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sharpening stone on vintage saw

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Helvetica

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Hi all, I bought a few nice old saws and am going through the standard 320 grit on a wood block method of cleaning up the sides of the blade. Problem is, the sandpaper wears away too quickly and I've gone through 3 full sheets already. It's not rust, just fairly deep pitting and discolouration. So to speed things up I'm wondering could I use a sharpening stone?

I tried a dremel with a sanding bit too - amazing results, but I imagine it's too 'local' and will make the blade surface too uneven. In fairness the dremel makes things a little too shiny for an old saw. Love to hear your thoughts
 

Jacob

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Helvetica":2h8f39hw said:
.... am going through the standard 320 grit on a wood block method of cleaning up the sides of the blade. ...
Standard? Sez who?
Sounds like you are risking severely overdoing it. It'll never look like new so there's no point in going too far. I'd clean it up with wire wool and 3in1 oil, after scraping off any crusty rust (carefully, with a blunt scraper) cleaning off with white spirit every now and then.
 

Pete Maddex

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Hi,

Keep on with the wet and dry you will get there in the end, I can't recomend a faster method that won't do damage.
Clean them up to a standard you are happy with, I go for still dull but no rust while sanding.

Pete
 

bugbear

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Helvetica":2br2yl54 said:
Hi all, I bought a few nice old saws and am going through the standard 320 grit on a wood block method of cleaning up the sides of the blade. Problem is, the sandpaper wears away too quickly and I've gone through 3 full sheets already. It's not rust, just fairly deep pitting and discolouration. So to speed things up I'm wondering could I use a sharpening stone?

I tried a dremel with a sanding bit too - amazing results, but I imagine it's too 'local' and will make the blade surface too uneven. In fairness the dremel makes things a little too shiny for an old saw. Love to hear your thoughts
Somewhere between 320-600 has always worked well for me. The only time I've ever gone through abrasive super-quickly is when the rust is so viciously textured I've torn the sheet.

I'd normally reckon to clean a hand saw (e.g. 26" 8 TPI cross cut) with around 2 quarter sheets of SiC paper, so your consumption sounds very high.

Of course, if you're changing sheets as soon as the initial (very enjoyable...) cutting speeds drops a little, you're being quite extravagant, and high consumption would be expected.

BugBear (who's cleaned several saws)
 

Helvetica

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Thanks for the feedback. I notice the wear on my sanding block (white pine) is nearly all on the edges, even though I chamfered the edges after flattening it. Maybe I should be using a softer material like a piece of cork board? Of course I want to be careful of the etching too. I'll struggle on! Bugbear: any tips for cleaning the nooks and crannies in the tote? I'm working away with a toothbrush but I think I need something a little more agricultural to remove the old varnish!

Oh one final question: what do you use to re-varnish the tote? A specific product and method recommendation would be great! most of the how-to's use american products and terms that all sound a bit fruity to me

cheers!
 

Pete Maddex

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Hi, Helvetica

Scrapers are good for removing varnish in awkward places, you can make them from old saw blades :wink:
I use Danish oil in most things, you can still feel the wood, varnish is plastic which isn't nice to hold.


Pete
 

pedder

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On ugly hand saws (And jimi knows that i buy the real ugly exclusivly) I start with 80 or 120 on a belt sander. Fast work. :)


Cheers
Pedder
 

bugbear

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pedder":s2qz7l5b said:
On ugly hand saws (And jimi knows that i buy the real ugly exclusivly) I start with 80 or 120 on a belt sander. Fast work. :)


Cheers
Pedder
I found that using grits below 320 speeded up the removal of rust, but the time saved was paid back, with interest, when removing the scratches left by the coarse grits in the later stages.

Perhaps the belt sander leaves shallower scratches than hand work?

BugBear
 

pedder

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Hi Bugbear,

This is a saw I sanded with the belt sander and a G 80 (or maybe G 100) belt:



The scratsches on old handsaws (esp, Disston) are allways deeper than my.

As long as I sand in the correct direction, I don't hur the saw.

The belts dull really fast and polish after that point. But I have to be fast then, because the go to heat up the saw blad.

Cheers Pedder
 

bugbear

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Thanks for the picture; I suspect it may explain a difference.

I'm normally aiming to do as little as possible - in particular, I don't want to strip down to bare new metal, and create a mirror finish, or even a "brushed finish".

If that were my intention, I would probably need more work in the early stages, and to progress though all the grits.

In that case (of course?) starting with a coarser grit is completely reasonable.

BugBear
 

Helvetica

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Thanks for all the feedback gents. I bought a nest from eBay, some thoroughbreds, some mongrels, but all will be users (even though by definition I am now a saw collector!). I will probably give away my stanley fatmax and 3 garbage plastic tenon saws I have been working with up until now.

I got the saws for a song, then my wonderful wife bought me something called a Disston 3D with complete filing guide :) it cost more than a song let me tell you. I was on the verge of buying the gramercy, and maybe that would have been a better tool functionally, but I will be using the D3 for a long time now, and by god I will be using the filing guide whether it's useless or not!

I'll post few photos of the saws, who doesn't like photos of saws? In the nest was (not sure if my categories are correct):

Ripsaws:
• Disston D8 Thumb Rip 4ppi 28"
• Groves Xcut (rip?) 6ppi 26"
• Spear & Jackson 26" rip, 6ppi

Panel saws:
• Superior 24.5" Xcut, 8ppi (ship's point, or just really worn?)
• Disston Phila 23.5" Xcut 8ppi
• Disston Phila D8 Panel Xcut 10ppi 22"
• Spear & Jackson 22" Xcut,
• Spear & Jackson 22" rip, 8ppi

Tenon:
• Spear & Jackson 12" rip 15ppi (professional) (file as Xcut)
• Superior 10" steel tenon rip saw, 14ppi

Carcase:
• Spear & Jackson 14" Xcut carcase steel 13ppi (taper)
• Tyzack 120 12" Xcut tenon, 14ppi
 

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No skills

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Boo! been looking for a 28" disston thumbhole rip, missed a few on the bay for little money #-o

Looks like a good haul, should keep you busy for a while (hammer)
 
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