Saw shop questions and answers: cordwood saw safety, saw handle repair, and more!


Vern Burke, SwiftWater Edge Tool Works

Skowhegan, ME

It’s that time again! You’ve got questions, I have the answers!

1. (question about buzz saw (cordwood saw) safety)

The classic buzz saw (cordwood saw) with its mostly unprotected blade can be a very dangerous thing but a few simple rules can make it quite safe to operate one of these.

A. Stay away from the power belt. Getting an arm caught in the cordwood saw power belt will probably throw the belt before it does any serious damage, but it’s not likely to be much fun either.

B. Do not stand in line with the running saw blade. Hard pieces of wood, foreign metal in the wood, and/or broken teeth will all be carried around the blade and thrown out the top at high speed, like a bullet.

C. NEVER EVER EVER reach under the running saw for a cut off piece of wood!

2. (question about repairing damage to handsaw handle horns)

The horns of a saw handle typically get damaged from several causes. Plain physical damage or rodents (mice just love to chew on the wood because of the salt from the sweat of hands holding it) are the most common.

The only real way to do this is to make a rough new horn from an intact handle of the same type, cut the damaged horn off, attach the new rough horn (screw and glue), and shape the new horn to match the handle. In my experience, most handsaws aren’t worth the trouble, although I have done this where I intended to do matched sets of saws and one was damaged.

3. (question about removing yellow pain from Dewalt circular saw blade carbides)

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about this boneheaded trick, Dewalt covering the carbides of their circular saw blades with yellow paint. I’ve found the best way to remove this is with a 6″ wire brush well on a bench grinder.

Visit me at any of the following locations:

Elm Plaza, Waterville, ME (Mondays)
Arundel Flea Market, Rt 1 & Log Cabin Rd, Arundel, ME (Fridays)
298 W Front St, Skowhegan, ME (all other days)

If you’re looking for a special tool, please drop me an
email and let me know and I’ll restore one just for you!

SwiftWater Edge Tool Works provides mobile sharpening services across Maine and mail in services around the world for handsaws, carbide blades, planer knives, hand planes, chain saws, knives, scissors, hair clippers, router bits, and almost any blade!

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