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Disston Handsaw Restoration #1: Very Experienced Disston Handsaw

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Blog entry by Skip Mathews posted 07-12-2014 05:20 PM 1159 reads 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Disston Handsaw Restoration series Part 2: Saw Blade, Tote, and Brass Cleaning »

I picked up a Disston num 12 full size 26-in handsaw a couple days ago at a flea market for $7.50.
Based on Disstonion I am guessing the age at 1920-28.
It needs considerable work but I thought I would give it a shot.

It has 10-ppi and is marked with a 0 (not a 10?)


It has the mysterious nib at the top end.

The tote is pretty broken but if I can find some apple wood I can fix it.

The blade is mostly straight with a slight curve but no kinks

I steel wooled the area where I should see etching but can’t see anything.
I planned to start rust removal with Evapo-Rust and wet sanding with 400 grit then 800.

Meanwhile I am looking for a piece of apple wood, no idea where to find it yet, I have asked around.
Should be a fun project.

I restored a rip saw a few month ago that turned out pretty nice.
I used it to rip 4×12s for my work bench.

-- Being focused on a project is the best meditation, it allows you to live in the moment"



10 comments so far

View palaswood's profile

palaswood

818 posts in 498 days


#1 posted 07-12-2014 06:05 PM

thats fun! returning a vintage saw to its former glory must feel great. i have an old D7 thats needs a similar treatment but I just havent got around to it. (ebay for 15) luckily the handle is in good shape. they used apple?
(nice job on the rip)

-- Joseph, Lake Forest, CA, http://instagram.com/palas_woodcraft#

View Skip Mathews's profile

Skip Mathews

82 posts in 597 days


#2 posted 07-12-2014 11:19 PM

The rip saw had a mountain scene painted on top of the rust. Quite a cleaning job. But the handle just needed metal cleaner for the brass, steel wool and linseed oil for the wood. I am really happy about how it turned out. I think I paid less than $10.

-- Being focused on a project is the best meditation, it allows you to live in the moment"

View Brad's profile

Brad

927 posts in 1487 days


#3 posted 07-13-2014 03:53 PM

Skip, your thumby turned out nicely. Great job. I like that you’re challenging yourself to tackle the rehab of the No. 12. You’ll advance your skills accordingly. I LOVE my No. 12. The steel is of the best quality and when you pluck the plate it gives the most pleasing twang of any of my saws :)

-- "People's lives are their own rewards or punishments."

View Skip Mathews's profile

Skip Mathews

82 posts in 597 days


#4 posted 07-14-2014 05:38 PM

Brad – Thanks for the comment! I browsed through your projects and see you do a lot of tool restoration. They look great! I hope I can do as good a job with this #12 as you have done with your projects. Let me know if you have any suggestions… like where to find apple wood. I am considering Beech but don’t think I will get a good match.

-- Being focused on a project is the best meditation, it allows you to live in the moment"

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11458 posts in 1753 days


#5 posted 07-14-2014 05:43 PM

Sometimes the easiest way to fix a busted up handle is to find a donor saw with the same type of handle. Apple wood isn’t the easiest thing to come by and when ya find it, it aint cheap. Last I saw some it was like $15/bf here in CT. Great restore on the saws, you’ve got them looking ready for work again.

-- "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 Skip Mathews's profile

Skip Mathews

82 posts in 597 days


#6 posted 07-14-2014 08:20 PM

I found German apple wood in Pennsylvania for a minimum order of $300 before they can ship. Not sure how many BdFt that is but I don’t need a lifetime supply :0
I did go back to the flea market looking for saws to cannibalize but didn’t find any good ones.
Thanks for the comment!

-- Being focused on a project is the best meditation, it allows you to live in the moment"

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11458 posts in 1753 days


#7 posted 07-14-2014 08:29 PM

I got a good tip from LJ Brit on scavaging old English jack or jointer planes for QS beech material for handsaw repairs too Skip. Works like a charm and there’s plenty of material on a jack or jointer plane for multiple repairs.

If you haven’t happened to stumble on his “Saw talk” blog series, give it a good read. Its a wealth of information.

-- "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 Skip Mathews's profile

Skip Mathews

82 posts in 597 days


#8 posted 07-14-2014 09:47 PM

Holy Cow!! What a great Idea. I have four old planes in a box just in case I want to work on plane repair. I didn’t even think of using them on the saw handle. Awesome!!

I will check out the “Saw Talk”! Thanks!

What a cool Idea… use wood from an old plane :)
I am going to work on this tonight!

-- Being focused on a project is the best meditation, it allows you to live in the moment"

View palaswood's profile

palaswood

818 posts in 498 days


#9 posted 07-17-2014 08:55 PM

Skip I love your enthusiasm.

-- Joseph, Lake Forest, CA, http://instagram.com/palas_woodcraft#

View Skip Mathews's profile

Skip Mathews

82 posts in 597 days


#10 posted 07-17-2014 09:08 PM

Hey! I’m having a good time! :) I’m all about learning new stuff!

-- Being focused on a project is the best meditation, it allows you to live in the moment"

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