Sharpening Saws and Guitar Maintenance

Sue, Jim (me), Phyllis, and Mike watching Grampie sharpen a saw

When I was young, I watched my grandfather, Grampie, sharpen handsaws. One local carpenter kept sharpening his saws before bringing them to my grandfather. Grampie didn’t say anything about this the first few times. Finally, he told the man that if he tried to sharpen his saws again, he’d have to charge double because it was difficult to undo the flawed work. The carpenter stopped trying to sharpen his own saws.

My saw that Grampie let me practice sharpening when I was twelve years old.

I recently thought of this story while straining to play my guitar that has hung on my office wall for nineteen years. The string action was high with a slight bow in the neck. The tool for adjusting the truss rod was inside my guitar case, but I thought of that carpenter and his amateur saw sharpening.

Newly adjusted guitar neck

Today, I got my guitar back from the technician at Sunrise Guitars in Fayetteville. When I played the instrument, I remembered the satisfaction I saw on my grandfather’s face when he cut through a board with a newly sharpened saw. I smiled when I felt my properly adjusted guitar neck and new set of strings.

I was glad I put this little “saw” in the hands of a professional. Now, when a chord rings clearly, I can almost hear Grampie’s voice when he’d smile and say, “Now, that saw will cut!”

Related post: Sharpening Saws and Shaping Beliefs Tells about how my grandfather’s coaching shaped my beliefs about education.