Sharpening a circular sawmill blade
You do have to be careful not to grind too much or too fast and heat the tooth. I prefer to just tap the grinding wheel 2 or 3 times against the tooth lightly. You will replace the teeth a little more often, but the time saved sharpening will outweigh the cost of the teeth.
Meadows Mill in North Wilkesboro, NC sells a hand crank filer for circular saws. I use one on my edger. When I had a circular mill, I used one on the headsaw and really liked it. When used properly it will keep your teeth sharpened at the correct angles.
A jockey is probably the best way to go. You shouldn't have any problems learning to use a grinder as long as you take your time and be careful while you're getting the hang of it. Keep in mind, the rock you use on a saw grinder doesn't take a rough, deep cut like a bench grinder rock (relatively speaking). Just as a rasp removes more wood per stroke than a file, but a file gives a finer finish.
As with any tool that needs sharpening, file light and often. Big showers of sparks don't accomplish much more than the destruction of your saws.
I like to hand file. I can do it quicker than with a sharpener. The automatics do keep the angle well, but have always been rough on teeth, no matter how light the touch.
There is a Dexter file guide for hand files. It uses a 10" file, and it will give you the correct angle and is fast. You can get a diamond file for chrome and carbide. I've used one and it works well.
I believe the circular files are too expensive and don't last as long.
The least expensive and most accurate is the Andrus hand filer. A little tricky to set up, but definitely the best for most applications. I currently use jockeys for both my head saw and vertical edger. While faster and easier, it can be damaging to your teeth. Very easy to overheat and even easier to lose the proper angle. I keep a small angle gauge to constantly monitor this. Keeping your teeth smooth and sharp is the key to performance and bit life. Light and frequent sharpening is ideal.
Where do you get a Dexter file guide?
I bought my file guide from the Millworks of New England in Orange, MA.
The Dexter is made by Sawmill Tool & Service Co. in Lyndonvill, VT.
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