Thursday, January 3, 2013

Veritas saw filing guide

Before Christmas, I wrote on a forum that I had asked Santa for the soon to be released Lee Valley/Veritas handsaw filing guide and was wondering if Santa would be able to get one in time.  To my surprise, Rob Lee replied that it was in the final production stage but that he would send me a pre-production version.  He did and here it is:

The guide attaches to the end of your file with a setscrew.  You set the fleam on the top scale, the rake on the bottom scale, tighten the thumbscrews and, presto, you have an excellent visual reference for both angles.  There is a comfortable place on the end to hold the guide with a thumb and forefinger.

Many experts don't use a guide at all but I am not able to maintain accurate rake and fleam angles without a visual reference.  There are a number of shop-made solutions that are perfectly adequate, but I strongly prefer this guide for its simplicity, accuracy and ease of use.  It is very well made, typical of Lee Valley, and I particularly like the fact that it is based on a historical tool in the company's collection.

If you are a beginning or intermediate saw filer, I strongly recommend that you purchase this guide when it becomes available, which should be very soon.  I really like it.

On a related matter, quality saw files have become hard to find.  My local hardware store carries some, but they are junk.  The two sources for good files that I know of are Lee Valley and Lie Nielsen.

The only other thing that you might also consider buying is a saw vise, either vintage or this new one, which I've read is excellent.  For reasons I will explain, I think a homemade one is better and it is certainly a lot cheaper.  My version will be the subject of the next post. 


  1. Wow! Thanks for posting. I didn't know they were making this. Since I'm an infrequent sharpener (I just sharpen my own)any help is welcome.

    Lookin' forward to the rest of your posts.

  2. Awesome, I was wondering if anyone would try to duplicate this design. I'm not sure of the original manufacturer but I have seen beasts like this in the wild from the 19th century. No doubt Veritas has improved it substantially. While I agree that with a little practice saw filing is easy to pick up, this will greatly reduce the learning curve and I'm glad to see it.

  3. I was watching for this, as well. Thanks for the update, Andy! Can't wait to get it and give it a try.

  4. Well I am very happy to see the design of this guide. It is just something small and simple that helps your eyes get the angles correct opposed to the bulky gadgets on the market that attach to the saw. I really like the concept.

  5. Wow! Veritas does it again! I can't wait to buy one. I really enjoy taking saw sharpening into my own hands and this helps.

  6. Thank you Andy. I am looking forward to this. The little blocks that I now use are not too precise and are a pain to shift between files. By the way, Tools for Working Wood also have Grobert saw files. If you want to buy them in bulk, Sears looks to have the best price.