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Restoring Saws, Saw Tools, and Other Equipment

  Saw Handle Repair by James Brown 1 of 3  


I recently purchased an old 17 inch panel handsaw with, as is so often the case, a badly broken handle. 

It was in three pieces, one of which had a poorly aligned glue joint.  It was also minus any medallion, so its pedigree was unknown.  Any decision to repair the handle was delayed until the blade could be cleaned to see if that revealed anything.  Electrolytic de-rusting and subsequent cleanup revealed the saw to be a "Browns" No. 3, with a Keystone Saw Works etch.



James Brown

I decided that in this case, the blade was of sufficient interest to warrant repair of the handle rather than looking for a replacement.

Besides, I do antique repair and restoration for a living, so I like the process of trying to restore structural integrity while maintaining as much of the character as possible. The steps I used in the repair of this handle are described below.

The first thing I had to do was to undo the bad glue joint in the grip area, done by some previous owner. I soaked the grip in water overnight, which allowed me to carefully break the joint.

The overnight soaking had resulted in darkening of the wood, so I applied oxalic acid wood bleaching solution. I left this only long enough to lighten the water-darkened areas, then rinsed it off to minimize any loss of original patina.

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