Disston 10 point crosscut saw

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Man with many vises
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Picked up this saw at an estate sale today. Hoping that there is some etching under the rust.

Among the many rust removal potions, which one would work best for this saw?
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Oka

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Casey
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My primary go to is Phosphoric acid @ 20-25% . The main advantage with Phosphoric acid is it leaves a kind of protection on the metal that will last for a week give or take. It works well and is reasonably fast at removing the rust without harming the metal. Evaporust also works but if the rust is heavy then it is less effective and in general it can take up to 24 hours to clean.

Citric acid also works well. You can get all from Amazon
 

Graywolf

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Richard
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I would not use any acid on a saw plate. electrolysis would work without effecting the metal. Now I have no personal experience with this technic but I have a couple saws that were cleaned this way and it’s far better than acid. I have experienced Evaporust with bad results. I have seen reasonable results with citric acid but I personally am unsure of it. My personal go to is Simple Green and sand paper.
 

Oka

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Casey
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Phosphoric and citric acid do not attack metal like say sulfuric or others that are really corrosive.
They only attack rust and do not etch metal.
If you what to use a chealtion method that also only attacks rust , then use evaporust..

One other thing, if the rusting is not deep, then you could use one of those coated scotch-brite disc for your grinder. I used that on my a powersaw restoration and worked well. Only removed the rust. The other benefit is the disc does not scratch the surface. So the surface remain essentially a Mill-finish".
 

Chris C

Chris
Senior User
I like citric acid. I'm no chemist so can't speak on the long term effects but the short term ones are awesome.

Saving an etch is an art. Even the finest abrasives will obliterate it faster than one might imagine.
 

creasman

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Jim
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After trying several methods for rust removal on old tools I've settled on electrolysis for smaller parts. I haven't used this for handsaws simply because I don't have a vat large enough to submerge them. Instead, I use fine wet/dry sandpaper (800 or above) with WD-40 as a lubricant. Over the etching I wouldn't use anything coarser than steel wool until I'm sure.

Looks like you find a very nice saw for $4. It should clean up well. Even if you can't save the etching you still have a very good tool with a lot of years left in it.
 

cyclopentadiene

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Any weak acid is fine as long as the iron salt formed is relatively soluble. Acetic(vinegar, citric oxalic) are commerciallaly available. Strong acids like hydrochloric and sulfuric attach the metal very aggressively. Post any treatment, it is best to neutralize with a soak in sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and allow all the parts to dry. Then coat each piece with oil before reassembly
 

Oka

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Casey
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I never done a saw like this, but I would think if you are trying to preserve the etching why not just get most the surface rust off the etched area first, clean that area with acetone and then paint an etching protectorant over the etch, and then immerse in a cleaning rust removal bath. Then, after you have that done, you could use a tiny brass brush on a dremal or Fordam and detail it out.
 

Chris C

Chris
Senior User
I've never used one so I'd be curious to see how a small brass brush in a Dremel would work.

I can tell you that 2000 grit wet/dry automotive paper and a sanding block will remove a legible etch in as little as four or five light strokes. Don't ask me how I know.....
 

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