My tool clean ups #1: My accidental forray into saw clean up

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Blog entry by natenaaron posted 09-14-2013 12:44 AM 1691 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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After reading many threads and blogs about saw restoration I got to wondering what one of these things cost. Then I stumbled on a Disston 4b at the back a storage shed in a box marked with the name of a very old storage customer on it. We own a boat storage business and when people leave they tend to leave a lot of stuff. We pack it up and put it away in case someone remembers they left something. This box had been put away many years ago by my father-in-law and obviously forgotten.

In the name of “research” I went to my favorite auction site to see what folks are paying for these old saws. Since I was bored I bid on one and got way outbid. Since I was still bored I found a D-8 placed a bid and won. Now what? I don’t know the first thing about rip saws much less need one. I won and it is the winning that counts, right? Even if you did not want what you won. So, while I waited for the saw to show up I did a lot more reading and realized that I, a mere mortal, was probably capable of returning this saw to a useful condition.

Here is the saw just after I got it and removed the handle

I was taking apart and cleaning one saw I figured should take apart and clean both. The 4b is much cleaner than the D8. I thought it was cool how the D8 was almost as black and mottled as my surfacing table. I applied the rust remover gel and went out to watch a nice storm move in. Being a desert rat all rain storms are fascinating to me.

After I scrubbed the gel off the blade It blended much better with my surfacing table

Out came the WD40, 320 grit paper, and red scrub pad. No more hiding in plain site

Then came the 400 grit and grey scrub pad. I wish I could have saved the etchings. You can still see most of them in the right light but I decided this was going to be a user. The handle was in good shape so after wiping the blade with carb cleaner I cleaned up the handle and put it back together.

The next step is figuring out how to sharpen it.

The 4b is looking awesome but the handle has a mean crack. The clean up of this saw will have to wait until I can make a new handle.

This is kind of an addicting process. This site is a bad influence.

6 comments so far

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4220 days

#1 posted 09-14-2013 08:13 AM

It is always good to see venerable tools like this come back to life. Good work so far. I hope your restoration addiction will result in an addiction to using these tools too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Don W's profile

Don W

19727 posts in 3453 days

#2 posted 09-14-2013 12:00 PM

Holy smokes. Not just a D8, but a thumb hole D8. Nice job! What a great looking saw now.

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

View Don W's profile

Don W

19727 posts in 3453 days

#3 posted 09-14-2013 12:02 PM

You should post them on the restoration thread.

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

View chrisstef's profile


18112 posts in 3892 days

#4 posted 09-14-2013 12:29 PM

Talk about stumbling into a jackpot. Your first rip with that d8 thumbhole will be a revelation. Great job on the clean up!

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View natenaaron's profile


442 posts in 2683 days

#5 posted 09-14-2013 04:00 PM

That’s a thumb hole? I thought it was a finger hole because it fits my trigger finger perfectly and is real comfortable. My thumb gets no where near it. Why is it called a thumb hole?

I’ll use the saws. In fact I am off to find some triangular files now. They won’t be saw files but they will be triangular. If I am careful and stay just shy of the gullet I should be fine.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4220 days

#6 posted 09-14-2013 04:15 PM

Maybe for cutting backward with the teeth of the saw pointed away from your body?

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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