Around Thanksgiving, my Father-in-Law, Dave, mentioned that his handsaws needed to be sharpened. I told him that I would be happy to sharpen them, so we went out to his workshop to check them out. One of the saws had a really bad kink in the blade and wasn’t in any condition to be salvaged without a lot of work. The other was fairly rusted and had a minor kink near the end of the blade, but it wasn’t too bad.
I wish I had taken a picture of this saw before I started working on it. It was a Craftsman; I think it was probably made in the 1970s or 1980s. In addition to the kink in the blade, the tote (the proper name for a saw’s handle) was very poorly designed. It was made of 1″ plywood, and all its proportions were much to large to be usable. I asked Dave if he wanted me to make a new tote for the saw in addition to sharpening it. He responded, “Whatever you want to do.” That was music to my ears.
I brought this saw home and over the past week and a half, I have been working on restoring it. First I picked up a nice cherry board from my friend Kurt and started making a new tote. On Christmas Day, I took the mostly completed tote to see how it fit Dave’s hand. After finishing the tote, I gave the saw plate a bath in Evapo-rust, a great (and very environmentally friendly) rust remover.
I had talked to Dave on Christmas Eve about what type of wood he expected to cut and what clean-up he usually did after using the saw. It turns out that the saw wasn’t particularly suited to his needs, so I decided to rework the saw’s cutting geometry. The first step in this process was to file away all the existing teeth of the saw. Next, I had to file in new teeth. Once the new teeth were formed, I sharpened the cutting angles on the teeth. It took several passes with a file to get the saw good and sharp.
Once the blade was sharp, I cut a groove in the tote for the saw-blade and drilled holes for the saw-nuts that hold the handle to the saw plate. Next, I put several coats of Watco Danish Oil on the tote; and when it was dry, I put the saw together.
Here is a photo showing both the original tote and the new one.
What do you think of the restoration? I would love to hear your thoughts? Also, please let me know if you would like more or less details in future posts.