I’ve been working on a lot of saws lately for the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts Woodworking Studio as we’ve received lots of generous donations of saws (seems everyone has at least one they want to get rid of 🙂 ). Some of the saws were in fairly decent shape when we received them. However, most were in need of a lot of cleaning and other restorative work to make them functional again. As I was going through the process of removing the rust and cleaning up the saw blades for the school, I realized how little my process has changed over the years. I wrote about it on my old blog years ago, but the process is so useful that I thought I’d re-post it here. For the quick version, here’s my description of the process from my Hand Saw Sharpening Services page. As I mention in the description, it’s not a difficult process, it just takes a little time.
Rust on a saw blade makes for a dirty cut, a saw that sticks in the kerf, and teeth that just won’t get as sharp as they can be. For a saw to perform at its best, the blade should be clean, free of rust, and smooth. My cleaning process starts with a soak in a rust remover to remove heavy corrosion. I follow this up by removing the loosened crud and rust with various grits of sandpaper, steel wool and a light oil. The toothline is given special attention to ensure that the teeth are clean and able to take a fine edge. After cleaning off the residual grime and oil, I finish up with a protective wax polish. I’m happy to clean your saw for you, but it’s a simple job that you can easily do and save yourself $50.
So if you have a saw that is in need of a good cleaning before being sharpened, you can send it to me to do it, or you can follow the process that I do, and do it yourself. Here’s the detailed photo essay version of the process. Sorry the photos aren’t quite as large as I usually post. They’re old photos from the old blog and taken in the old shop.