Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rehabilitated This Little Orphan Backsaw

This is a $5 used tool shop find.  It's an orphan; even it's maker won't claim it.  There is no etch, no medallion, no stamp on the steel back.  Just a nice-looking handle and steel, straight and soon-to-be sharp.  There is absolutely no reason why this saw can't function well as a user for another century or two.  And it will, assuming it gets the proper care.

Here's the results pic:

Handle closeup:

And the before pic:

Since this is not a terribly old saw, or collectible, I gave the steel a pretty good scrubbing with wet-or-dry 320, 400, and 600 grit to remove the rust and bring up the shine.  There was no etch, so didn't have to worry about preserving that.  First I applied some 3-in-1 oil and scraped off the rust and paint with a razor, then went at it with the sandpaper and Windex.

The steel cleaned up well, here's the result.

Next was the handle.  The beech was in pretty good shape, but the lacquer was toast.  I rubbed it down with lacquer thinner, then went at it with the scraper.  To be honest, this handle is what attracted me to this saw in the first place.  It looked good and felt good in the hand.  It turns out this handle is 1" thick, and most other backsaws that I own have a 7/8" thick handle.  At any rate, this one was worth preserving.  I did not sand it, or remove any wood, or patch anything.  I wanted to preserve it's natural patina as much as I could.

After scraping off all the old lacquer, it received two coats danish oil and two coats shellac, then buffed and waxed.  I'll sharpen it, then put it on the user rack.

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