The Red Handle Saw

I’m cracking down on my hand saw restoration in the-beginningpreparation for a video on sharpening and what saw to use and why. I’ve had this one saw sitting in my bundle that has irritated me since it’s arrival. It has a red painted handle! Everything was painted from the saw blade (some of it) to the saw nuts. This was going to be a little time consuming.

Obviously I started by removing all the hardware and getting organized. I found for this process that the dog holes in the bench really helped because I could place the nuts over the holes to pop them out. I had two nuts that got stuck, but clamping the handle down to a 2×6 put enough pressure on the bottom side to hold it from spinning while I unscrewed the top half.

I checked thoroughly for an etch before proceeding to the next step. I am now working on the blade and because there was no etch I chose to use sandpaper to clean up the slightly rusted blade. I started with 120 grit just to get the main rust off, then moved to 220. I was trying to get rid of any scratches and chose to go one step further and use 600 grit on both sides of the blade. This was possibly the easiest blade I’ve cleaned up.






Now for the challenging part, the handle. The handle was painted this ugly red color for some reason. I tried to use 60 grit sandpaper on it to remove, but it did not work well. I pulled out my handle-stripperblue finishing bucket and chose to use some paint stripper. I figured this was the best and quickest route to get this removed. After soaking for about 20 minutes I grabbed a paint scrapper and went to cleaning it up. Surprisingly the paint came right off with no problem. Whoever had painted it must have only applied one coat. Thank goodness for that.
With most of the paint taken off I grabbed an air nozzle and blew off the remaining debris that was loose. I still had to sand it and went through 120 to 320 grits to get a nice smooth surface. I did leave a red tint to some areas. I don’t like to remove all the history of saws, and even though it was ugly, the red paint was part of this saws history. The boiled linseed oil I applied next took a lot of the red and just turned it to a darker color anyway.






With just the saw nuts left to attack I turned on my wire wheel and cleaned off as much as possible. The medallion was a bit tougher to clean because saw-nutsof all the grooves. I did stick some of the paint stripper on that and let it soak for 5 minutes, then grabbed a wire brush. This is when it was revealed that this red handled saw was actually a Atkins saw.

Assembly was easier than disassembly and very much rewarding. This is my first Atkins saw I own and it is in great shape. I don not know which Atkins saw this is, but it is an 8TPI crosscut saw. Fairly sharp already, but will get a quick treatment in the saw vise another time. This is one of the reasons I enjoy restoring some of the tools. You never know what you are going to discover under all the rust, gunk, or paint.


Woodworker and blacksmith

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