How to Restore a Rusty Handsaw

What You'll Need
Razor blades
Linseed oil
Paper towels
Paint or stain
Paste wax

Collectors treasure finding an old, rusty handsaw. If it is really rusty, you will have to remove the rust to give the handsaw a new appearance. To properly clean the rust away without causing damage, you will need the right supplies for this restoration project.

Step 1 - Remove the Rusty Blade

Using a screwdriver, remove the screws that hold the blade in the handle. Place the handle and the screws in a place where you will not lose them.

Step 2 - Remove the Rust

You will use the razor blades to remove most of the rust on the saw blade. Hold the blade by the flat top area and scrape down. Wipe the blade and the saw with a paper towel to remove the rust buildup that you have loosened. Work in a downward motion away from your body. After you have removed all the rust that you can from that side, turn it over and remove the rust from the other side. It's OK if you see some small specks of rust stuck on the blade because you will remove them in the next step.

Step 3 - Sand the Handle and Blade

Using fine-grit sandpaper, rub in a circular motion until you remove the remainder of the rust. You will want to rub it gently so you do not scratch the metal. This step may take some time.

After you have rubbed off the remaining rust, wipe off the sandpaper dust with paper towels. You can also sand the handle of the saw with sandpaper to make it look newer.

Step 4 - Apply Finish to the Handle

Using the paint or stain you chose for the handle, paint it with a small paintbrush to be sure you can get in any small nooks in the handle. Paint or stain one side at a time; allow it to dry before you turn the handle over and finish the other side. When both sides are dry, you can reassemble the handsaw.

Step 5 - Reassemble and Polish the Handsaw

Attach your handle back onto the blade with the screws that you saved when you removed it. Be sure to get them tight so your blade does not wobble in the handle.

Using the paper towels again, rub paste wax into the blade and allow it to sit for approximately 10 minutes. When it has dried completely, use more paper towels to remove the paste wax by rubbing until all of the residue disappears. Your handsaw should look shiny and restored.

If you plan to use your handsaw, apply the paste wax to it every 6 months. If you are going to use the saw for decorative purposes, wax the blade once a year to keep it clean and shiny.