Making an 8ppi saw into a 4-1/2ppi saw

Here are some pictures I took when I converted an 8 ppi saw into a 4-1/2 ppi saw.

The reason for this project is that I had no big rip saw, but I did have a couple of 8ppi saws. So, I took the worst.

The patient. An 8ppi saw with an awful handle and a couple of broken teeth. A good candidate for such a venture.

Pennsylvania Saw Works, I think is the brand:


First step was to put it in the saw vise, which is 2 blocks of wood hinged together that can pinch the saw plate. The saw vise itself is mounted in the bench vise:


I started off where some teeth were broken by filing off every second tooth. This takes a saw from being 7 teeth per inch (8ppi) to half that: 3-1/2 teeth per inch (4-1/2ppi).

I worked my way out to the toe and heel. I actually left some of the small teeth right at the toe. I thought this would be good to help me start a cut easier. It hasn’t really been a big help though. Nice to have it, but not necessary.


With the rough work done, I sharpened the saw. I think I used a 7″ file.

All the new big teeth were lying to one side as I had removed every second one of the small teeth. There was not a big lean, so I set each tooth. Each bent like they were supposed to.


Now, to do something about the handle.

I removed the handle and compared it to a couple of Atkins saws I have. I drew in some pencil lines on the handle of where I thought I should end up after reshaping.

With a chisel and then a rasp, I worked away removing and shaping what I did not want.
I sanded the handle and gave it a rub with some stain. I gave it a top coat of shellac.




At least now it looks like it belongs:


It cuts really well. Good for 1-1/2″ to 4″ wood. I haven’t tried it on anything other than pine. I was given a 5-1/2 ppi saw and there is not a lot between them.
Anyways, I hope this inspires someone to make a big rip saw out of a regular one. I could never find a big rip near me, so I made my own.


One thought on “Making an 8ppi saw into a 4-1/2ppi saw

  1. Pingback: Making a bed – Side rails & Assembly | jude kenny

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