upload the picture I was thinking of. So you got new ones. Hope they are useful. I just file enough to clean the teeth, you don't need to go crazy on it, this is a 0.35mm blade so I want her to last a few decades. Let me know how it goes the cleaning.


  4. Hello,
    nice little dozuki, I don't think the curved rifflers would be of great use here, why don't you use the kind of scraper the mechanics use on steel, you can make one grindind the end of an old file. I use carbide scrapers that come from my shaper tools.
    Happy new year for all your projects.

    1. Hi François

      Thanks a lot, happy new year to you too.

      The reason why I don't use the scraper is... I suck at it. I've tried different geometries and steels, but I cannot find the right one. Today in fact I was regrinding a chisel I have, but no luck. I think I'm missing something. Files are easier to use (at least for me). But I seriously need to lear to do it, files go dull too fast and need something more sustainable and long lasting. Also, I think long handles like the japanese sen would help to get the thing going but I've been lazy to make one...

      So at the moment is draw filing, but you are right, scrapers are the way to go.


    2. Try the carbide scrapers, I use my dull carbide disposable blade from a shaper tool and put them in a Bahco scraper handle, they do wonder on rust, but keep a light hand, they take off metal too!.

  5. About straightening ...

    1) work from both sides

    2) work by halves - sneak up on straight little by little

    3) don't focus on a couple square centimetres

    4) don't hit harder than it takes to have an inspect-able result

    5) polished smooth hammer faces and anvil

    6) hardest possible anvil

    7) heaviest solidest anvil possible

    8) start on modern western softer thicker blades

    9) clean rust free blades

    10) light from front diffused no light from sides or back

    11) flex blade from edges compressing between hands as it is held in front of you at eye level almost but not quite dead on edge, so that light glances past the blade, like the Sun at dawn, and dusk. flex one way, then the other, look at underside, then at top side. you are looking for shadows indicating compression which distorts an edge, an area in center, or ar neck, heel or anyplace. UNTILL THIS IS DEALT WITH, you can't get a flat blade.

    12) use a one and a half - two pound hammer with a face 26 mm D and a convex surface 1 mm high at center to strike glanceing blows away from the compression, from edge of compression to edge of saw. IT IS TRIAL AND ERROR, so check frequently for results of say, six blows to a side. If it gets worse, change plans.

    13) have a plan

    14) if plan doesn’t work, stop and look at the situation; 90% is in not mis-perceiving because it's a twilight brain thing. Maybe Right brain.

    15) Keep you Hara (navel chakra) clear - this is the energy the nokogiri will remember

    16) It's only a saw. You are only You.

    17) Know when to stop.

    1. Thanks a lot Mark, that will take a bit of time to digest.

      I will come back to it in due course.

  6. Very interesting to have Mark join the conversation. My knowledge of Japanese saw sharpening has come from tiny nuggets of information from rare articles on the subject (an article featuring Mark was one of them) and practice/failures. I am loving Sabastian's blog on the subject.

  7. I, too, want to thank Mark for his invaluable voice. I have spent years digging, and this is like treasure!

    And another "thank you" to Sebastian for pursuing this obscure line of inquiry.

    Thanks guys!


  8. Yes, thanks Sebastian for the blog! I've never tried to put hizumi into word form.

    I do feel the words are useful clues, but the fewer the words, for me, the more exact the clue. Also, I type slowly.

    In the list above (not exhaustive), # 10 might seem ... optional, but the closer you can come to arranging, staging the scene, the better.

    Using a computer without a monitor may be possible, but the better the monitor, the better to learn.

    # 9 is related. a pitted dark saw can't be read. Surfaces that are evenly reflective can be read.

    Poka-poka, or "oil can" at the central area is easily seen if it's extreme, but a smaller area less compressed, at the end, or a corner, or on a side, requires the best light to see.

    1. The written word is a funny thing. Socrates didn't like it because you could use it as replacement for real knowledge: if I can read I don't need to know.

      For me everything is about creating an image, or a movement, in my mind. If the image is there I don't need words (even though is a fun exercise sometimes to write it down).

      The other day I was looking at the sunset on the blade, that's a really nice way to put it. I think I'm starting to see it. I really would like to have my anvil here...

  9. Hey guys, no need to thank, I'm really having fun with this. Thank you for your comments, it makes for a more interesting conversation.