I received a new file in the mail today. That’s it in the top of the picture.
I haven’t been sharpening handsaws for some time. Other major life issues took precedence, and besides I had several sharpened saws in reserve. Meanwhile, having acquired a few nice antique backsaws, I decided to delve back into the saw-filing enterprise. Only to find that the current buzz is that Nicholson (biggest file manufacturer in the US) has decide to outsource their file production to Mexico, and let quality control go to hell in a hand-cart. Headed straight for the bottom line.
So, I started exploring alternatives and found that some of the more highly recommended choices (Bahco, Oberg) weren’t necessarily in stock either. Looking around on YouTube, I found a video on how to use battery acid and baking soda to restore files (not yet, amigo…). And, finally, as I searched for more information on file sharpening, Boggs Tool & File kept coming up.
Turns out, Boggs doesn’t use battery acid, but a sophisticated steam pressure driven abrasive process that they (and numerous third-party reviews) claim produces a better-than-new file. Last Monday, I decide to call their 800 number and see if they would sharpen my old saw files.
Harry Boggs answered the phone [can we just put this in contrast to my recent Lie-Nielsen experience?], answered my questions, gave me the time of day and then some, and told me a whole lot about files and how and where they are made. Mostly, Boggs sharpens farrier’s rasps and double-cut files, smaller teeth are more difficult. He generously offered to try sharpening some saw files for me, and also offered to send me a new Japanese saw file (of which he only has a few left).
Someone (who would actually need that many files?) recently bought 300 of those files, almost clearing out Boggs’ stock of them, and since there’s a minimum order of 1000, he was a bit reluctant to place the order unless he was certain of the demand. Sooo….do you really want a source for good saw files, or do you just wanna bitch about Nicholson???
Because, if enough people contact Harry Boggs looking for quality saw files, he will order those 1000 Japanese files, and we can all settle down and sharpen our backsaws.