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robert.hoover

Fire damage to saw

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I found what I believe to be a decent saw for only $5 but it's obviously been through a fire. The handle is charred but still intact. There doesn't seem to be any other damage. I'm not very familiar with metalergy so I don't know what effect the fire and heat might have had on the plate. I don't know anything about the fire (it's in a used tool store) or much other information to provide. Is this something to avoid, or should I take the time to restore it?

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It's only $5, if the handle is charred and the blade is not fully discolored, I say give it a try. Practice your sharpening skills and see how it works. If the metal is damaged and not usable as a saw, then you have a $5 permanent practice saw. If it works well as a saw and the metal isn't permanently damaged, you have a working saw and can make a new tote.

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I am with Matt, more than likely if the handle is only charred it probably didn't get too hot but you just never know. For $5 you can either eat at McDonalds or possibly get a great saw. Matts point of having a practice sharpening saw is also a great point. I would sharpen it and use it for a while, if it keeps it's points and edges your in business, if not hang it on the wall:) Keep us posted.

Nate

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Yeah, it's not about the cost -- it's about the time required to restore the saw. Could the heat have damaged the metal such that I should just avoid wasting the time on it?

It is absolutely possible that the steel has been heated past the critical point. It only takes 600 degrees to ruin the temper of the steel. You can do this in some kitchen ovens. Open flame is in the range of several thousand degrees. Due to the thinness of the steel, it would not take much time exposed to flame to get the saw steel over 600 degrees. And, 600 degrees would likely not ignite the wood and burn it to ashes, but may char it pretty good if it's exposed long enough.

In my opinion, it's not worth it, even at $5. If the steel is soft, you won't know if the saw isn't working well because of that or because you didn't do an adequate job sharpening it. I'm all for practicing and learning to sharpen your own saws, but a saw that may not be able to hold the sharpness and allow you to test your work is not the way to learn. Good, cheap saws are not a rarity. You can get perfectly good saws that haven't been exposed to a fire for $5 too. Just about every yard sale, flea market and antique mall has them. I'd pass.

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Most woods ignite at 450 degrees so there is a window there where the wood could be charred but the steel be ok, but it isn't a big window. I guess the thing to really consider is how many saws can be found in your area. Bob stated that there are a lot of saws to be found in his area if that is the case for you I would pass. In my area there are never saws to be found, every once in a while at an auction but thats it. Bob knows a lot more about sharpening saws than I do, so if he warns against that I would listen. I figured if it lost it's temper it would just loose it's edge quicker like a chisel or plane iron but he brings up a good point with not being able to tell what the problem is. If it was in my area I would give it a try because there isn't any around but if there were after hearing Bobs comment I would pass. Great thing about this place, many opinions and always something to learn.

Nate

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