Lee Valley Tools    Woodworking Newsletter
   Vol. 7, Issue 2
   November 2012
 
   Featured Patents
 

The Saw Filer
Saw file guide

There is no argument from pundits on the value of experience when performing a shop task that requires hand-eye coordination to achieve consistent results. Yes, there are those with natural ability, but more commonly, someone who becomes an expert has served a long and arduous apprenticeship or spent years in solitary study. From history books and old shop ledgers, we know that for many apprentices, the first year often comprised sweeping the floor, holding the board and going for growlers at the tavern. When finally trusted enough to be given a real job, those who worked in a cabinet shop were shown how to sharpen the saws and chisels for use by the experienced craftsmen. There was always a foreman or master who made sure it was done right; if not, the apprentice did it over again as many times as necessary. Anyone who had the opportunity to learn the skill of saw sharpening in such a manner never lost that skill. All trades had a series of internal tests (so to speak) that ensured the apprentice was well instructed in the basics as he wound his way through the long maze to a completed journeyman status.

  Calibrations
  Shown up close are the calibrations to set angles for rake and fleam
Henry Briggs of Hausbrouck Heights, New Jersey, sought with his patent #1,317,126 (September 23, 1919) to improve the use of a file guide when sharpening. Nine months later, Briggs filed the application again, with improvements to his original. For this, he was granted patent #1,406, 924 on February 14, 1922. It was posited that the advancements allowed for a more economical manufacturing process, presumably lowering the cost to the consumer. Strangely, the guide arm of the version shown here is stamped with the earlier patent date, an example of recycling an existing part to save costs. Just think, even in 1922, existing inventory was reused to create a new and better product.
 
 
             
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