Hand Saws #3: E M Boynton rip restored

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Blog entry by Don W posted 07-03-2011 02:22 AM 6356 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: My Disston 70 Part 3 of Hand Saws series Part 4: Simonds Saw Restore »

So, this sad looking piece of machinery was in my chest of stuff. It was calling out my name in hopes of a new future. It was made by Eben Moody Boynton, Saw Manufacturer and Inventor - New York, N.Y. It seems he made saws in the mid 1800’s to the early 1900’s.

Its broken handle concerned me and it was rusted pretty bad. The long ago repair was so imbedded. some of the wood screws refused to come out. Trying to make a strainght cut with a hack saw in wood, is always a challenge, but we had to give it a go. I needed to straight clean surfaces to glue a new lower handle piece. A cut with the hack saw and a hit or two on the disk sander and we were in business.

Even the teeth had a good coat of rust built up. It had a cool little nib though. It definitively has character.

First i needed to get the handle glued up. I knew I could never match the wood in the handle close enough to hide the repair, so why even try. I have a two tone mentality anyhow. I love the looks of mixed wood. Off to find a piece of light colored wood. The piece of hickory wasn’t quite wide enough. The maple scrap fit the bill. I marked it out, cut it and with some sanding and fitting, glued it up for the night.

Next was the blade, Slap on the old derusting gunk and after working it in a little with the pretty blue brillo pad that comes with it,let it sit and work. The instruction say 10 minutes. Lets try an hour or so.

Now back to the handle. I little carving with the dremel tool got it close to the shape I think it was. Working the handle to shape gave me some time to think. I wondered how upset the owner was when this got broke. I wondered how he broke it. Maybe he dropped it from a second or third story building. I did that twice. Once with a brand new circular saw. Bent the guard all to crap. That was about 20 – 25 years ago. I still have that saw. You can still see remnants of the bend guard. It was never any good for finish cuts after that. The second time was a framing nailer. I had to have the case welded. I wondered if he swore like I did, or if he was a more gentle natured kind of guy. A little slower in his pace. I wondered if his fix was meant to be perminant, or if he intended to do what I did one day, but just never found the time.

Its starting to take shape. Sand, starting with 36 grit, right up through 500. I often think of the days when I had to worry about time when doing this kind of activity. What is the ROI (return on investment) when buying or fixing a tool. The ROI on this saw would be about 500 years, and .0001 percent. Man, I’m glad I’m not in it for the money! It would be a shame to pass this project by.

The thought of staining the handle with a darker stain crossed my mind, but I opted for the natural look. A coat of BLO (boiled linseed oil) and set it down. Wait, did that soak in already, lets give it another coat.

Back to the blade again. It took three coats of rust remover to get it all off. I then wire brushed the entire blade, including the teeth, knowing fully well It would need sharpening.

Its a rip saw, about 5 teeth per inch, so it was fairly easy to sharpen. Once sharpened, a quick coat of Fluid film and it was time to turn my attentions to the saw bolts. Wire brush and polish the brass. Nothing hard about that. But what about this one:

It had snapped during removal. My plan was to steel one from one of the other old saws, but of course, nothing matched. Plan b. What’s plan B? OK, ordering one would be a pain, and shipping would cost more than the bolt. Lets go down to the local true value. Sure they are sure to have an 1860’s saw bolt in brass.

How about we save the day. Lets drill and tap the head end, making a double nutted bolt. 8-32 seems to be close. Lets give it a try. A little prick punch action:

And drill and tap action, (i haven’t drilled and tapped anything in a while).

Add a 8-32 bolt with the head cut off. Slightly peen’ed on the head side, and we’re back in business.

A few more coats of BLO. The old wood was really soaking it up. I’ll bet I added 4 or 5 more coats before i left the shop. A coat of wax on the blade, and a test run. I think I can call this project complete.

I’ve already started to like this saw. I need a place to start hanging my restored saws. I have to rethink my wall space.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

9 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16942 posts in 3502 days

#1 posted 07-03-2011 04:28 AM

One word: Sweet.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3999 days

#2 posted 07-03-2011 06:20 AM

gooooood job
always great to see one of the nelected tool brought back to life :-)

how fast cut the saw compared to the new plastichandled universel cutting saws
why I ask … becourse I just got meself a 5½ per inch rip … though it only need a light tuch
compared to yours :-)
Just need to get some new sawfiles before I can saw with it and the crosscut also a 5 per inch saw
both 26 inch hand saws

take care

View tsangell's profile


216 posts in 3577 days

#3 posted 07-03-2011 07:33 AM

I actually like the non-matching patch. It’s like a piece of you added to the saw, rather than trying to hide the repair. I have a D8 thumbhole that is missing the bottom of the tote. I may do this myself…

View Brit's profile


8181 posts in 3726 days

#4 posted 07-03-2011 09:41 AM

Nice job Don and a great blog. The handle fix is wonderful and the shape of the new piece fits right in with the rest of the handle. You obviously have a good eye for detail.

That was an ingenious solution to the snapped bolt too. I’ve read that you can silver solder them, but don’t you think removing those split nuts is the scariest part of rehabbing an old saw? My heart is always in my mouth when I do it. I undo it very slowly and as soon as the nut starts to come tight, I back it off and approach it again going slightly further than I did before. I keep doing this until it turns freely. In effect is it like using the nut to recut the thread on the end of the bolt where it has been drawfiled after it was originally fitted. So far I haven’t had one break on me, but I know it doesn’t take much to snap one. The brass is so soft.

You’ve also given me hope. I have a really rusty tennon saw waiting for some love. I still don’t know if it can be saved or whether its destined to become wall art, but I’m sure going to try after seeing how yours came out. I’m currently working on another tennon saw rehab and will blog about both saws once I’m done.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Don W's profile

Don W

19726 posts in 3451 days

#5 posted 07-03-2011 02:11 PM

Andy, I work rusted bolts the same way. Typically you want to start with a small tighten action, then loosen. Then turn a quarter turn more off than on. I really think this one was already broke. I never felt it give, but then brass is soft. Certainly give that tennon saw a whirl. I think a blade needs to be pitted really bad before its not useable. I don’t think its like a planer blade, where a small nick really matters.

Dennis, I haven’t used a lot of hand saws in my life. I’ve always been a power saw guy. Most of my experience is with a short tool box saws off the shelf. I was pretty surprised at the speed of the cut. I tested it on a scrap 2” piece of the elm I used for my bench top. I can see using this for a quick cut rather than pulling a power saw off the shelf, plugging it in or grabbing a battery etc.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View CharlesAuguste's profile


126 posts in 3425 days

#6 posted 07-03-2011 03:07 PM

Great restoration!! I really like your handle repair well done!! but i must say you do talk about the nib and i dont see it!! but it is easy to make a new one with a file!

-- "the future's uncertain and the end is always near" J. Morrison

View Brit's profile


8181 posts in 3726 days

#7 posted 07-03-2011 03:32 PM

Apart from being heavily rusted Don, the plate is cracked between two of the holes. The handle is loose, etc. etc.

However I like a challenge, so I will see what I can do with it. Where there’s a will, there’s a way and all that.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Don W's profile

Don W

19726 posts in 3451 days

#8 posted 07-04-2011 11:57 PM

Ok Charles, I didn’t know there was the additional little “bump” on the saw. I thought it was just the tapered section of the saw. We live – we learn.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View Paul Sellers's profile

Paul Sellers

278 posts in 3454 days

#9 posted 08-13-2011 07:18 AM

Thanks for this. Love it!

-- Paul Sellers, UK

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