The Shining

I'm still working through the minutiae of renovating an antique handsaw for a friend and I am really enjoying this process (so much so, that I have managed to drag out something that should have taken me a couple of days into several months...).  In fact, if I can get this process down to something accurate, timely, repeatable and affordable there may soon be a sales area on this blog for some restored and PHW original tools and parts.  Part of this saw renovation was replacing the terrible existing handle on the saw with something more comfortable, but I wanted to save the saw nuts.

Saw nuts are one of those hardware items that, as long as they remain usable, get better with age (most of the time).  I'm hoping a little wear on these guys will help to keep the character of this old saw when I replace the handle.  I'd likely give a new saw some new nuts as they would tend to age appropriately with the saw.  These were heavily oxidized and needed a good cleaning, but the minor amount of damage on their surface gives them a great patina even after I polished them.  

Polishing these saw-nuts was a bit of an exercise in trial and error.  I started with just MAAS polishing compound and a cloth but it wasn't strong enough so I switched to some polishing compound and a felt wheel on the Dremel. This worked like a charm!  I finished these with the MAAS and a cloth, and it polished them to a mirror shine.  I'll likely apply a little wax to the faces when I install them into the tote to help slow the inevitable oxidization process.  

I also ground down the Warranted Superior stamp on the face of the medallion (gasp, the horror!) because I am planning to add an embellishment of my own.  The attachment on the battery powered Dremel is a detailer's grip which is a great (and inexpensive) addition to this spinning wonder of modern technology.  

In order to avoid damaging the threads I used a shop towel pinched into my Stanley 702 Vise to hold the nuts while I polished them, insert nut-in-vise joke here.  This setup worked well and, as a bonus, caught most of the unavoidable mess that the polishing compound tends to create.  This also provided a surface on which I could smear some MAAS polishing compound and polish the faces of the bolts (face down) without ever having to pick up the rag.

The tote is coming along swimmingly, it still needs some minor shaping and a lot of polishing before I'll be happy with it, but the bubinga seems to respond well to shaping.  Once I quit debating where to start and just bit the bullet, the handle took form quickly.  I removed the recesses with the drill press and a Forstner bit after roughly shaping the handle with the scroll saw (sorry about the photos I took them with a phone...better than a stapler I suppose).  I downloaded the template from Wenzloff and Sons saw handle patterns, this one is the Disston #16 handsaw.  They have several downloadable templates, I simply tweaked this one a little to suite the style I wanted for this saw. 

Still Needs Some Work But We're Nearly There
More to come on this process as I wrap this project up and finally (it was a freaking Christmas present!) give it to its new owner.  The next one will go much quicker now that I have figured out some of the nuances of this process.  The next hurdle will be working through the process required for making one from scratch.  I have ordered some blue finished, 1095 spring steel from McMaster-Carr and will be sharing the process of making a saw from scratch very soon.


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