Set the Record Straight: Sloped Gullets

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If you’re cutting a board using your handsaw, and you notice that the gullets on your saw, the triangular openings between each tooth, are quickly clogged with dust to the point of actually lifting the tool in the kerf, you have a problem. The problem is that the waste shaved off by the tooth fills the gullet in front of it before the tooth exits the workpiece. The build up pushes the blade off the workpiece, making the act of sawing harder and longer.

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(Fig. 1) Keep the gullets properly sized when filing your saw – sloping the openings could damage your tool instead of solve your sawing problems.

Unfortunately, many handsaw pundits are quick to advise you to make the gullet larger, or increase the slope of your gullets. The saw you’re working with didn’t come from the factory with over-sloped gullets. Why should you adjust the setup when re-sharpening the tool? (Fig. 1)

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