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Thread: restoring old saws

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Saint John, NB

    Default restoring old saws

    I know this has probably been gone over a hundred times but how about a hundred and one? I have picked up several Disston saws lately at yard sales. I'll post pictures soon so you all can help me identify what I have. I can't even distinguish between a rip saw and a cross cut saw. Anyway my first questions are on cleaning these old things up. I picked up only saws that had straight blades and no broken handles and I want to keep them as users so I don't need them sparkling. Cleaning up the handles is no problem and Brasso works amazing on the brass but how do you clean the rust off those blades? I'm hoping to use something I can find locally. What are people using?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Canada's East Coast
    Real Name

    Default Re: restoring old saws

    I use citric acid to chemically remove rust, though you can buy Evaporust that does the same thing. Citric acid is aval in powdered form where wine making supplies are sold.

    Do a google search for articles by Bob Smalser as he has publish a few good ones on saw repair. Some are available here.

    Daryl Weir has put together some great info here and he is an accomplished saw guru. His site is here.

    The cleanup is easy but it is the sharpening that takes a lot of practice. Good luck with your restoration.

    Canada's Island Paradise - Prince Edward Island

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    N.E. Edmonton

    Default Re: restoring old saws

    Brent, I use much of the same techniques as Daryl does on his saws. I personally don't like Evaporust very much as it leaves the metal very dull and lifeless looking. When you sand the metal, stop sanding when the slurry your getting stops being reddish and becomes just black. Thats how you know the rust is gone and now your just removing metal. I also don't like Brasso much, I use a really fine wire brush on my brass.
    Sharpening is fun to learn, but you need to get a good understanding of the difference between rip and crosscut teeth first.
    To help with identifying your Disston saws, be sure to check out this site.
    Have fun!


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