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Saw: A Story of Adventure (but not like in that torture movie)

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Blog entry by Shannan posted 1119 days ago 1531 reads 0 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been lurking on Lumberjocks for a while now, but this is my first post. So … hi. I think you’re all amazing. :-)

After years of dreaming, I finally live in a place where this is space for me to set up a woodshop. I’ve been building utilitarian furniture and repurposing existing pieces for the past seven years, but I only started getting serious about woodworking as an artisan craft in the past year.

For my first project, I decided to restore an old rip saw that my roommate and I found at a yard sale. This is the saw in its original shape.

I followed a friend’s lead in developing the process. (Thanks, Brian!) My first step was to detach the handle and give the blade a good scraping with mineral spirits and a razor.

Once the worst of the rust was gone, I built my first ever electrolysis bath. This was a bit more of an adventure than I anticipated, as I got the entire thing set up on my front porch only to have my bright blue sunny day transform into a torrential downpour.

It was almost dark before I was finally able to get it up and running. I was concerned about leaving the bath alone on the porch because the neighborhood cats all hang out there, and their survival instincts around electricity and toxic fluids are not nearly as developed as their napping and begging skills. I convinced my friends to come have beer and pizza with me while I kept an eye on everything. We decided the rust swirls have an almost Starry Night effect if you stare at them long enough.

The bath revealed an etching on the blade that had been completely covered before! I was pretty excited.

I took 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper and a sanding block and went over the blade one last time to get rid of the remaining rust. I used a bit of sandpaper wrapped around a pencil eraser to work around the etching and the teeth, then gave the whole thing a good coat of paste wax and buffed it off to a lovely satin finish.

The handle’s path started off more simply. I wiped it down with mineral spirits, then sanded away the old finish with 200 grit sandpaper. I decided not to fix the broken horn because I like that little age-mark, and it doesn’t affect usability.

Unfortunately, I got a little impatient at this point and didn’t read through my notes a second time before proceeding, and I ended up rushing the finishing process. I didn’t allow enough dry time between coating the handle with Boiled Linseed Oil and coating it with shellac. Suck. There’s no point in doing something halfway, so I sanded the finish back down so I could start all over again.

This time I waited a full day between each coat of Boiled Linseed Oil (I did two) and each coat of shellac (three). I then finished the handle with a coat of paste wax, polished the brass screws with steel wool, and reassembled my new pretty!

So this is my very first restored saw! I’m very proud of it. The sharpening process will be part two.



27 comments so far

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

6912 posts in 1928 days


#1 posted 1119 days ago

very good…welcome officially to the site and congrats on your saw restore…she is a beauty now..and sharpening it will be the crowning glory…i think you should use the saw on your first official project…but that’s just my 2 cents on it…...you have a whole new future ahead of you here and i look forward to seeing your work posted…so i will make you my buddy and will wait for the first project to appear…enjoy the journey…grizzman

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Manitario's profile

Manitario

2298 posts in 1508 days


#2 posted 1119 days ago

beautiful job on the saw and welcome to LJ’s. With work like this, I look forward to your future posts!

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View NormG's profile

NormG

4088 posts in 1629 days


#3 posted 1119 days ago

great restoration

-- Norman

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15683 posts in 2843 days


#4 posted 1119 days ago

Great job, and nicely documented.

Welcome!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View SSMDad's profile

SSMDad

395 posts in 1222 days


#5 posted 1119 days ago

Hi Shannan. Terrific job on the saw! If I can keep my son away from the lathe and power saws maybe I’ll start a project together like this. (He’s only 2 1/2 haha)

Nice to see your post here also. I’ve certainly learned a lot in the short time I’ve been here.

Take care and looking forward to more posts!

-- Chris ~~Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

4979 posts in 1933 days


#6 posted 1119 days ago

Welcome..You did a very nice restoration. Looks like you are hooked. have fun.

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View murch's profile

murch

1135 posts in 1249 days


#7 posted 1119 days ago

Great blog and a warm welcome to this fine site.

-- A family man has photos in his wallet where his money used to be.

View Brit's profile

Brit

5117 posts in 1468 days


#8 posted 1119 days ago

Always nice to see old saws given a new lease of life. I’m in the process of restoring three 14” backsaws at the moment. I just have to remember which handle goes with which saw plate. :-)

-- Andy -- Old Chinese proverb say: If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it.

View kenn's profile

kenn

785 posts in 2345 days


#9 posted 1119 days ago

Now you are off and running …err, sawing!

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View schroeder's profile

schroeder

667 posts in 2750 days


#10 posted 1118 days ago

That rocks! – Great job – first of many projects I hope.

Schroeder

-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1318 days


#11 posted 1118 days ago

Gorgeous! Major style points for suspending your saw in the tank with other saws. 100 bonus lumberjock hitpoints.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View SPalm's profile (online now)

SPalm

4783 posts in 2507 days


#12 posted 1118 days ago

And I will send you another 100 bonus LJ points for the re-rework on the handle.
A very impressive restore. You have every right to be proud.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2098 posts in 2353 days


#13 posted 1118 days ago

Looks great. Any plans for how you will sharpen it? Are you going to do it yourself? If so, re you going to blog that as well as you blogged this?
Thanks for sharing!

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

4885 posts in 1467 days


#14 posted 1118 days ago

Great Job! You will get better with the mistakes. It also helps to learn from all the LJ’s mistakes too! LOL I am pulled between my hand tools ,some of them my father’s and grandfathers, and newer power tools. I actually pulled out a saw I got from my nieghbor/ an old carpenter and used it to crosscut a piece instead of my 15 amp Dewalt. felt good to see I can cut a straight line. lol Oh yeah when I get time I want to set up the electrolysis bath because some of them are getting rust pits.

“Follow your Bliss” ( joseph Campbell )

thanks for sharing your learning.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View SamuelP's profile

SamuelP

751 posts in 1271 days


#15 posted 1118 days ago

Very nice job.

-- -Sam - Tampa, FL- "A man who carries a cat by the tail learns somthing he can in no other way" -Mark Twain

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