Rare Saws

Buying & Restoring Hand Tools with Ron Herman

Buying & Restoring Hand Tools with Ron Herman


Learn how to purchase old hand tools at a good price for restoration purposes. Rom Herman will demonstrate how to restore several types of hand...[Read More]
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Sharpen Your Handsaws

Sharpen Your Handsaws


Anyone can Sharpen a Saw Learn secrets to sharpening backsaws & handsaws Discover the truth about shaping and set Cut...[Read More]

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Joinery Handplanes with Bill Anderson

Joinery Handplanes
with Bill Anderson


Learn how to identify, use, and repair wooden and metal joinery planes in this five hour instructional video that's...[Read More]
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Restoring Saws, Saw Tools, and Other Equipment

  Handsaw Blade Cleaning by Bob Sturgeon 1 of 4  

You have made it back from making the circuit of your favorite flea markets and the antique malls and have picked up a couple of pretty good old decent hand saws. 

They definitely have their share of dirt and grime on the handles and a fair amount of rust, paint and grunge on the blades.  Can barely see some etchings on the blades through the rust, but at least no bad pitting.  Sound familiar.

I wrote an article a while back about cleaning and refinishing hand saw handles so I thought it only appropriate to continue now with a tutorial on the cleaning and refinishing of the hand saw blade. 

The methods I use are similar to what I am sure a lot of others use, but with a few little tricks I learned from mistakes and doing things the hard way.

Here is an example of a fairly nice old Henry Disston D-8 that I picked up a while back and I am getting ready to clean. Have removed the screws and getting ready to take off the handle

It doesn’t take a lot of cleaning supplies. I use the following: Two sizes of ¾”wooden blocks, one 1-½” x 4” and one 1-½” x 3”, most of the time I use these flat, but sometimes on the edge to sand below an etch and other narrow areas. A pair of cotton gloves that have rubber facings on the fingers and palms. You can get these at most of the dollar stores.

They hold up and keep most of the rusty residue off of your hands. Started off using latex gloves, but they don’t stand much wear and the minute you touch a saw tooth, they are gone.

Also tried Playtex yellow gloves, the kind ladies use to wash dishes with, these are the pits too.

I use four grades of Wet and Dry Auto Sandpaper, about 8 x 11 sheets, 220-320-400 and 1000 grit.

Roy Underhill DVDs and Products

Also use regular 220 grit sandpaper. Fold and cut the paper into quarters.

Paint thinner as a lubricant. A plastic bottle as a paint thinner dispenser. The best I have found is the type that joggers carry water in that has a pull up spout. You just open the spout and squirt some on the blade, then close it back up. Forget spray bottles, they just make a big mess and get everything wet.

A scraper used to scrape window glass (these are available at Ace Hardware) blades are heavier than razor blade scrapers, and about 4“ wide. The kind used to scrape off window stickers. And lots of paper towels.

I got myself four plastic bins to keep scrap sandpaper in. Sometimes you will use a new piece for just a little while, but it is still perfectly good.

Learn how. Discover why. Build better.
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Saw Vises

Disston Backsaws


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