The saw that almost got thrown away

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Blog entry by jjw5858 posted 03-29-2012 10:31 PM 1711 reads 0 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well there I was walking down each outdoor lane of auction tables…not much on this day I was afraid. A few rusted junked brace and bits…ahhh…..gotta pass….got too many as it is…lol, another old beaten down plastic handle handplane…I can live without that…lol, finally in the corner of my eye..what is this???

Well…. the closer my focus the sad reality of two old disston saws..USA’s…not old as in collectable…but old as in ugly condition….lmao. Was I going to pay 5 to 15 dollars for these?......haven’t I had enough?? the rest of you reading can play along and all together now….NO YOU HAVEN’T JOE.......LOL

Suddenly the man running the table, cigarette dangling from his worn face says “These two saws….you can take em’.....yeah…go ahead take em’ they been sitting here and taking up room I need the space.” I said….”Are you sure?”...”Oh yeah..they are just gonna end up getting thrown away”....etc.etc… Well I made sure to walk over and shake his hand and proceed to take these neglected saws and exit to my pickup truck….lol

Upon further review I realized….wow….these are both fairly sharp….but sure ragged and the one handle…..just flat out worn away of any shine or sense of life…lol….....poor saw.

Pic 1-2: This is what I was dealing with

Pic 3-4: Starting to sand down this old handle and see what I can do

Pic 5: Some Watco Dark Walnut Danish Oil with a follow up of some clear Shellac..and I got this wonderful robust and rustic looking handle…with life back in it!

Pic 6: A cleaning with soapy water and sandpaper and I brought it back to what I think looks really nice…this will be a favorite user for sure, a light sharpening at best because it is almost up to full task as it is.

I went very softly at first trying to find any emblems on the blade….but it was just so badly kept I uncovered nothing as I went on….I was happy nonetheless it’s blade is straight and cuts well without a sharpening.

This was a fun cleanup….and I feel extremely lucky to have saved this saw, it’s not collectable or highly sought after…it’s just an old saw that was sitting on the edge of an auction table….almost ready to hit the pavement, and a nice guy that needed some space gave it to me. If he had a chance to see it and use it now…lol…...he might have said….ahhh….maybe not….lol

Well, I am thankful for it…and thankful for anyone that got a kick out of this. There may be a part 2…because he gave me 2!

Best wishes for now,


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

11 comments so far

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2375 days

#1 posted 03-29-2012 10:47 PM

You did a great job on this. It’s like a true “diamond in the rough” come back to life.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View dpow's profile


503 posts in 2811 days

#2 posted 03-30-2012 12:14 AM

Some guys have all the luck….and some guys(jjw) get all the tools. Nice save, Joe. Thanks for the story too.

-- Doug

View NormG's profile


5955 posts in 2971 days

#3 posted 03-30-2012 01:46 AM

Great find and even etter save. Wonderful refurb, I am sure you will have many years of service from these saws

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


15283 posts in 2585 days

#4 posted 03-30-2012 02:08 AM

I do like what you’ve done with that saw! Congrats on your new ‘keeper!’

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive --

View daydrik's profile


66 posts in 2383 days

#5 posted 03-30-2012 12:51 PM

good lookin saw.
have you ever used mineral spirits and sandpaper to clean a blade? that was how I was taught to clean them, but was wondering if soup is eny better? it would help with all the fumes.

-- "by all means read what the experts say. Just don't let it get in the way of your woodworking" ;John Brown

View helluvawreck's profile


30765 posts in 2834 days

#6 posted 03-30-2012 01:03 PM

I’d sure like to have ‘em. I love old saws. Nice work.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Roger's profile


20923 posts in 2771 days

#7 posted 03-30-2012 01:29 PM

Wow! You were in the right place at the right time for sure.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4052 days

#8 posted 03-30-2012 02:24 PM

:-) Good, good job! That looks really nice.


View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3301 days

#9 posted 03-30-2012 07:13 PM

Good save.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View jjw5858's profile


1135 posts in 2569 days

#10 posted 03-30-2012 08:12 PM

Thanks friends, I have really been fortunate to find some very nice deals out there. I at one time was a person that would look at a handsaw like this and think it should be thrown away….lol. I gained a real passion for learning more on this craft by Paul Sellers. His dvd course and website really are a great source of learning a more in depth approach and care for handtools. I am on the beginners road to learning to sharpen..and I have been very surprised to learn that many people in the trade of handtools do not even sharpen or know how to do so regarding the use of handsaws. So….I am slowly trying to learn and so far it has been a positive journey.

If you have an interest in my saw cleanups or some of my guitar…you can check out this link if you have not already here:

Thanks so much for the comments and inspiration.


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

View Brit's profile


7369 posts in 2810 days

#11 posted 03-31-2012 07:41 AM

You can’t beat a freebie Joe, especially when you can turn it into a useful tool as you have done here. Well done my friend.

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

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