An epiphany of steel and wood…

I just got this email from a customer and can’t help but share it. He recently sent me a saw to sharpen and let me know that he was new to hand saws and had no experience with them. Here is the email he sent after receiving the freshly sharpened saw…

Hi Matt,

Got the saw in the mail….    SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEETT!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am honestly trying to get the f-word out of my vocabulary.  Two decades in construction makes for strong habits.  I’m actually doing pretty good with this effort, but the only way I can really convey anything in an email is to say:
That saw is f——— MONEY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WOW.  I had no idea a handsaw could do that!  I crosscut some oak and maple rough stuff I have lying around, and it’s really unbelievable!  And tracking?!  With no marks and just by eye the cut was straight and virtually square in both planes–NOT perfect, but WOW.  Fairly effortless too.  OK, I’m hooked.
I really want to thank you, Matt.  You’ve opened up a whole new world for me.  Just awesome!

On the surface, this may seem like a shameless plug (well…it is) but it’s also much more…..its the whole reason why I love saws and woodworking and hand tools.

The experience that Bill is describing above is a life changing moment. Every craftsman remembers the first time he used a well tuned hand saw…I certainly remember mine. This epiphany does not have to be an isolated incident….it is happening all over the world as we speak and more and more each day.

Boys and girls, put down your Skilsaw and step away from the power outlet.

Now pick up a hand saw and join the revolution.

Thanks for the kind words Bill…this is the reason why I love sharpening saws.

🙂 -Matt

Published in: on June 23, 2011 at 6:25 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I can so relate to Bill’s experience and the best part about the meat power experience is that it’s repeatable and a little addicting. Electrons just don’t seem to pay off like they used to before.

    Please keep up the awesome work Matt


  2. I recently started sharpening and rehabbing saws. This past weekend I had the pleasure of putting a saw that I had spent hours rehabbing in the hand of a friend who, in terms of handsaw, had never used anything other then a firewood saw. He had some trouble starting the saw, but once it got started, I watched as he sawed nearly dead on the line I had struck across a board for him. The one thing better than using a well tuned saw is using or watching someone else use a saw you tuned yourself. Nothing like bringing an old tool back to life. I love saws, and since I started sharpening them, I love them even more. Congrats to both you both, Bill and Matt!

    New Orleans, LA

  3. Y’know Bill is right, sometimes only certain words will convey the true meaning. I get a lot of stares from people who see my whip out hand saws to do all my work and I’m constantly telling them that these saws don’t slow me down and you have to try it to believe it. I’m excited to hear of another convert to the cause.

  4. Just last night I was using my Mark Harrell-sharpened carcass saw to make some shoulder cuts on a box I’m working on and was thinking about how wonderfully it cut.

    I’d like to say I’m going to send you my recently-acquired dovetail saw to get it cleaned up, Matt, but a recent seminar with Graham Blackburn has my trying this on my own. My first round, at the seminar, was productive, even under obviously imperfect conditions, so I’m looking forward to trying again down in the shop with a better vice and the right files.

    Speaking of vices… just read your article on WK Fine Tools. Loved the article. Almost as impressive as your saw vice collection was the idea of using clamping pads on your holdfasts! Brilliant! Mind if I steal it?

    Oh… if I totally screw up my dovetail saw sharpening, you should look for a package from me in the mail. 😀


    • Very cool that you’re jumping right in on your own, brother! That’s the spirit…its all about having the confidence to do it your self. By all means though, if you feel like it leaves something to be desired, feel free to send it along.

      And you know, I am amazed at how many people ask me about the clamping pads on my holdfasts…I think I’ve gotten a dozen emails about them. Funny what people pick up on. 🙂


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