Disston Saw Handle Repair?

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Forum topic by MaurerPower posted 08-31-2016 06:05 AM 1401 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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21 posts in 1252 days

08-31-2016 06:05 AM

Hello, thank you in advance for any advice that you give. I bought a 5 tpi thumb hole Disston off Ebay a while back. It was in worse condition than I thought it was, but that’s okay. I’ve taken the saw apart, and derusted the blade. Now I am wondering what to do with the handle. deep down inside I think it may be firewood, but I spend a couple of bucks on the saw so I don’t want to give up on it. Is it firewood, or is it worth fooling with to try and restore it? If so, would you recommend soaking it in BLO or maybe a wood hardener? I ask about a wood hardener because the wood is cracked in a lot of areas so I think it may strengthen it.

5 replies so far

View BigYin's profile


421 posts in 3019 days

#1 posted 08-31-2016 06:23 AM

View HokieKen's profile


11983 posts in 1741 days

#2 posted 08-31-2016 06:15 PM

Looks salvagable to me. Fill cracks as best you can with some glue or epoxy. Reshape the horns with rasp/sandpaper. Then soak her good with some BLO. That’s what I’d do anyway :-)

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

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Don W

19420 posts in 3170 days

#3 posted 08-31-2016 09:59 PM

Not even close to firewood. I’d do about the same a Kenny, a coat of wax and post the before and after on the Restoration before and after thread!!

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

View coopersdad's profile


34 posts in 1443 days

#4 posted 09-01-2016 02:17 AM

I just re-did a Disston like that. I didn’t have the cracks, but as the other guys said, some dark epoxy should work well. The upper horn on mine was about like your lower. I used another handle for a bit of wood, glued and clamped with rubber bands, some blo darkened it up and it matches the original wood quite well. I had to replace a couple of improper nuts too. Bringing these old saws back to life is very satisfying. Go for it and have fun!

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21 posts in 1252 days

#5 posted 09-01-2016 03:11 AM

Thanks for the reassurance that it is salvageable. If the repair turns out nicely I’ll definitely update the threat with some after pictures. It’ll never be too beautiful though because the saw plate has a lot of pitting, but since it is 5 ppi I think it’ll be okay.

As far as filling in the cracks with epoxy, is there a particular epoxy I should be using or will any epoxy do the job? I have some gorilla brand 15 minute epoxy in my glue drawer that I think might work. Should I perhaps coat the area surrounding the cracks with a light coat of shellac to keep the epoxy from soaking into the surrounding areas and preventing BLO from soaking in after I sand the handle smooth?

Coopersdad, that is a very good idea harvesting some wood off of a different handle to remake the horns. I also like how you traced the outline of the handle of cardboard. That looks like it would help a lot for trying to make a new horn.

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