Antique Saw Rehab

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Project by FeralVermonter posted 01-13-2013 12:31 AM 1333 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

(I do hope this project fits the forum rules! I did read them, and puzzled over whether this project counts… If not, I apologize! Don’t want to ruffle any feathers, since I love this site!)

Inspired by other discussions on this site, I went to look at an old saw that I had lying around up in the barn. Sure enough, it was a Disston, which seem widely regarded as very fine saws. While I haven’t put much thought into hand tools, I figured that this old soldier deserved a few more years, so I broke it down, carefully cleaned it, and put quite a bit of work into cutting/sanding the handle back to pretty.

An especially fun discovery, under the rust, were the etchings on the blade.

Tried this baby out as soon as I had it put back together: cuts real nice, though it probably needs a bit of sharpening. This has been a very satisfying project… and I gotta say it gets me thinking about the hand tool approach…

I used naval jelly to remove rust on the blade—though this made the etchings very hard to read. To bring them back, I nicked a little piece of charcoal from the fireplace, ground it up, and rubbed it on. I finished both the handle with Johnson’s paste wax, and coated the blade too to keep it from rusting.

2 comments so far

View fuigb's profile


540 posts in 3192 days

#1 posted 01-13-2013 06:31 AM

Hi Feral. You mentioned elsewhere that you’re a “found” tool guy. Me too, btw. Anyway, if you’re building an arsenal on the cheap and you have more old handsaws, then consider converting the least of them into cabinet scrapers. I have a buddy who has had success doing this with old junk hand saws. They work well.

-- - Crud. Go tell your mother that I need a Band-aid.

View needshave's profile


177 posts in 2194 days

#2 posted 01-14-2013 05:30 PM

How did he make them into scrapers? cut to size, reshape and hone a edge? I use a lot of scrapers and tend to dull them quickly. It would be nice to have a few more laying around already sharp and ready.

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