The hand saw is one of the most indispensable hand tools that a woodworker uses. There is a variety of hand saws, and we have covered many of them in another post. However, how to store hand saws is a frequently discussed subject amongst woodworkers.
How to store hand saws properly is something that any woodworker would be interested to know. Hand saws should be stored safely, in such a way that the teeth don’t get damaged, the blades don’t get bent, and they don’t cause harm to anyone. There are a few variations in the way you can store hand saws that are worth knowing.
Why is storing hand saws important?
Storing hand saws is something that most of us don’t give a second thought about. I for one, never thought about it until I started writing this post. I don’t have many hand saws, but the few I have I hang on a few nails on the inside of my tool cupboard door.
But when you think about it, it makes sense to store hand saws properly. Here are a few reasons why storing hand saws in dedicated storage space can be beneficial:
Your Saws Are Readily Available
By making a dedicated storage space, you can store your hand saws in order of their usage. What it means is that you can place the saws that you use most frequently in the front of your storage space. That way, you can quickly find a saw of your choice.
Haphazardly stored hand saws can cause harm as the randomly-placed blades can cause an injury. A saw can fall off a shelf onto someone’s foot. Or, you may reach into your tool cupboard or shelf and cut your hands on the saw blades.
If you leave your hand saws all over the place, chances are that your blades may get damaged. The teeth may get blunt and even chipped if someone drops the saws or objects fall on them.
Types of Hand Saw Storage Systems
There are several ways and means to store hand saws when you aren’t using them. You can simply hang them on hooks or screws on the wall. But the main disadvantage of doing that is that it wastes a lot of wall space.
Making a dedicated storage space for your hand saws has numerous advantages that we mentioned above. Moreover, it’s a much more interesting way of storing them. Here are a few of the commonest ways to store your hand saws:
Hand Saw Rack
You can make a sectioned box and screw it to the wall. Each section contains a peg upon which you can hang an individual saw. You can now hang as many saws as you have sections with pegs, and go on adding until you have a series of vertically hanging hand saws.
A saw till is a type of open cabinet that we use to store hand saws. It has a shelf at the bottom and a horizontal plank of wood on the top with vertical slits.
You place the hand saws on the bottom shelf vertically, with the handles resting on the shelf and the saw blades pointing up. Each saw blade sits in each slot in the horizontal plank.
You can also add a shelf or two for storing additional tools like planers, hammers, mallets, and chisels. Or, make a few holes in the shelves to add files and screwdrivers. You can customize it according to your tool collection.
DIY Saw Rack
You can easily make this DIY saw rack by making similar vertical slots. But the difference here is that the saws hang in the slots and are held in place by strategically-placed rollers.
The process is quite simple and you can fabricate the complete saw rack including the rollers in a woodworking workshop using the tools at hand. The size of the rack can vary according to the number of saws you have.
Things You Shouldn’t Do While Storing Hand Saws
Having a dedicated storage structure for your hand saws is nice. But if you haven’t got around to arranging for one, you will behave to hang them on hooks and nails on the wall or leave them on shelves and tables.
Here are some things you shouldn’t do when you store your hand saws to protect them from damage and prevent them from injuring anyone:
Placing on the Floor
Do not lie your hand saw on the floor, a table, or a flat surface. If left in the same position for a prolonged period, the blade can become permanently bent.
Leaning Against a Vertical Surface
Avoid leaving a hand saw with the handle down and the blade leaning against a vertical surface like a wall or inside a cupboard. Here again, the saw blade can bend due to the weight of the blade.
Storing on the Teeth Face
If you store hand saws with the teeth face against a hard surface, there is a chance of the teeth getting knocked and damaged.
Maintenance of Hand Saws
Now and then you might find that your hand saws don’t cut as efficiently as they used to. The blades begin to look dull and the handles start to look shabby.
In such circumstances, it is probably time to have them sharpened. Instead of relying on a professional, you can sharpen and clean your hand saws easily by following a few simple steps given below:
Detach the Blade
If the level of deterioration is high, then you need to detach the handle from the blade. Most blades come with handles attached to the handles with screws. Some screws may be rusted, spraying a bit of WD40 can help. Once done you can deal with the blade and handle separately.
If the blade is heavily rusted, scrape the rust off with a metallic scraper. Next, sand down the surface of the blade using 400-grit sandpaper. When you see that most of the rust disappears, scrub it with some steel wool and oil.
Once done, wipe the blade’s surface with a dry cloth, leaving traces of oil. It will help to protect the blade from accumulating rust once again. Another good tip for protecting your saw blades from corrosion is to rub a candle on them.
Restoring Wooden Hand Saw Handles
First, you need to remove the existing varnish. You can do this with a chemical stripper if the handle has intricate carvings. If not, you can use fine-grain sandpaper to remove the varnish from the wood. Once you have removed the varnish, wipe it down with a dry cloth and reapply a suitable finish to the wood.
Sharpening Your Blades
A good option is to get your saw blades sharpened by a professional. Or else you can investigate the possibility of doing it yourself. A variety of files are available on the market for manually sharpening saw blades.
Sharpening the teeth of a saw blade is rather like using a knife sharpener, except you sharpen each tooth. You may need a bit of practice to get the sharpening strokes right. Click HERE to learn more about different types of woodworking saws.
We hope that you get some benefit from reading this short but informative post. We covered the various ways you can store your hand saws and also shared a few great ideas for making storage spaces, and how to maintain your hand saws.
If you follow the tips we have provided here, you can easily get the best out of your hand saws for many years to come.