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
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
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.