View Full Version : How clean is clean? Saw/Plane restoration

Matthew Curley
03-16-2003, 3:28 AM
Howdy all,

Started slipping down the slope a couple of years back... (still love the tailed toys though) In the process have started collecting a set of planes (mostly flea market/garage sale finds, Todd isn't the only one with 5$ stories...) I also have received a handful of handsaws, mostly panel, 1 large back saw, a few distons, an atkins, a few ???? (I'm going to start to digest the distonian-institute and other sites to figure out what I have exactly).

Point being that all of them have been unused for years... rust abounds, and all of them are in sad shape... I have been searching the internet (BP archives, The Porch archives, etc) and have found a multitude of restoration techniques, but each and every one says to do as little as possible. No-one ever says how much is enough... so I ask you looking at my before and after, have I done enough, too much, not enough.

FYI, I have decided to go the sandpaper/WD40/block of wood route, and I have started with one of the unknown saws so I don't screw up one that is of value (although I want them as users so value is worthless and priceless to me, they are all pieces of my family) Also my plan is to restore/clean all of them and then send the whole kit and kaboodle to Tom Law with a request that he sharpen those that are worth the trouble. I have one saw (one of my grandfather?s), a no-name saw that I cleaned up 5 years ago and had sharpened locally... I love that saw.

Any help or suggestions appreciated?

Tom Scott
03-16-2003, 9:17 AM
I'd say, based on your pictures, that you are on the right track. Some people will try to get their old planes or saws to a fully restored state, where they look brand new. I think most people, though, that opt to buy old tools like the patina that can only come with age. They like knowing that their tool has a history, and that they re just part of that tool's history before it goes on to someone else to use for another 100 years. Given that, my goal is just to remove the surface rust and grime without removing the makers etch on the blade. I, too, use sandpaper with WD40 and/or mineral spirits on the blade to clean it up. I will then use mineral spirits on the handle to clean and, depending on the original finish left, will use some BLO. A final coat of wax on everything and you have a great tool to last several more lifetimes.