Introduction: Transforming Ordinary Pull Saw Into Something Surprising
I have used this Suizan Japanese pull saw for years and love it. I wanted to get a new one and transform it into something completely original while still keeping it's functionality. I used purpleheart, MAS epoxy and white pearl pigment for the handle. I used an electro- metal etching technique for engraving both sides of the saw blade by masking it off with vinyl. I am a beginner woodworker, and definitely have skills and knowledge to improve on. I encourage your feedback! Let me know what you think!
Step 1: Find Old (or New) Pull Saw Blade
Here I am using a new Suizan Japanese pull saw. I have previously used the same blade and love it, however I do not like the cheap plastic handle it comes with. In this step, all you need to do is find an old blade you want to restore or modify.
Step 2: Choose Your Wood for the Handle
I chose to use Purpleheart and pigmented epoxy for this handle. The first step is to cut your piece of wood to the desired handle dimensions. Next, on graph paper I drew out my design, (diamonds to mimic a Japanese sword). Remember to draw out the design to the exact dimensions of the wood.
Step 3: Cut/ Chisel Out Design.
This was much harder than I originally anticipated. I thought I would be able to chisel right through the purpleheart, but it was not the case. Instead, I cut all of the diamonds in half, and used a file to get sharper lines.
Step 4: Epoxy Pour
Next mask off your wood and mix up the epoxy. I used MAS epoxy with a white pearl and graphite pigmented dyes. Pour the epoxy into the diamond cavities. For my design, I also wanted an epoxy layer on both ends of the wooden handle. I poured epoxy for these parts in one template.
Step 5: Metal Etching/ Vinyl Cutting
For this process all you need is Salt water, Old battery charger, Vinyl sticker, and a design. For my design, I decided to do a Japanese style Dragon to tie in with the theme. You can cut your own design into the vinyl by hand (which I did for years), or if you have a vinyl cutting machine you can have it cut much quicker. In this case, I used my Cricut cutter to cut out the design. I then carefully stuck the vinyl decal on both sides of the saw blade. Be sure to mask the entire blade with vinyl. Any exposed metal will end up being "etched".
Next pour around a cup of salt into around 2 gallons of water. Place a metal wire around the saw blade and submerge completely into the water. Next, place a sacrificial piece of metal into the water as well, with a wire also attached. Place the Positive battery charger lead to the saw blade wire (out of the water). Place the Negative lead to the sacrificial piece of metal (out of the water). Next, Turn on the battery charger. I put my battery charger on 6 AMPS for around 40 minutes. The longer the saw blade is submerged the deeper the etch. Be sure to turn off the battery charger every time you look at the blade. Also wear protective mask because toxic fumes release from the water.
Once you are happy with your etched results, rinses and scrub the saw blade so all the metal particles are off.
Step 6: Remove Vinyl
Now to see the results! Remove the vinyl sticker and take a look at your metal etched blade!
Step 7: Back to the Handle
I used 5 minute epoxy to glue up the epoxy molds to both sides of the wooden handle. Then I used a 45 Degree angle bit on the router to make clean lines on the side of the handle. Next, cut the handle completely in half. This will make it so you can route out the inside of the handle so the blade can insert. I used a small rotary tool to route out the inside of the blade. Next, use 5 minute epoxy to glue the handle back together with the blade firmly glued inside.
Sanding Sanding Sanding. I sanded the entire handle down to 500 grit, then polished the entire thing on the buffing wheel. I finished up with some butcher block oil on both the handle and the saw blade to make it look nice and glossy and prevent rust.
Step 8: Test It Out and Admire Your Work!
Your done! Only thing left is to test out your new piece of artwork!