Connoisseurs of antique hand saws love them for the craftsmanship they possess. This craftmanship, however, is often hidden under layers of grime and rust. This is also a problem for those who use their hand saws regularly and those who prefer to purchase secondhand tools. Cleaning a hand saw involves taking it apart to get to the grime within the crevices and then using a solvent with an abrasive tool. Restoring hand saws to their former glory takes patience and considerable care.
Wear a respirator. This will prevent you from inhaling the fumes from the mineral spirits.
Remove the handle from the saw. Use a screwdriver to remove the screws and then pull the handle off. Store the screws in a safe place.
Scrape the rust off one side of the saw with a razor blade. Turn the saw over and scrape the rust off the other side. Avoid scratching the saw.
Pour mineral spirits on one side of the blade. Use 220- or 320-grit sandpaper to rub the blade. Rub in a direction parallel to the edge of the blade. Wipe the grime off with paper towels and then repeat this process on the other side.
Use the razor blade to scrape out any dirt in the slit of the handle. Follow the razor with steel wool. Pour a generous amount of boiled linseed oil onto a soft cloth and then rub the handle. Let the oil sit on the handle for about an hour and then wipe it with a soft cloth. Let the handle dry for about two days.
Wipe any film off the blade with a soft cloth. Apply paste wax to both sides of the blade with a rag and then let it dry for about 10 minutes. Wipe it off with a dry cloth.
Reassemble the saw when the handle is dry.