Well here we have the ugliest saw you’ve ever seen. See the earlier blog on car boot sale finds. This saw was covered with thick car grease and some kind of white powder. Beneath this hideous exterior lies a good Spear and Jackson from the 60’s series. These clunky looking handles marked the demise of the Spear and Jackson once revered by craftsmen throughout Britain.
First, its best to remove the grease and any surface rust beneath it. John scraped off the excess with a wooden block and then used a finer wooden scraper to remove the rest. Notice another mark of deterioration in the use pressed fasteners instead of threaded brass screws. Imagine what half-wittedness wrought such a detrimental step in saw making.
He used Norton abrasive paper to penetrate through to the steel and tackle surface rust starting with 150-grit followed by 250-grit.
With the dirt, grease and rust removed he could tackle the reshaping of the handle. This can be achieved successfully using a 3/4″ bevel-edged chisel with the bevel facing downwards for concave edges and bevel up for convex areas. By riding the bevel of the chisel this way, John can micro-adjust the angle he presents the cutting edge to the wood according to the various curves he encounters. With a well-sharpened chisel there is no area he cannot readily tackle with relative ease.
On the final stages of shaping, John relies on sandpaper and uses 150-grit to remove any hard edges and finalize the shaping before then changing to the finer 250-grit sandpaper.
Shellac is a superb finish for sealing the grain. Ultimately the handle will be further defined and polished by John’s elbow grease and the sweat as he works with the saw over the next months and years to come.
Tomorrow he will build up additional levels of the shellac coats on the saw handle and then set and sharpen the saw.
Don’t you feel inspired to go and salvage an old saw. John has now fettled a handful of saws he paid no more than
£20 for that will last him a lifetime of woodworking.