Friday, February 19, 2016

All about Mitre Box Part 4 Cleaning and prepping the saw

Now that the box is cleaned up and has a new board made, it is time to turn our attention to the saw.  Today, being Friday, is when I get a few hours of respite, roughly from noon to four. God bless you VON, so I usually heads out to the woodshop.

I have currently two saws for this box, since I found another No 60 MB in an auction earlier.
They are both Disston made for Stanley, 24X4 in and 11 TPI.
I may as well cleaned up both... Then decide which one I am going to tweak for THAT box.

If the handle has to come off for whatever reasons, I will try to make sure I have a proper screwdriver for it in order to avoid the inevitable damages if you try to use a poorly fitted screwdriver... And if that meant grinding a screwdriver to fit, so be it!

When I give an initial cleaning, I remove the handle. It would be easier after to scrub the saw plate without introducing bent into it

A problem that often shows up with saws of the 70s vintage, as these are, is the dome screw head rotate and prevent the tightening or releasing of the saw nut.

You have to tighten the dome head toward the handle to stop it from rotating. Use whatever kind of clamp to achieved that, but remember you still need to be able to rotate out the screw head on the other side. 
I find that a 6 in C-clamp work for that, It has enough give to 
skew out of the way,  but don't over tighten it...

Similar to how I cleaned the box, I use liberal mount of WD40 and start by scraping with razor blades. Why scraping? Rust is anything but smooth, and it is also the quickest way to cut thru years of old grime, just use judicious amount of WD40. Watch out it can get very messy...

After many wipe down and re-re-scraping, I will then give it a light (very light) sanding using a hard block to make sure I do not erase any etching, if present.

Miter box saw made especially for The Stanley Works of Canada

Doing this cleanup it is almost guaranteed that you will screw up the set of the teeth. Not too worry, it will have to be reset after sharpening anyway...
But nonetheless I try not to muck with it too much.

But sure enough, rubbing your hands near the tooth line 
it is bound to catch you if the teeth have any sharpness or set left in them... :-)

Depending on the finish condition on the handle I may remove the handle and strip and refinish it. But mostly, I just gives it a good scrubbing to remove grime.
I normally used Murphy Oil soap. In this case, there was not much of the original finish left and it was very dirty, so I decided to sand it off, 120 grit with a ROS.
Ah! The inhumanity of it all! :-)

I then finish with a light hand sanding

Once cleaned I go over its condition, looking for a straight blade, well sited in the spline (back bar). In order to correct some minor buckle I may have to tap the spline deeper, but not in this case. Both saw plates are straight as an arrow...

I also look for pitting near the tooth line. Just like any other woodworking edge tool, pitting near the edge is bad. Each little cross cut tooth is to be shaped like a knife (cross cut) or a chisel  (rip)

look good at, and, near the tooth line, no serious rust damages.

I temporarily re-attach the handles to the saw, using the original hardware.
They will have to come off again to refinished them. At the same time I will refinish the mitre box new sacrificial board.

Next would be jointing, sharpening and setting the saw. Wax the plate then tweak it for a particular mitre box.

Bob, grateful for the respite I get. I need the distractions.

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