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Make: Projects contributor Josh Burroughs has posted an excellent handsaw restoration how-to. Why bother to take the time to restore an old, rusty saw? Josh explains:

Modern saws found at the big box home centers usually have induction hardened teeth that can’t be sharpened – they are meant to be thrown away when dull. They also have thick heavy blades, blocky plastic handles and teeth that seem to be engineered to do a bad job at both rip and cross cuts. They are really designed and marketed towards users who won’t bother to learn how to saw properly and can’t be bothered to maintain their tools.

Vintage saws from the turn of the last century are literally the tools that built the U.S. These are tools that were made for skilled craftsmen to use and care for. They are fully user serviceable and with the right set of files can be easily converted or tweaked to any use you have for them. With a little patience and practice to learn proper sawing technique, using a quality handsaw can actually be much faster than setting up a power saw for many types of cuts, not to mention safer, cleaner, and quieter.

Restore a Vintage Handsaw for Everyday Use (Make: Projects)

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Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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