Antique Saw Restoration

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Molynoox

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Hi All,

I'm making a gift for a friend, it's a restoration of one of her dad's old saws. He was a keen and capable carpenter, and he recently died. She offered me a load of his old workshop gear for a small cash donation and I ended up with a bandsaw and a lathe and loads of other bits for virtually nothing. I wanted to give a little something back.
She gave me three antique hand saws and I thought it would be a nice idea to restore one of them and hand it back to her in a display cabinet, or mounted on a piece of wood or something.

I will show you my progress so far and I'm looking for a bit of advice to get it to next level if possible.

Original state
IMG_20211215_115226.jpg

IMG_20211215_115253.jpg

Mid-way through some sanding
IMG_20211215_115242.jpg

IMG_20211215_115247.jpg

Handle sanded and oiled, bolts sanded and polished
IMG_20211230_131125.jpg

IMG_20211230_131119.jpg


Even getting to that stage took absolutely loads of sanding, down to 320 grit, and I still wasn't happy so I had another go with 1000 grit wet and dry paper and then hit it with some metal polish. The blade is now quite shiny, but not where I want it to be, its a bit pitted, and its still not looking as new.

Current state of blade - but not quite good enough yet
IMG_20220103_170939.jpg

IMG_20220103_170926.jpg


Its very hard to take pictures of shiny things, so you cant really see much, but take my word for it that it isn't looking like new yet

Question 1: Should I give up at this stage and just accept its as good as I'm going to get it?
Question 2: what are my options for cleaning up the blade further to get it looking really amazing and good enough to hang on your wall?

thanks!
Martin
 

Molynoox

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I don't know to be honest Mark, one of the reasons for posting it, I can be a bit obsessive sometimes and I end up missing the point. I figured the handle told the story but maybe the blade should do that too....
 

MARK.B.

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Nothing wrong with being obsessive at times Molynoox :) , had you been going to use it then Bright and Shiny would have been the way to go , for looks not so much :)
 

TomW

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I've done a few old saws, mainly back saws but I'd say you've taken it far enough with the blade and likely as far as is practical/possible. You can only do so much when the metal is pitted.
I've got a Frankenstein saw from 70's and 60's parts of two saws because the older ones blade was so bad it had nearly gone through!

Sounds like what you're doing is a great idea, chuck some wax on it before it tarnishes and get on with the display box :)
 

paulrbarnard

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Sorry but I think you have already gone way too far. All the patina has gone and the saw would never have been shiny even new.

That said if the recipient is not. woodworker or tool collector and it is intended as a reminder of the past then it will be a great gift.

edit: Please sharpen it before you put it in the case. I always find it so sad seeing a tool that was once a prized possession of a craftsman hanging on a wall in a state that it couldn't be used. Completely removes the meaning and soul of the tool.
 

Molynoox

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I think the pictures make it look much shinier than it is, I will take some others. She is not a woodworker and I'm not sure if any of the details mentioned would be appreciated / noticed, but I will have a go at sharpening it as what you say makes sense.

One idea I had was to to put one of the old saws inside the case alongside the restored one - something like a indicator of time (old vs new and 50 years between them kinda thing). In a way that 50 years would be some sort of representation of his life.... But decided against that - far too complex :D
Martin
 
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Great job - although I agree with Paul about leaving a bit of history on the item. An old saw shouldn't look like a new saw, it should look like an old saw well taken care of.

Are you going to make the case yourself? Throw it up on the "last thing I made" thread!
 

Molynoox

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Indeed, comments all fully absorbed and appreciated, and I'm hiding my sandpaper and polish :ROFLMAO: (y)

I hadn't really given much thought to the case, but whatever happens I will make something myself. Was thinking of just mounting it on a decent bit of wood, without it being a full on case. I don't really have any wood that's suitable though, everything I have is construction lumber or offcuts of cedar. Might have to buy some.

Martin
 

Henniep

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To retain the 'historic' look, hand burnish with wire wool or fibre scourer, to remove excessive grime and loose rust, and then give the item two coats of aerosol satin or matt varnish.
 

Molynoox

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here are some more pictures in different light, as you can see the finish is nothing like perfect:
IMG_20220112_144013.jpg

IMG_20220112_144043.jpg

IMG_20220112_144054.jpg


Martin
 

paulrbarnard

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here are some more pictures in different light, as you can see the finish is nothing like perfect:
View attachment 126722
View attachment 126723
View attachment 126724

Martin
The blade looks much better in these. Still a bit much for me :)

Here is a similar one of mine that has been in use for many years. I received it from my Grandfather about 25 years ago. I rubbed the blade down with a pot scourer (green plasticky thing) and then applied wax. Apart from that I've done nothing but use it since then. The S&J etch is still visible.
tempImagefzgL6M.jpg
 

Molynoox

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wow that's so similar - cool that you are still using it too
I plan to use the other ones I received once I have got them in good working / non rusty order

Martin
 

paulrbarnard

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wow that's so similar - cool that you are still using it too
I plan to use the other ones I received once I have got them in good working / non rusty order

Martin
I work pretty much fully by hand so all my saws get regular use. I have a range of hand saws in various TPI and crosscut/rip profiles.
IMG_2544.jpeg


It would be great to get yours sharpened up and in use. After you have used a saw a few times the effort required drops considerably.
Had some fun with my son in law a few weeks back as I helped him fit some skirting boards. He had never used a handsaw before and simply couldn't work out how I could cut a true edge with a handsaw quicker and more accurately than he could with the parkside circular saw he had bought. He is happy to use a handsaw now and I also showed him how to cope a joint so he is all set for a lifetime of renovations :)
 

Molynoox

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Impressive stuff! Just one step away from changing your name to Paul Sellers 😃

I'm hoping to have a nice ordered workshop like that soon.

Martin
 
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