Wednesday 3 May 2017

Old Hand Saw Restoration

I found these old saws in my local scrap store for a quid. I've always been a fan of the old-fashioned aesthetic of wooden handles. So being just a quid, I thought I'd grab them, although I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with them.


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The Blades
The blades were very rusty, and I wasn't sure if they'd be salvageable. I was only really after the wooden handles anyway, but thought it'd be worth a shot restoring them.

One of the "old-wives tale"-type solutions for rust is white vinegar. I was sceptical, but it's a cheap option, so I gave it a shot, and it worked surprisingly well.

It takes some time, but takes little actual working time - I just set up the blades soaked in the vinegar (I found it easier to wrap the blades in kitchen roll/tissue paper and soaking that, rather than trying to find a suitably sized container).

I did that first thing in the morning, left them most of the day and later rinsed them off and scrubbed the blades. It got the worst off, but there was still a few spots of rust that remained. For that I used a wire brush.

The screws were brass, and cleaned up easily with Brasso.

The Handles
The handle of the tenon saw was in the worst state of the two - removing the blade revealed quite a large crack running from the near screw hole to the hand opening. During disassembly this caused a fragment to break away, but I was able to glue it back neatly with Superglue and it's not noticeable unless it's being looked for.

The flat sides of the handle I sanded with an orbital sander, but sanding the curved areas required a Dremel and a lot of patience.

Once sanded both handles were stained with a redwood stain, applied using a cloth rather than a brush (I find this highlights the natural woodgrain better).


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Now they're restored, I'm still not entirely sure what to do with them. I have plenty of other saws, so it's not like I'll particularly need them for actual work, so I'll likely just use them for some artsy display or something in the workshop.

Side note: After removing all the rust, I discovered this faint engraving on the side of the tenon saw. It says PT2250, and appears hand-engraved.
It's very faint and difficult to photograph clearly, but it's hand written and says "PT 2250". Wonder what it means?

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