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Saw Restoration #1: 50 Cent Disston Saw

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Blog entry by gilleseg posted 574 days ago 4351 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Saw Restoration series Part 2: 75 Cent Disston Saw »

I was out with the wife, hitting up local garage sales, when we stopped at a condo community whose residents are mostly retired. They had Tupperware, pots, pans, and assorted nicknacks. I wandered around there small garage and didn’t see anything I was interested in. I turned to head out and venture onto the next garage when I bumped my knee on something. It was a hand saw with a 50 Cent sticker on it. I did not hesitate, I grabbed it up and handed it to my wife as she headed toward the elderly couple at the back of the garage. I figured I could always use a saw for hacking up 2X4s and treated lumber.

Upon arriving home I inspected my various finds. Upon closer inspection I realized there was markings on the blade and an emblem on the handle. I am curious by nature and decided to do some investigation. Scratching off some of the rust with 000 steal wool i found the name Disston and Son’s and decided to do a little Google search. Come to find out Disston is a very historic and well thought of saw, with amazing history. My looking at the emblem on the handle I was able to find out that my saw was made some time in the 50’s. I decided to restore the saw to its former glory and make it usable again.

**Side note- upon telling my wife that it was a valuable saw and I was going to restore it, she tells me she “was going to paint a mural on it.”

So after some research into ways to remove rust I decided on any easy route- Naval Jelly.
I had thought of using electric and that hole bit, but I only paid 50 cents for it and I already had the Naval Jelly. So after several liberal coats and some scraping away the blade looked fairly nice. On the negative side the nice etching in the blade has faded some, which I am not terrible pleased with myself about. I scrapped the crap off the handle, gave it a once over with some stain and several coats of lacquer and bobs your uncle and pretty sharp looking saw.



11 comments so far

View chopnhack's profile

chopnhack

366 posts in 900 days


#1 posted 574 days ago

That looks like a good user saw. For less than a buck you can’t go wrong!!! Good find and good restore. If you find an older model in the future, it might be worth having prof. restored. Check out this site: http://www.secondchancesawworks.com/

-- Sneaking up on the line....

View gilleseg's profile

gilleseg

11 posts in 580 days


#2 posted 573 days ago

chopnhack,

If I were to find one from the late 1800’s early 1900’s I would certainly have it professionally done. I am excited to give this guy a try.

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

9401 posts in 1512 days


#3 posted 573 days ago

Found yourself a very nice user dirt cheap. Youve got to be careful around the etching on the saw which isnt ever easy to do with the typical layer of rust and crud on the blade. Saws can be a lot of fun to restore and you did very well on your first one.

The disstonian institute website has some awesome information on it.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View gilleseg's profile

gilleseg

11 posts in 580 days


#4 posted 573 days ago

Chrisstef,

I believe the disstonian website is where i got the bulk of my information. I do not have a lot of room at my current home to set up a electrolysis method of rust removal, but i have to assume that would be better on the blade. Not sure though. I am going to have my eyes peeled for my next saw restoration. This was my first try at it and on a couple occasions I was a little nervous that I was going to muck up the blade, but i reminded myself I didn’t pay much for it. My wife was rooting for me to sell it on ebay. Silliness!

View Don W's profile

Don W

13961 posts in 1073 days


#5 posted 573 days ago

Nice find. Gun blue will help bring back the etch. I’m on my phone so can’t go into detail, but ask over here http://lumberjocks.com/topics/27984 and you’ll find the answer.

plus 1 for Joe over at second chance.

-- There is nothing like the sound of a well tuned hand plane. - http://timetestedtools.wordpress.com (timetestedtools at hotmail dot c0m)

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

9401 posts in 1512 days


#6 posted 573 days ago

Lol .. selling things … just wait until you get into handplanes. Silliness indeed. The next best thing to eelectrolysis is, IMO, Evaporust. Its a wonderful nectar. Cost ya about $25 for a gallon at harbor freight or tractor supply. Totally safe for your hands and wont muck up brass or paint. Most of the guys around here use the hell out of it, me included. I reuse it until its jet black and even then i just add a little more water to it until it wont work any more. Naval Jelly can be some nasty stuff to deal with and stinks to high heaven. Dont get me wrong it works, but there’s some safer stuff out there.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View Sylvain's profile

Sylvain

524 posts in 1005 days


#7 posted 573 days ago

There are a few blogs here about restoring saws

a few ones:
http://lumberjocks.com/donwilwol/blog/25390

http://lumberjocks.com/topics/27984

http://lumberjocks.com/Brit/blog/27511

planes, saws etc
http://lumberjocks.com/topics/35888
etc…

-- Sylvain, Brussels, Belgium, Europe - The more I learn, the more there is to learn

View clieb91's profile

clieb91

3197 posts in 2440 days


#8 posted 573 days ago

Gill, Welcome aboard. Nice fine on the saw and a real nice restore. I have a few of them between work and home and they really are a nice saw. Have to get around to restoring mine one day.

CtL

-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- PortablePastimes.com (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View gilleseg's profile

gilleseg

11 posts in 580 days


#9 posted 573 days ago

Chrisstef,

Thanks for the advice on the Evaporust, I had seen it but didn’t know much about it. I didn’t really trust the reviews on Harbour Freight. I have several older Stanley planes that are rusty and in need of much work. I am just starting out in the hand tool wood working world and making old planes serviceable is a lot of work. I look forward to it. Now I am off to find some time to do all the things I want to do. Cheers

View gilleseg's profile

gilleseg

11 posts in 580 days


#10 posted 573 days ago

Thank you Sylvain and thank you clieb91

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

9401 posts in 1512 days


#11 posted 573 days ago

Do yourself a favor and check out LJ Don W’s blog. All youll ever need to know on cleanin planes and then some. My brain cant even contain all rhe info without forgetting my own address and birthday.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

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