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Handsaw Sharpening & Traditional Tools with Mike Hagemyer

  Handsaw Rescue by Mike Hagemyer 1 of 5  


Did I ever mention how much I hate aspiring artists who think they are being original by painting on a saw plate?


Now this doesnít bother me quite so much if it is just a rusty old no name saw. However, itís all too often that I run into a really nice century or so old Disston that could easily be put back to work.

But no, someone decides to paint a picture on it.

This is the story of one such saw I recently rescued. Thatís right; I hate painted saws so much that I usually buy them just so I can destroy the so called art. Truthfully, I only buy them if I want the saw.

At any rate, I bought this one off Etsy as art and probably paid too much. However, I donít think about that any more. Itís time to think about the best route to reclaim this little gem and give it back its life. These pictures show the saw as it came to me except I removed the handle.

I think I will call it the rose, or not. That would be an insult. Before starting the rescue work I wanted to be sure the saw was authentic. With the handle removed I can see that the parts are all correct. The handle is properly fitted to the plate and the screw holes have not been modified.

This plate also has an X and an F stamped on it up in the corner under the handle. No. 12s were often marked similar to this but not always. I do not know the significance of the markings but have seen quite a few with just an X, a few with an X and a second letter and also a few with no marking under the handle. At this point I have no doubt the saw is all original and well worth restoring.

The pictures show some obvious issues with the handle. Both horns need work but overall the handle is actually quite nice. By the daintiness of the features and also the medallion I can see this saw is an earlier model, likely 1880s. It also has the earlier smaller screws. I will make every effort to keep it as original as possible. Some wood will need to be added to the handle and the nib is missing from the plate.

The only other real discrepancy is the plate is marked 11 points but it measures 9. At some point in its life it was converted, which is not unusual. I will keep it a 9 point so as not to lose any more plate than necessary to restore the tooth line. Besides, a nine point panel saw will be handy at my bench and also useful when I need to be mobile.

The teeth were clogged with paint but I could see the tooth line was going to need some work. Before cleaning I decided to joint the tooth line and file a lite first pass down each side to get started with reshaping the teeth. I did this before cleaning to reduce the set, which makes the cleaning easier.

It also clears the paint from between the teeth so I can better see what the sharpening issues are going to be.

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