Last summer I worked on improving the anvil of the Eclipse 77 saw set to work with very fine teeth. Besides improving the anvil, the hammer can also be ground slimmer for very fine teeth. Especially the newer 77 saw sets have even wider hammers and it works to file these slimmer to accommodate smaller teeth.
The older 77 is already good but it can be improved to set very fine teeth of dovetail saws. It works well up to around 18 ppi, maybe smaller. Before, I turned around the anvil and made a single new straight edge with a diamond file to accommodate fine teeth of a particular PPI. It works well but this time I aimed at making a more universal anvil.
A new filing setup
The older anvils have a defined bevel which is ground at around 12 to 13 degrees. With the following setup it is possible to grind a custom bevel at the degree you prefer and starting with a very small bevel. The standard 77 also has a huge bevel at the end of the sweep. By grinding a new bevel you can make the sweep more in the usable range. First grind away some of the old bevel by grinding the flat face on a diamond plate or sandpaper.
By turning the anvil while filing it is possible to get a smooth sweep from a small to a large bevel.
The hammer and the fence
As I aimed for the 12 degrees I also ground the hammer at the same 12 degree angle using the same setup. The hammer can be removed from the assembly by taking the saw set apart at the lever screw.
The fence surfaces can also be filed flat with the side of a mill file if they are worn from use.
Using anvil numbers and tooth size
With the original 77 it is unclear if the numbers on the anvil are correlated to tooth size. Usually I used only number 10 to 12. After installation of the anvil I tested the saw set to log the approximate position of the anvil numbers vs the tooth size in PPI. This will be useful to quickly dial in the right amount of set.