Disston D8 Do-Over

I picked up a D8 rip saw recently.  Like my Stanley #5 that I’m reworking, this isn’t old enough to be collectable, and isn’t ready for immediate use either.  I suspect that it’s never been re-sharpened, and luckily it’s nice and straight.  Not pretty, not sharp, but straight without any kinks or broken teeth.

The finish on the handle is flaking off, and the fasteners are all crusty.  The blade has some minor pitting, but not too bad.  I was expecting/hoping that the handle bolts were brass, but they are just chromed.  Or were chromed.

I striped the finish off by soaking it in lacquer thinner for a few minutes and scrubbing it with a coarse steel wool pad.  Someone stamped their name into the handle, I’ll sand it off but I expect it will show up when I finish it.  The wood looks like cherry!

Also, the horns are too blunt, no style.  I’ll sand more curve into them so they come to a crisp point.

After sanding out the name, shaping the horns and sanding everything to 220 grit I sank the handle into a bag of danish oil (linseed oil plus varnish) and let it soak for an hour.

Meanwhile I cleaned up the saw plate.  I went over it with “Navel Jelly”, which cleaned up some of the rust, but it’s pretty weak results.  I knew that from past experience, but it was the only rust remover they had at the local hardware store.  I went at it twice with the rust remover, lightly scrubbing it with a brass brush and letting it sit for 20 minutes between applications.

After I washed off the second application I dried the saw plate and got out the “wet-or-dry” sandpaper.  I sanded both faces starting with 220, then 320 then 400 then 600 grits, using WD-40 to “wet sand” it.

Then I needed to clean up the saw nuts.  I chucked each one up in my electric hand drill (one at a time) and spun it into a piece of 600 grit sandpaper that I held in the heel of my other hand.  Then I spun each one into a rag that had a spot of liquid white rouge on it.  They cleaned up reasonable well.

Then I re-assembled everything.  The handle will need several more coats of oil to finish it off nicely.  Overall it looks nice I think.  The saw plate is nice and bright and the handle looks much better.  Of course it’s still as dull as a grade school drop out, but I’m going to pack it up and ship it to Bad Axe Tool Works to be jointed, set and sharpened.  I read about how to sharpen a saw, and while it seems easy enough I want to get a feel for a properly sharpened saw before I try my hand.

I can’t wait to get it back, sharpened!  Check out the “improved” horns, that makes me happy.

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  1. Pingback: Workbench Progress « McGlynn on Making

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