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 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.
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!
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.
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.