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Thread: Broken Raker-Was this common

  1. #1

    Broken Raker-Was this common

    I have an old two man cross cut saw. It is not in any working shape right now and someday I might try my hand at sharpening it and rebuilding it. For now though the saw is kind of funny.

    The rakers are broken off. At first I thought it was because some logger (its that old) cut a tree that had a piece of hardware in it. Upon further examination however, it seems EVERY raker is broken off. I make the assumption that they did this on purpose.

    The wood around here is mostly Spruce and Hemlock, and back when this saw was made around the turn of the century, hardwood was not harvested much in Maine. That was because it did not float down river. Am I correct in assuming that the logger who used this saw might have snapped off the rakers so that he could saw this softwood faster? I say that because on my modern day chainsaw, I file a lot of my rakers down so my saw makes a bigger chip.

    I am willing to listen to any reason why the logger might have done this to a perfectly good saw.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    11,697
    Sharpening those cross-cuts is science/art/myth. To do it right requires knowledge and great skill. Angles are very important. I used to have mine sharpened, never was able to watch the process. Done right, they cut scary fast. All I can suggest, is you look for the oldest old timer you can find and ask advice.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Sharpening those cross-cuts is science/art/myth. To do it right requires knowledge and great skill. Angles are very important. I used to have mine sharpened, never was able to watch the process. Done right, they cut scary fast. All I can suggest, is you look for the oldest old timer you can find and ask advice.
    That's good advice, I just wish the old duffers were around still. I remember my grandfather hiring a old hermit to help him around the farm. he never cut up a season's worth of wood, so every night he would get done work, head out at dusk and fell a cedar tree. He would drag it out, cut it into stove length with hus saw, split it then burn the wood for heat and to make supper. Now I am not making this up.

    One afternoon my brother and I were out snowmobiling. The snow was awful deep so we helped old Henry Curtis drag in his tree. He was so happy we helped him with our new fangled "snow machine" as he called it, that he talked about it for months.

    He is long since gone. Ultimately he was killed by city life. The state came in and got him a boarding home in the city. Every morning he would go to a well known fast food chain with these twin arches for breakfast, and go there every night for supper. One day he had a heart attack. He survived that but vowed he would never step foot in a hospital again. A week or so later he made true on his promise. His heart was getting him troubles so he took a pill for it....about twenty lead pills from his shotgun. He was a tough old salt right to the end.

    I am betting money he would know how to get that scary cross cut saw you are talking about Frank.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    Some county fairs still have cross-cut competitions. Around here, a few guys come out of the hills (literaly) that we don't usually see most of the year and compete. Some of them learned how to sharpen them big two-man saws. I'm sure you could get advice, or sharpening service from some of them. There are lumberjack competitions too but I don't know how to contact those guys.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Fusco View Post
    Some county fairs still have cross-cut competitions. Around here, a few guys come out of the hills (literaly) that we don't usually see most of the year and compete. Some of them learned how to sharpen them big two-man saws. I'm sure you could get advice, or sharpening service from some of them. There are lumberjack competitions too but I don't know how to contact those guys.
    Frank you genious...I never thought of the woodsman team. In the next town over we have a Forestry College that has a competing woodsman team. They are well known and have a very good team... I am convinced they could sharpen my saw and tell me why the rakers were snapped off.

    I never thought of the answer until you said it though. Sometimes its the obvious answer that you never think of. Thanks for keeping me straight.

    As for you Steve Clardy, that is an interesting story. Its too bad you did not have the gauges your grandfather spoke of. I wonder if the gauges gaged the angle of the cutting edges and rakers? I bet Liberty Tool has a set of these gauges...its just a matter of finding them in their store.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
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    Travis, hope it works for you. Let us know.
    Even though, I have owned a couple two-man cross-sut saws, I rarely used them. What I did have, and use, though, were similar, slightly smaller, one-man cross-cutters. One could really work up a sweat with those. But, properly sharpened, they cut like monsters. Guaranteed, I didn't have my current waistline when I was doing stuff like that.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  7. #7
    Around here they still have a few Woodsmans Teams. Some of the smaller, local colleges have woodsman teams that compete against each other. Unity College, Colby College and the University of Maine all have woodsman teams.

    There is also a place up near Ellsworth Maine that has a Stihl Timber Series kind of show. They use crosscut saws, chainsaws and pole climbing and put on a show at 2 pm I think and at 6 pm. I have never been but my parents have and they said it was cool to watch. They put on a show for the toruist. You can't join in unfortunately, but for 7 bucks or something, its very cool to watch.

    As for the crosscut saw, I have used one. The local Unity College team did a show at school and I got to hang onto one end and saw a cookie off a log. It was amazing how fast and smooth that competition saw sliced through that 12 inch diameter pine.

    Now my Grandfather, he knew the crosscut saw quite well. We had these huge beams that held up the bottom of our old barn. They were at least 4 feet thick and were over 80 feet long, still being 12 inches thick on the small end. They were just massive. My Grandfather said he felled them in the 1930's when he was a teenager using a crosscut saw and axe. (Axe to notch the tree and a crosscut saw to make the back cut).
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  8. #8

    Unique Saw De-mystifyed

    Well I finally figured out why this saw has the rakers filed off!! Here is a reply I got from a guy on the www.mytractorforum.com

    At one time I had a small collection of 1, 1.5 and 2 man saws. I've seen some pretty "creative" filigs but I think your misery whip was modified to harvest pond ice. It was most likely a "trimmer" used to cut long blocks already drawn out of the water. Most saws made for the specifically for the purpose were of a distinct shape but that tooth pattern sounds like an ice cutter to me.

    And my response:

    What is your address...I am sending you a beer.

    I have wondered for years what this saw was used for. I never, never thought about harvesting ice. Of course you are right. That is something my Grandfather did,and did a lot of, and less then a mile from my house no less.

    It makes perfect, perfect sense. I feel so foolish for not thinking of it myself, but I am quite certain you are 100% correct. Thanks so much for answering this for me. As I said, I wondered for years why anyone would snap the rakers off this saw.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
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    29,079
    Ice? In Maine? Who'da thunk?
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  10. #10
    No Vaughn, Ice Cream in the Carribean in the early 1800's, who would have thought.

    Apparently that was how the ice trade got started, by a Bostonite who visited Cuba in the summer and could not find a cold drink. That was when the idea of cutting ice in Maine and shipping it to the Carribean took hold. To entice the Carribean natives to buy his ice, he brought down ice cream and got them hooked on it.

    Its a long, kind of funny story because the ice industry really changed New England. Ships would haul ice to the Carribean packed in sawdust, then on the back haul, bring Rum and Molasses back. Not only did that give our sawmills a valuable sawdust by-product, it also gave rise to the baked bean capital of the world since molasses is used a lot in baked beans.

    As for the ships themselves, since ice floats, and a ship carrying ice cannot sink, they would freight them until the gunwhales were breaking waves. As I said,the history of harvesting ice is a pretty interesting and funny story.
    I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"

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