Need help with some old tools.

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Forum topic by heavyelectrician posted 06-14-2010 06:37 PM 1456 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View heavyelectrician's profile


14 posts in 2967 days

06-14-2010 06:37 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I like old tools, especially inherited tools. So i have inherited some nice old Disston saws. They have been in storage for many years so you can imagine the discoloration and some rust. So how do i get the saw nice and smooth again, and hopefully somewhat silver. I’m not expecting them to gleam like a mirror but now they are brown.

-- You hold onto friends by keeping your heart a little softer than your head

13 replies so far

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

716 posts in 3646 days

#1 posted 06-14-2010 06:52 PM

I have never used it personally but I’ve heard that Naval Jelly works wonders on rusted tools.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 3136 days

#2 posted 06-14-2010 07:10 PM

I have used Naval Jelly to take the rust off of some old tools that a friend gave me. He found them in a garage attic. Many items were crusted over and I was able to find the original finish and make them usable again. Many folks here have had much success with a product called evapo-rust. The product requires little scrubbing and pretty much brings items to a “like new” state after a dip.


-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View uffitze's profile


199 posts in 2982 days

#3 posted 06-14-2010 08:14 PM

I’ve used WD40 and some wet/dry sandpaper with good results.

Take the handle off first. Get a file and sharpen the saw when you are done.

Look up the Norse Woodsmith’s blog (dunno if he’s on this site) ... good info on saw restoration (and old hand tools in general).

View heavyelectrician's profile


14 posts in 2967 days

#4 posted 06-14-2010 08:31 PM

Ok now where can i find Naval Jelly and evapo-rust?

uffitze, i tried the WD40 and sand paper ( my typical quick fix for everything WD40, duct tape and bailing wire) and i have had good results removing rust this way. But with these saws after over a half hour of work the small spot i was experimenting with was light brown and i was stained dark brown. Then my wife was trying to get the rust out of my clothes, somehow it got everywhere. She did a great job with my clothes, wonder if i can get her to clean the saws.

-- You hold onto friends by keeping your heart a little softer than your head

View chrisstef's profile


17428 posts in 3034 days

#5 posted 06-14-2010 08:41 PM

Ive also used mineral pirits to clean up old Disston saws myself. I started with a paint scraper, the single razor balde type, and scraped all the rust i could get off with that. Then using the mineral spirits and 220 sandpaper, being careful to not sand too hard where the etching is, and then moved up to some 320. I finish the blade off wth a good coat of paste wax. As stated above take the handles off first it just makes it a bit easier. Also if you are interested in identifying the saws google “Disstonian Institute” its got everything one needs to know about their tools. Good luck and post some pics if you can, id love to check em out.

Ive heard good things about evapo-rust, never used it myself, i think the only way to get it is to order online.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3142 days

#6 posted 06-14-2010 08:44 PM

there is allso the possibilytess to use either electrolyse or citric accid
to remove rust with
you can read more about it here

hope it will helps you
good luck with your tools

take care

View edgarO's profile


68 posts in 2932 days

#7 posted 06-14-2010 08:52 PM

I saw evaporust on Cool tools on diy network and the things they got rust off were amazing. you dont even have to wear glove as it is not caustic.

View heavyelectrician's profile


14 posts in 2967 days

#8 posted 06-14-2010 09:13 PM

chrisstef, i will get some photo’s and put them on, before and after. just with my current job i can’t get out to the shop as much as i would like. so it might be a little bit before i’m done. but i will definetly let you know. one of them i had to replace the handle because it was half gone. i was able to save the medallion that was originally there. i made the new handle out of a piece of maple i had in the scrap bin. first time i ever had to make a handle before. it works, feels and looks pretty good but i want to redo it better.

Thanks for all the extra info you guys are giving, i’m learning alot more than i thought i would.

-- You hold onto friends by keeping your heart a little softer than your head

View bigjoe4265's profile


52 posts in 2960 days

#9 posted 06-14-2010 09:46 PM

Yes, Evapo-rust works quite well and goes a long way. I get it at HF in the automotive section for around $17/gal (concentrated, treats 300 lbs. of steel). It can blacken or sort of gun blue steel, but I would imagine that could probably be removed with others suggestions/methods.


View swirt's profile


2786 posts in 2999 days

#10 posted 06-14-2010 10:50 PM

I follow this method
But if I am doing it indoors I use wd-40 instead of mineral spirits.

-- Galootish log blog,

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3676 days

#11 posted 06-14-2010 11:15 PM

I’ll second (or third.. or whatever number we’re at) the Evaorust for smaller tools/blades/saws. you can find it at any automotive store. you can see what it did to my #6 plane in this blog with minimal to no labor:

good luck

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View hairy's profile


2720 posts in 3559 days

#12 posted 06-14-2010 11:41 PM

Take a peek at this:

By the way, Front Royal is a great place!

-- My reality check bounced...

View mvflaim's profile


189 posts in 3118 days

#13 posted 06-15-2010 01:31 AM

Go here and look around.
He is a premier hand saw restorer and maker.

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