Saw cleaning or restoration can be very rewarding and yet frustrating at times.  The following takes you
through a start to finish clean up job.  The subject at hand is a Jackson 14" backsaw.  For those of you
who aren't familiar with the name, Jackson was secondary line made by Henry Disston & Sons.  As always
to see the picture full size, just click on it then use your browser's Back button to return to the page.

Ugly ain't it!

Gets even better on the back...

Well feeling brave and having nothing better to do today, first thing is to remove the tote.  You do this
by unscrewing the nuts on the back and pusing the screws out through the front.  (Tip from a Pro 1:
 To get the screws started out through the blade, I first unscrew the nut a couple of turns then push down
to get the screw started out.)  Most times this works, although some times the fit is so tight you have to
unscrew them through the holes in the blade.

So the blade is now out and sanding commences.  Since I know that I don't have to worry about a blade
etching with this particular saw, the first clean off is with 120 grit.  If I was doing an handsaw and was trying
to save the etching, first I would work the area of the etching with 400 grit paper dry and on a flat surface.

This where the problems start to show up.  Not only is there pitting (and it's hard to see right now) but the DPO
(that's Dead Previous Owner) was using it as an impromptu anvil of sorts.  The blade has a number of light dimples
(as does the tote) from some sort of punch.  (GRRRRRRRH).  The worst spot of pitting interestingly enough,
is in the area on the front right ahead of the tote where there is very little visible rust.

Okay, so after the first round of heavy abrasion, it goes back to the sink where it get's a workover with 400 grit
wet/dry paper.  Once that is done it gets dried, then a shot of penetrating oil.  I use the penetrating oil to get down
into the pits and such to hopefully stop any further rusting.

So now it's on to the tote.  Since the finish was 99% history, I gave it a wipe over with the stripper to remove
what remained.  Let it dry then a good heavy coat of Butcher's Bowling Alley Wax.  Let that sit for a few
minutes then wipe it off good.

T'ain't what you call perfect but then this has pretty much turned into one of dem dere silk purse from a
sow's ear deals.  Last thing is to give the old saw nuts a light cleaning with the brass polish.  I use Noxon's
Metal Polish, cover them good, let's sit for 5 minutes, then take a well worn scrubbing pad and finish cleaning
them.  Drop a little liquid soap and rinse them off at the sink.  (Tip from the Pro 2:  Always put the drain
stopper in when doing this, don't ask, just do!)

Last the end product.

Looks a whole lot better than when I started.  Not too bad for a $1 saw.

Back to the Tools Page

Last Updated 4/10/2004
Copyright 2004 Anthony V. Seo