Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Saving a Very Rusty Crosscut

These rusty old saws don't grow on trees, you know.
And it's a good thing too.
Katie inherited this old saw with her house, rusting away in the backyard for eternity.  
She knew her dad really liked the old saw, but it was too rough to offer as a gift.
What to do?
Thick old paint obscures rust
"The Boar's Nest" says the crude lettering
That red blob is supposed to be a boar?

The condition of the saw was much to rough to restore to active service.  It had deep pits in the steel, and many teeth were broken off.  It was a goner.
OR was it?
Katie and I talked, and agreed it would still be a beautiful display piece.  
We decided it was time to give it a new cosmetic life.

(Please note: none of these procedures should be done on a still-useful saw!  They require careful sharpening and delicate attention to the old steel.)

First, the old paint must come off.  I used citrus based paint remover, covered by plastic sheeting.

Then, the remaining paint residue and old rust was removed by my old belt sander.

With all those old pits, it was impossible to remove all the rust.  To eliminate future rust, more steps are needed.  Chemical steps...
Naval Jelly applied to the steel, then removed with water after a few minutes
 "Extend" rust catalyzing primer is then sprayed onto the saw
 And finally, a coat of Rustoleum rusty metal primer to seal it all in.

Of course, no one wants a rust-colored saw in their living room.  We needed to replicate the natural steel surface instead, because this saw was too pitted and rusty to expose the actual metal.
After a lot of research into surface coatings, including gun bluing, I decided to use a product called
Metal Mask.  It is made by the POR-15 folks, and goes on pretty easily by brush or foam roller.  The final coat looks exactly like sand-blasted steel.

And after all that hard work, the years seem to melt away.

Don't throw that old saw away!
  Or the very least, keep it out of the rain - and away from landscape painters.

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