Hand Tool Journey #41: Stanley SW #358 Miter Box Restoration #7... Cleaned Up The Saw Plate.. Is This Worth Saving?

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Airframer posted 07-19-2014 10:54 PM 2718 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 40: Stanley SW #358 Miter Box Restoration #6... Assembly! Long Winded and A Ton of Pics.. Part 41 of Hand Tool Journey series Part 42: Stanley SW #358 Miter Box Restoration #8...Getting a handle on things.. »

I am going to present this question to the group. Saw restoration and sharpening is not an area I have really spent much time in yet so I am far from an expert. So I ask is this saw plate worth trying to sharpen up or should I explore other options?

I WOULD like to use the original plate if it is at all usable but like I said.. I’m hoping some folks who are much more knowledgeable on the subject will help me out here.

First some before pics…

Post Evaporust..

And sanded from 80 grit up to 220 grit.. (I tried my best to get a good representation of it’s current condition)

And just the faintest etch still visible..

So what say you? Is this going to be usable or is it a lost cause?

Thanks for the help!

-- Eric - "I'm getting proficient with these hand jobbers. - BigRedKnothead"

8 comments so far

View Richard H's profile

Richard H

489 posts in 1706 days

#1 posted 07-19-2014 11:25 PM

The pictures I see look perfectly usable to me. If the plate isn’t bent and there are no teeth missing I think it will be fine. I don’t see any deep rust pot marks either and even if there are a few it’s not going to affect the usability as a miter box saw. It looks nicer than my Miter box saw plate from the pictures but I have not taken any sandpaper to mine.

View tsangell's profile


216 posts in 2718 days

#2 posted 07-19-2014 11:31 PM

Pitting at the toothline will make the teeth less effective, but if it’s limited, you’ll be fine. Staining and such is not a problem. Restoring, sharpening, and setting all those teeth will be good practice.

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 1894 days

#3 posted 07-19-2014 11:38 PM

Mine looks at least this bad. The teeth are very worn and dull, and the body is all kinds of discolor end, with some pitting. The brass badge says Simonds, and there is a bit of etching visible. It may still be a disston, with hardware cobbled together by a previous owner. When I took it apart, the brass badge was damaged a bit in the female portion of the barrel, and the other barrels were not a perfect match. The guy I got it from had several other miter box back saws, one craftsman in minty condition. Could be had cheap.

The steel is straight, and hefty. I’m thinking it would be an expensive saw if it were new, so I’m considering having it re-toothed. I haven’t started on the refurb yet. Just cleaned the saw up a bit, so far.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View summerfi's profile


3953 posts in 1713 days

#4 posted 07-20-2014 01:05 AM

Eric – It’s a little difficult to tell from the pictures how deep the pitting is. If it is deep near the toothline, it will affect the ability to sharpen the teeth, just as it is difficult or impossible to sharpen a pitted plane iron. This is especially so with a crosscut saw, since unlike a rip saw, a cc cuts from both the sides and the tips of the teeth.

In a perfect world I would replace the saw plate with new 1095 spring steel, and then the saw would be good as new. However, there is nothing to lose by waiting on that, sharpening the saw, and seeing how it performs. If it cuts well, great. If it won’t take an edge and cuts poorly, then you can make the decision to replace it. Replacing a saw plate isn’t difficult, but of course you would have to cut new teeth, which can be a steep learning curve for someone who hasn’t done it before. In any case, this would be a good saw to practice sharpening skills on.

-- Bob, Missoula, MT -- Rocky Mountain Saw Works

View chrisstef's profile


17426 posts in 3032 days

#5 posted 07-20-2014 01:28 AM

From the looks of things theres a patch there that may booger things up but i dont think id sweat it from what i can see. Youve got 280 (or so) teeth on that chunk of steel. A couple of wayward teeth shouldnt make a huge difference imo. If you start losing parts of teeth while reshaping them youll know to stop ;)

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Buckethead's profile


3194 posts in 1894 days

#6 posted 07-20-2014 01:40 AM

Is grinding teeth off and starting anew a feasible approach?

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View davidroberts's profile


1027 posts in 3511 days

#7 posted 07-20-2014 03:15 AM

Pitting is the nemesis of old metal hand tools, even new ones for that matter. Ditto to tsangell’s comment. Excessive pitting will increase the probability that a pit and a tooth will want to occupy the same space, at the same time. Shallow pitting may weaken a tooth, but deep pitting will render a tooth too fragile to withstand the stress of use. The tooth will break off. One or two missing teeth is not a deal killer. Several fragile or missing teeth will ultimately affect the saw’s ability to function properly. From what I can see in the photos, the saw plate has some minor, shallow pitting. It looks no different than most old cleaned up saws I’ve ever seen. Since you already own the saw, have some fun giving it a good sharpening, or work up to a good sharpening. I’m still working up, ha.

-- Better woodworking through old hand tools.

View AnthonyReed's profile


9757 posts in 2466 days

#8 posted 07-21-2014 05:43 PM

So what did you decide?

-- ~Tony

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics