Restoring hand saws. How much pitting is too much.

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Forum topic by DW833 posted 07-04-2016 11:43 PM 300 views 0 times favorited 2 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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181 posts in 1304 days

07-04-2016 11:43 PM

Topic tags/keywords: handsaw restore

I have several handsaws I’ve started to restore. Removed rust with evaporust and a grinder brass wheel. Then I used sandpaper starting at 100 grit and going to 400 grit. Then used a buffing wheel with HF black and gray compound. Noticed there is considerable pitting remaining on most of the blade. How much pitting is OK?

Also, though it would be hard to see, there could be pitting on the teeth. How does pitting affect the ability to sharpen the teeth?

I’ve seen some of the saw restores where the end result is a really clean highly polished blade. These saws are not close to that. I thought that the buffing wheel would help with that, but I don’t see it happening on these saws.

2 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile


15472 posts in 2428 days

#1 posted 07-05-2016 12:08 AM

Pitting at the toothline would make teeth weak if filed for xcut. Rip filed isnt too bad. All depending on the amount of pitting obviously. Youll sand and sand for days trying to get rust out of the pits. All in all, Imo, some pitting is fine. A lot along the toothline needs a call to be made.

Got any pics??

-- "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 Tim's profile


3032 posts in 1383 days

#2 posted 07-05-2016 01:10 AM

If you see a saw restore where the end result was a really clean polished plate then the rust was just surface rust and hadn’t started pitting. The only way to fully remove pitting is to remove all the metal down to the bottom of the pits, but on a saw plate that may not be possible.

Pitting near the teeth can make them brittle enough that they are more likely to snap off when you try to set them. Pitting can also increase the friction of the saw in the kerf. The only option really is either to clean it up the best you can then live with it a bit or find saws with less rust in the first place.

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