The Saw Filer
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.
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.
||Shown up close are the
calibrations to set angles for rake and fleam