Old back saw

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Forum topic by oltexasboy1 posted 01-18-2015 05:53 PM 992 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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250 posts in 1903 days

01-18-2015 05:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: handsaw backsaw splitnuts saw restoration question refurbishing

Does anyone here have any experience with removing split nuts from an old saw? I have a 24” back saw I bought for cutting tenons that I am going to restore and resharpen but I have never tried to remove a split nut from a saw handle before and I don’t want to ruin the thing before I get a chance to use it. Anybody have any ideas, I figure that I have enough old screwdrivers I could sacrifice one to the cause and just grind a slot in the center of the blade so as to miss the screw end and still be able to loosen the nut. Again, any ideas?

-- "The pursuit of perfection often yields excellence"

6 replies so far

View Grumpymike's profile


2331 posts in 2514 days

#1 posted 01-18-2015 06:20 PM

The proper tool is a spanner (wrench), but to find one the right size is a challenge. Most of us do like you described, and make one out of flat stock or an old sacrificial tool.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View oltexasboy1's profile


250 posts in 1903 days

#2 posted 01-18-2015 06:49 PM

I literally have a “pile” of old screwdrivers and I think that’s the route o go.

-- "The pursuit of perfection often yields excellence"

View Tim's profile


3812 posts in 2160 days

#3 posted 01-18-2015 06:59 PM

If you don’t have a screwdriver wide enough you can make one out of a spade bit too. You want to grind the shape until it fits perfectly.

Another idea I think is from Andy on the saw thread but I’m just trying to remember the best I can. Any mistakes are my own. The idea is to take a piece of scrap wood and drill a hole just a hair larger than the size of the nut and clamp that to the handle around the nut you are removing. That helps reduce the blowout of the wood as the nut comes out. On the other side you may need to clamp a piece of rubber against the smooth side to stabilize it and keep it from spinning.

The basic idea is to ease them out. Unscrew a bit, then back off, then try a little bit more, then back off, etc. They break sometimes even if you’re careful, but being careful helps.

Maybe one of the guys with more experience will stop by here too.

View oltexasboy1's profile


250 posts in 1903 days

#4 posted 01-19-2015 02:25 PM

Thanks guys I’ll keep you updated .

-- "The pursuit of perfection often yields excellence"

View Greg In Maryland's profile

Greg In Maryland

553 posts in 3197 days

#5 posted 01-19-2015 06:30 PM

Blackburn tools has them for sale:

My experience is that the slots in split nuts are much too narrrow to repurpose a screwdriver for. It was easier to buy the right tool than it was to fiddle with grinding a surplus screwdriver.


View waho6o9's profile


8516 posts in 2776 days

#6 posted 01-19-2015 06:33 PM

One can be made out of an old spade bit.

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