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Finishing the Metal Blade


Time for a bit of fun - I wanted to personalize the saws, so got myself some 1/8" letter stamps and put the name of my web site onto the brass back, just like the tool companies would have:

I probably should have spent more time getting the letters spaced just right, but I just eyeballed it, so not all of them came out perfectly spaced.  Still fun to do, though.

Earlier in the process, I sanded the blade and the back to about 400 grit, giving it a pretty nice sheen.  Since that time, I've sharpened the blade, assembled and disassembled the saw, and handled it many times - all of which scratched the whole thing up again.  While it's not all that important that it look good, it does actually help somewhat with cutting if the blade is smooth, and it doesn't take much, so I spent some time putting a nice finish on the metal.  Here's a shot of everything I used for finishing the metal:

To get that finish, I started with 320 or 400 grit sandpaper, and sanded the entire surface of the metal, being careful not to get too close to the freshly sharpened teeth, if you've cut them yet.  I hadn't here:  

If it's a problem, you can put a piece of masking tape over the teeth for this stage.  After I got the finish to a nice, even sheen across it's entirety, I followed up with some 600 grit sandpaper to remove some of the scratches left behind by the coarser grits.  The brass still needed a bit, so I continued on with the two grits of scotch-brite pads so I ended up with a nice, uniform glow across it.  Some of the brass backs had minor imperfections like hammer marks or deep scratches- if they were too big to fix I didn't worry about them.  But I also refrained from polishing the backs to a high gloss, which would only serve to highlight those imperfections.  A nice satin sheen worked best.  Finally, a coat of paste wax on the blade to protect it, and the metal parts are finished.

Assembly and Final Touches

Here's the part you were looking for!  But we're not done yet! (D'OH!)

Using recycled saw nuts, now was the time to finish them up.  I buff them clean using a muslin wheel on the grinder that's charged with tripoli:


When those are cleaned up, I assemble the saw for the last time, making sure that the screws are holding the blade firmly.  When I'm satisfied all is right with the saw, I give then entire saw another coat of paste wax, and buff it out to the highest shine I can get.

There is is!  The saw is finished.  WHEW!