How to Refurbish a Rusty Hand Saw How to Refurbish a Rusty Hand Saw

What You'll Need
Paper towels
0000 steel wool
Mineral spirits
Small screwdriver
Razor blade and blade holder
Rags
Silicone sandpaper in 320 grit
Acid resistant gloves

If you like to collect old tools or have a family heirloom you may want to know how to refurnish a rusty hand saw. It requires just a few tools and a bit of work, but you can do the job yourself and have pride in having such a beautiful tool in your collection.

Step One

First you will need to remove the handle. On many fine old tools, the handle itself can be the work of a craftsman. Unscrew the screws that hold it and wiggle it free. This may be difficult if there is a lot of rust on the saw. Also, there is generally a build up of rust and other materials that have been sawn through over the years around the handle and under it, so it may take a bit of work to slide the handle off. If you have problems loosening the screws you may need a very thin blade screwdriver to do it. Be sure to put these screws in a safe place as they are almost impossible to replace.

Step Two

Start at the end where the handle was, and using your razor blade, start scraping away as much rust and build up as you can. Hold the blade at an angle that will allow you to scrape well but not scratch or cut into the metal and cause damage. This step can take a while if the saw is quite old and built up with rust and other materials.

Step Three

When you have finished scraping with your razor blade, you are ready to work with the mineral spirits. I highly recommend that you do this step outside. Mineral spirits have a strong odor that can make you nauseous. Do not work near a flame or with a cigarette nearby, as the spirits are highly flammable. Put on your gloves and using the mineral spirits as a lubricant, sand the saw with the silicone sandpaper to remove the rust. The object is to remove rust and not be too concerned with returning the shine that the saw had when new. You want to remove rust so it will not rub off on anything you cut in the future. Rub parallel to the saw and in straight lines. When this side is clean, wipe all the mineral spirits off with paper towels. Then repeat on the other side of the saw.

Step Four

You can use steel wool and mineral spirits to refinish the handle if you want, or you may choose to leave it as is. You will want to use the razor blade to remove any excess dirt, rust or whatever from the edges of the handle where it fits agains the metal. Slide the handle back onto the saw, and replace the screws.

Safety Tip

When finished with the rags and paper towels that contain mineral spirits, seal them in a plastic bag to discard. These are highly flammable and should not be left laying around a home or workshop.

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