In the course
of recovering old handsaws I have run onto many that have
suffered bending damage of different degrees...
... and some that I should have avoided
but didnít. Today I will usually walk away from a saw that is
badly bent up unless the price is awful low or the saw is
special. However, I have to admit, for me itís difficult to pass
up some saws no matter what.
Iím sure you know the scenario, a No. 12 Disston
for twenty or thirty bucks because itís bent. That usually hooks
me every time. I do try to at least assess before buying but
they always seem to look better until I get them home. As a
result I have had to straighten quite a few.
Here is an example of one such saw that I would
normally not bother with. Besides being badly kinked, its plate
has been painted with what looks like flat black paint over
Notice the white along the tooth line. Must be
someone gave up on it and dedicated it to an art project but
didnít finish. I actually bought this saw to salvage the handle
and screws which are still very good.
Here are two views of the damage. It is bent in
three places and two directions, sort of an s-shape. I would
call this kinked actually.
This is the sort of thing that happens mostly
from careless sawing. In the case of this saw, the plate width
could have also been a contributing factor. This saw was once a
big bad D-8 ripper with a wide heavy plate. As a saw is used and
sharpened it loses plate width and thus loses stiffness and
Taper grinding makes the plate thinner towards
the top and thicker at the tooth line. The plate gradually loses
the thickest and strongest area as it is sharpened. The more
plate that gets used up the less tolerance there is for abuse.
At any rate I am going to try and straighten this saw and share
I start by cleaning the plate. In this case I
wonít try to get it spotless but I want it clean and smooth.
Final cleaning will take place latter if I decide the plate is
still useful. I wipe the plate with light oil before doing any
hammer work. Besides protecting the plate from abrasion the oil
also provides visual aid as does cleaning if you donít go too
far too fast. Notice the shinny spots along the front side of
the plate shown here.
They indicate high spots and there are several
on this side. The worst area shows up as a streak nearly clear
across the plate. It is the worst bend on this plate and the one
I will work on first.