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Disston saw restoration #1: Great find on Ebay

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Blog entry by Oldtool posted 04-04-2018 07:43 PM 719 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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About 2 weeks ago I was viewing hand saws on Ebay, looking for something to cut the cheeks on tenons, as I have two Disston saws – one 14” and one 16”, and a 12” Jackson (made by Disston) all filed for cross cut. I came across this Disston, as is and not touched by the seller:

After receiving it, I decided to clean it up and change the teeth from cross cut to rip, but otherwise it was in good shape – straight, great tote condition without any damage, just dirty.

When I started to take it apart, I found the three saw nuts were unscrewed rather easily, and in fact were quite loose, but removing them from the saw proved difficult. Inspection indicated that this saw was manufactured on a Friday the 13th, by an individual who either had a major hangover, or simply didn’t like his job.
The saw plate was punched incorrectly, and apparently with a too small punch. One of the three holes was a double punch:

and the other two were a bit undersized, making pushing out the saw nuts somewhat difficult.

Also, the saw nut in the double punched hole had been scarfed up by forcing it through the irregular edges of the hole:

Researching the internet for a method to slightly enlarge the two smaller holes in saw plate steel, it was suggested in various sites that I would need a carbide tipped or solid carbide drill bit. One YouTube video showed a successful drilling of a saw plate using a carbide tipped concrete bit, that had been sharpened.
I then took a concrete bit I have, a little bit bigger than what was needed to get a good fit for the saw nut, and sharpened it on a cheap Harbor Freight 180 grit diamond plate, and proceeded to drill the small holes as follows:
I used a cordless drill set for high torque & very slow speed, to put a chamfer on the holes on each side of the blade:

here the chamfer can be seen as a shinny ring on one of the two smaller holes, on the right;

After drilling this way, and using a round file to touch up the hole edges, and the HF diamond plate to de-burr them, the saw nuts fits nicely through the holes.

Cleaning up the tote with some soap & a scotch pad, the saw now looks quite nice:

A quick test drive on maple in a cross cut the saw proved to be very nice to use, fast & aggressive, and straight.

Really good find on Ebay, happy with the deal.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln



8 comments so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

2649 posts in 845 days


#1 posted 04-04-2018 08:51 PM

Great find, Tom. Nice clean up!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

2820 posts in 779 days


#2 posted 04-04-2018 10:17 PM

The other tool that I would try for cleaning up the holes would be a chain saw file. I use them for all sorts of things where a file might not be exactly the right tool, but might just work. They’re cheap, relatively hard steel, and did I mention cheap? It may be that chucking one up in a cordless drill would work to enlarge a hole pretty quickly… I know I’d give it a try if I didn’t have a carbide bit handy.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View recycle1943's profile

recycle1943

2491 posts in 1819 days


#3 posted 04-04-2018 10:42 PM

Everything that you have done so far is beyond my mechanical abilities. Thus, my router table and table saw would come into play

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

2736 posts in 2388 days


#4 posted 04-05-2018 12:14 AM


The other tool that I would try for cleaning up the holes would be a chain saw file. I use them for all sorts of things where a file might not be exactly the right tool, but might just work. They’re cheap, relatively hard steel, and did I mention cheap? It may be that chucking one up in a cordless drill would work to enlarge a hole pretty quickly… I know I’d give it a try if I didn’t have a carbide bit handy.

- Dave Polaschek

Dave,

I tried that. chucked in a round file in my drill, ran it at medium speed, got no where. Looking at the file, it becomes apparent that it cuts on a push, but not on a rotation.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

2820 posts in 779 days


#5 posted 04-05-2018 09:11 AM

Ahh well. I thought the teeth might be angled enough that they’d cut at least a little on rotation.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View oldrivers's profile

oldrivers

1474 posts in 1764 days


#6 posted 04-05-2018 11:04 AM

Very good restoration, congratulations.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3320 posts in 2974 days


#7 posted 04-05-2018 11:18 AM

Use a tapered triangle file – mill cut. worked for me in deburring and enlarging the hole. use thread cutting oil on the file and go slow.

great job on the saw.

-- David in Damascus, MD

View dbray45's profile

dbray45

3320 posts in 2974 days


#8 posted 04-05-2018 11:24 AM

I forgot to tell you, drill a small hole in a piece of hard wood that the free end of the file will fit into. use this as a hand hold to help guide the file where you want it to go, not where it wants to go

-- David in Damascus, MD

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