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My Crosscut Saw

October 14, 2021

I bought a crosscut saw via Facebook Marketplace for $30. Its a one man, three foot saw. It is pretty rusty but I think can be restored successfully. At least according the several Youtube videos I've watched on the topic. I had to drive over to Uniontown last night.

There are at least two reasons I wanted such a saw. 1) I wanted an efficient saw for my work at Gorman Nature Center, 2) it's sort of a history lesson about wood cutting. 3) It's an adventure! 4) It helps inventivize me to continue the work, and thereby exercise at Gorman Nature Center. Ok, four reasons.

The handles are in good condition. I plan to refinish them, just for protection purposes. I have to do some research on what the best finish would be. My inclination is to use some polyurethane that is UV resistant, mainly because I already have it. It seems largely the recommendation is to use boiled linseed oil and then shellac. Neither of which do I have, nor do I really want to purchase. I may have a friend that has enough for this small job.

Cleaning the rust off the saw is a project in itself. The body of the saw is straightforward. I'm using a sharpening stone and WD40 so far. I think I want to get some kerosene and use that, in order to eliminate the oil. I can use the kerosene in cleaning my chain saws as well.

Here's the whole set. Easily came apart.

The handle are in decent shape. I'm not going to worry about refinishing them until I know I've got the saw in good working order.

The teeth are going to be the hard part to clean up. Maybe I use a drill and wire brush.

October 23, 2021

I've got the saw cleaned up and sharpened up. I've been testing it on a log from the tree that fell in the pond a month or so ago.
Here my grandsons are giving it a whirl.

They aren't really able to work it. The cut in the log you see here I made the day before. We did learn two things by this test. 1) The auxilary handle wants to come loose, and it's hard to tighten it because the end of the saw wants to twist. 2) The corner at the end of the saw likes to poke hands. That will be remedied by my grinder.

Here's the improved saw tip


I still want to do some polishing on the saw, and I'd like to get a stamp set and put my initials and data on the handle, like my ancestors did with their saws.


I've been doing more testing on this saw. It seems to bind when it gets fully into the wood. So I think I need some more set on the teeth.

I found this saw in Uncle Cary's tools.

I suspect that this blade was originally on a saw like this:


Cary's saw cuts well and does not bind. Of course it won't go as deep into a log as my new saw which has no frame. But Cary's saw cuts good, and it would work better on the smaller branches I encounter.

October 30, 2021

Today I sharpened a cheapie saw I bought at Tractor Supply for $15. I used it a few times at Gorman. I got the job done, except for the last limb I was trying to cut. It just bound up, and wasn't cutting.

It took about 30 minutes to sharpen it, and it cuts much better. I marked the teeth that were on the side I was working on because the teeth don't simply alternate. They go in a little more complicated sequence. With them marked, it was easy to know which to file. My guess is that this thing is just stamped out in one shot and that's it. No sharpening other than what the stamping does.

It's called a raker saw, but it has no rakers, it just has some deep gullets that help with clearing the cuttings I guess. It's supposed to work well on green trees. I've only used it on dead white ash, which is very prevalent here in mid Ohio.

The saw is light and easy to carry. I just need to get a clip to hang it on my belt and then I can take it along every time I go to Gorman.

November 3, 2021

I had sharpened these two saws in the past few days. I considered both, cheapy saws that would be no loss if I wrecked them. I was actually very pleasantly surprised, that the sharpening actually made a significant improvement.

The carpenters saw I've owned for many years. I don't actually remember when or why I got it. Probably when I took up home ownership. I always figured it was cheap and not worth sharpening. I only sharpened it to have something to experiment with, figuring I had little to lose. Well, after sharpening the thing, it actually cuts pretty good.

November 23, 2021

I was just at Gorman with the little pruing saw ("raker saw" as it's advertised). It's easy to carry with me on my belt. I came across some branches that needed to be cut. They were from 1 1/2 inch to three inches. This little saw does the trick. It cuts great and is light enough to be easy to use on the underside of a limb. It's the berries as far as I'm concerned, especially since I sharpened it.

November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving day, with nothing going on, so I spent an hour or so making a belt clip for the pruing saw. I was using a piece of coat hanger wire, just formed by hand as a belt hook before this.



Then I sharpened my old bow saw. I think I got this saw when I was in Boy Scouts, circa 1969 or 1970, and never replaced the blade or shaprened it. It still cut, but not well. Now it cuts better for sure.


February 27, 2022

I cut a tree down (actually just pulled it down) at the neighbors a month ago. I cut up about half of it with my chainsaw. A few weeks ago I finished sharpening the big cross cut saw and tried it out on this tree. I found that it was hanging up in the saw kerf. So I did a lot more work on cleaning the rust off, and was able to cut all the way through the log. That felt great.

Yesterday I thought I'd get some exercise by cutting another hunk off the log, but low and behold it was binding in the kerf again. I think this time because the log was frozen on the outside and as I cut into it, it thawed a bit and swelled. So I brought the saw back inside, worked on giving the teeth more set, and was able to cut all the way through the log. Between yesterday and today, I've cut off three hunks of wood (these are about 20 inches in diameter). It's very rewarding to now have the saw cutting reliably. It's a pleasure to have it get the job done!