Aug 252010
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Here’s the story of an old saw handle that I restored.  It was actually a pretty lame handle, with the hard lines in the gripping area, which is pretty indicative of a low $$ saw.

The original saw handle

The saw plate was in decent condition, so I thought I’d see what I might be able to do to make the handle more friendly.  Actually turned out better than I anticipated.  Now it’s calling to me, wanting me to re-sharpen it. I guess I’ll do that to see if it ends up as a decent user.  At least now it won’t hurt and leave blisters when used.

To restore the handle, I used sand paper from 100 grit to 320 grit for the shaping and then smoothing.

Partially sanded

After sanding, I applied about three coats of Tung Oil and when dried, a coat of some good paste wax.  Buffed it out and voila!

Saw handle: refreshed

Thought this might be a good technique to log away, in case you pick up a decent saw with an unfriendly handle.  There are quite a few decent old saws out there, that you can buy for just a little $. Always good to know how easy it is to modify and/or restore a handle. Hope you can use this some time in the future.

Lee Laird has enjoyed woodworking for over 20 years.  He is retired from the U.S.P.S. and works for Lie-Nielsen Toolworks as a show staff member, demonstrating tools and training customers.

  One Response to “Making an old saw handle friendly again”

  1. Nice handle. Did you sneak that out of my shop?

    It had never occurred to me to rework a handle, but I probably will now.

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