I am trying to find out what this vintage woodworkng tool is called. It holds a small file. It seems to be cast iron. It does have screws to open & change files. Any ideas? PAT. Jan. ? 1891 No makers marks. antique tool

  • Judging by the type of file (very fine teeth) I'd suspect that it's not for wood.
    – isherwood
    Mar 2 '16 at 20:13
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    Do you have a photo of the other side?
    – isherwood
    Mar 2 '16 at 20:15
  • +1 just for providing an excellent quality photo with the tape measure for scale! Seriously, can we put this in the Hall of Fame for how to ask an "Identify this thing" question?
    – FreeMan
    Mar 3 '16 at 16:38

You have there what's called a saw jointer. The one below is very similar. The site linked as the source says it's similar to a Stearn's model, so that might be what you have.


These are used to joint (flatten) the teeth of a hand saw to one level. After jointing, one would then sharpen each individual tooth such that the points are now at the same level as just jointed.

Here's a YouTube video that shows the sharpening process in great detail. You can see the author explaining the use of a homemade jointer at 26:16 and use it at 51:39.

  • 1
    Looks like it might akso work for initial filing of a scraper edge, with a finer file...
    – keshlam
    Mar 2 '16 at 23:32
  • @keshlam, I don't see why not. Scrapers are small enough that I usually just do them by hand.
    – grfrazee
    Mar 3 '16 at 14:04

I'd say that it's a cross-cut saw sharpening tool.


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