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Disston Handsaw Restoration

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Blog series by Skip Mathews updated 07-25-2014 05:18 AM 6 parts 14344 reads 38 comments total

Part 1: Very Experienced Disston Handsaw

07-12-2014 05:20 PM by Skip Mathews | 10 comments »

I picked up a Disston num 12 full size 26-in handsaw a couple days ago at a flea market for $7.50.Based on Disstonion I am guessing the age at 1920-28.It needs considerable work but I thought I would give it a shot.It has 10-ppi and is marked with a 0 (not a 10?)It has the mysterious nib at the top end.The tote is pretty broken but if I can find some apple wood I can fix it.The blade is mostly straight with a slight curve but no kinksI steel wooled the area where I should see etching but can&...

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Part 2: Saw Blade, Tote, and Brass Cleaning

07-14-2014 02:21 AM by Skip Mathews | 0 comments »

Had a little time to spend today cleaning the old rusty saw.I used a product called Evapo-Rust that I picked up at ORiley Auto Parts. I just soaked the blade in the Evapo-Rust while wrapped in shop towels and plastic for about 2-hrs.Then used a sanding block and 400-grit wet/dry sandpaper to clean off the rust and dirt then switch to 800-grit.I rinsed the blade in water and dried with a towel, then 0000 steel wool and paste wax.It has a little rust pitting but think it turned out pretty good...

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Part 3: Tote Wood

07-15-2014 05:55 AM by Skip Mathews | 4 comments »

I can get the wood to repair the tote on this num 12 Disston if I cut up an old woody plane. In my first post on this saw repair I mentioned having no source for apple wood and that I might need to use Beech instead.It was pointed out to me by Chrisstef that old wood planes are often made of Beech and the wood could be used on my saw. I just happen to have a box of old planes. I bought six old planes on Ebay for about $20 and I was able to cobble together two really nice planes out of the ...

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Part 4: Chopping up plane for saw tote

07-16-2014 04:00 AM by Skip Mathews | 15 comments »

I cut up an old plane to get what I think might be beech wood for my num 12 handsaw tote.This plane was for scrap anyway so here we go! Then I cut it to size with my previously restored Disston rip saw.Wow! That saw cuts really fast! Then I joint the edge with one of the planes I cobbled together from a box of six planes I bought on Ebay.The plane I just cut up came out of the same box. Seems strange for some reason?Reminds me of the lyrics “From the forest itself comes th...

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Part 5: I think I am finished

07-21-2014 12:02 AM by Skip Mathews | 5 comments »

This saw turned out awesome !!! One final picture of gluing up the repairs.I was just thinking… the wood I used to repair the tote was cut out of a plane almost exactly the same age as the saw being repaired. I worried a lot about matching the finish, but you know what ?! I think it looks absolutely awesome like this!!! I still need to finish the chip carving. I am so excited about the way it turned out!!The old beech wood is a really nice contrast to the apple wood.By the way, it...

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Part 6: Sharpening the Blade

07-25-2014 05:18 AM by Skip Mathews | 4 comments »

Here are a few pictures and notes on my sharpening process. Many of you know a great deal more than I about sharpening sawblades but I thought I would document my process and see if anyone has any pointers for improvement. Here is my set up. I made my vise out of a couple of 2×8 yellow pine and beveled the top edge to make it narrow and allow me to get closer to the blade for filing. I checked for a slight bow in the wood so when the two boards are placed together the ends touch an...

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