Coincidentally, I went looking for a crosscut saw on eBay and unwittingly bought one of Wilson’s saws. I have a few rip saws, but no crosscuts unless that recent vintage big-box, hardened tooth, plastic handled Stanley can be considered crosscut. That Stanley has been my saw for rough cutting for many years and is getting “old in the tooth.” It’s time for a good crosscut, especially since Paul Sellers has added a video about sharpening crosscut saws.
I suspect this saw wasn’t one of Wilson’s favorites, and that the handle probably arrived in rough condition from a previous owner. It looks like the saw was not a top-line brand, but one of the second lines, often called “Warranted Superior.” The plate itself was in good shape: no kinks, no bends, no obvious rust, no pitting, and a tooth line that doesn’t need a lot of work. The handle was the main focus of my rehabilitation work. I reshaped a chipped horn and some pretty rough edges on one side. I left the original leaf carving, and then scraped off the old red finish and added my own shellac. A bent saw bolt needed replacing, and “in for a dime – in for a dollar” I replaced all three with Isaac Smith’s excellent parts. (Blackburn Tools)
Some of the “patina” spots on the plate showed some redness when I irritated them with sandpaper, so I irritated them some more until the underlying rust was gone. I’m not a big fan of restoring tools to full-shiny, just to smooth enough to work well and this one is there.
I’m quite pleased with the results and the plastic handled Stanley gets demoted to “utility saw” that I carry in the truck.
Wilson wrapped the saw for shipping in several sheets of blank newsprint. The stuff was the perfect size for making a carpenter’s hat. So, I took Wilson’s challenge and made one (from these plans). Not that I need a hat, but….