Picture of Refurbish a Hand Saw
Copy of IMG_4510.JPG
Copy of IMG_4515.JPG
Copy of IMG_4514.JPG
In this Instructable I will give you the basic tools you need to restore an old hand saw to its former glory.

I was out with the wife, hitting up local garage sales, when we stopped at a condo community whose residents are mostly retired. They had Tupperware, pots, pans, and assorted nicknacks. I wandered around there small garage and didn’t see anything I was interested in. I turned to head out and venture onto the next garage when I bumped my knee on something. It was a hand saw with a 50 Cent sticker on it. I did not hesitate, I grabbed it up and handed it to my wife as she headed toward the elderly couple at the back of the garage. I figured I could always use a saw for hacking up 2X4s and treated lumber.

Upon arriving home I inspected my various finds. Upon closer inspection I realized there was markings on the blade and an emblem on the handle. I am curious by nature and decided to do some investigation. Scratching off some of the rust with 000 steal wool i found the name Disston and Son’s and decided to do a little Google search. Come to find out Disston is a very historic and well thought of saw, with amazing history. My looking at the emblem on the handle I was able to find out that my saw was made some time in the 50’s. I decided to restore the saw to its former glory and make it usable again.

I love this, I have my Fathers saw that I want to clean up .. This is a tremendous help... Thanks .. looking for a way to refurbish old iron bed frames if you can give me any help .. Thanks, Linda

gilleseg (author)  linda.d.kenney6 months ago

Are the beds frames rusty? Are you going to paint them? For rust I would get a big jug of rust remover and some sanding sponges and wire brush.

Try this: http://www.harborfreight.com/1-gallon-evapo-rust-...

If painting remove as must rust and flaky paint as possible and then prime it. After you prime you can use spray paint or brush it on.

GerryMcQ2 years ago
Any idea on what to do if one of the screws just spins in the cap on the other side when you try to remove it? The final screw is trumping me...
(I don't want to drill it)
gilleseg (author)  GerryMcQ2 years ago
If you can gently get a hold of it with pliers that is an option. I had the same problem and used a vise to squeeze the cap and I was still able to get a flat head into the screw. Let me know how it works out.
pudtiny2 years ago
Are these for display or use? I was hoping for some info on resharpening.
Bill WW pudtiny2 years ago
Very definitly for use, I used my Disston saw yesterday. Although maybe you could resharpen one yourself, better to use a resharpening service, they are available and reasonable.
My saw was my father's, believe it was from 1930's or maybe earlier.
Nice refurbishing job. Now I will get busy and fix mine up!
pudtiny Bill WW2 years ago
That goes against by inner instructable paying someone to do I job I could learn myself :)
Bill WW pudtiny2 years ago
You are correct, what was I thinking!

I will include sharpening my hand saw myself as well as cleaning it up. The author of this Instructable has posted links for instructions on sharpening.

Thanks for the comment.

gilleseg (author)  pudtiny2 years ago
They are for use. Here are a couple links about sharpening. You wont find anything better than the first link. Enjoy. I may put a step by step together on sharpening, however this first link is pretty good.

Thanks that has some goo info
Bill WW2 years ago
This Disston Saw was my dad's , it is from the 1930" I believe.
Note the carving on the handle.
snotty2 years ago
Do you know about electrolytic rust removal


It seems perfect for what you're doing. This is especially true since it helps preserve and reveal faint etchings on metal.
gilleseg (author)  snotty2 years ago
I do know about it, however I am lazy.... Actually just impatient. I don't have a battery charger and I was so excited when I found out the saw was a vintage Disston that I just jumped right into cleaning it. The instructable is meant to be a down and dirty way of cleaning up a cheap saw you get at a flea market or garage sale. I use this saw and the other that I have restored. I built a deck box using only the saw highlighted in this instructable. I will in the future try new approaches and electrolytic rust removal is at the top of the list. Thanks for the reply, I should have mentioned it in the instructable and I appreciate the link to a very good instructable.
klee27x2 years ago
Having refurbished my hand saw a couple of times, I thought your before pic was the after! Good job.

One thing I've started to do is after oiling, I coat with a layer of Johnson's Paste Wax. I leave my saw outdoors, and it seems to be holding up really well.
gilleseg (author)  klee27x2 years ago
See picture!!
gilleseg (author)  klee27x2 years ago
I have used paste wax on my tables saw top and on my scroll saw top. For hand tools (I do not leave mine out side LOL) I use Teflon non-stick lubricant from Dupont and/or T-9 Boeshield.
gilleseg (author) 2 years ago
Looks really nice!! I didn't pay much for mine so the steel wool was a means to an end. The saw has already seen use on some wood working projects. My am with restoration is in two parts; use and beauty. Use comes first. I had the teeth resharpened (something I wish to learn how to do).
pfred22 years ago
Disston D-8s are the most produced saws of all time. I haven't found one in as good a shape yet as you have. That hasn't stopped me from accumulating a few of them now though.
Nice job it look really good.
I did a refurbish job on a WWII era saw a few weeks ago, it started off like this as you can see from the attached picture it came out quite well.
I didn't get rid of all the staining as I didn't want to damage the bevel & have to re-temper it, there is a little pitting but aside from that it's as smooth as new & once it had been sharpened it cut way better than one would expect from a saw that had been so neglected.
I did quite a bit of checking online before I started & one thing that was said on almost every site was if you don't want to damage the etching to avoid steel wool like the plague, I used light oil & wet & dry paper around a sanding block on mine & although it doesn't show up in the pictures the etching came out quite well.
The handle I cleaned up with a cabinet scraper then sanded the flat sides with a block so as not to damage the embossed text, the rest was done with fine sand paper attached to a 1/2" tube with double sided tape.
Will you be looking out for more vintage tools to restore? I am waiting for a bit of spare time to start on a lovely old tenon saw next.