Saw Construction 1 - Saw Plate Prep
By D. Greco
Winter 2014

As we mention on the web site, the saw plates that you buy from us are made from 1095 blue polished spring steel. The raw spring steel comes to us with a blue coating that is imparted by the tempering process. This is chemically removed before the saw plate has it's teeth punched. While the process that removes the bluing leaves a clean surface, it's not the kind of surface most people want to leave on a new saw plate. So a bit of prep work is necessary in order to get it ready for use.

What you'll need
I also suggest wearing old clothes when you do this. It's a bit messy. But not as bad as changing your own oil in your car.

Install a piece of your lowest grit sandpaper in your sanding block and add a couple of drops across the back half of your saw plate. While holding the other half steady with your hand, make steady full length passes with the sanding block. Do this until you have a clean surface that has a consistent color and fine scratch pattern. Resist the temptation to go back over a spot and "scrub" it with short strokes. If you do this you will end up with a bunch of tiny vee shaped scratches where you changed direction abruptly.

Once you have a satisfactory surface on the half you are working on it's time to rotate the saw plate and work on the other half. Be sure to wipe the saw plate clean and check for scratches. I like to finish one side and then flip it over and do the other side with the same grit. That way I don't get confused where I stopped and started with one grit versus another.

The real trick here is to look for big scratches and remove them before proceeding to the next grit. Full length strokes and attention to the pressure you're exerting also helps to get you to a nice surface. Once you have done as much as you can, it's time to wipe the saw plate clean and move to the next grit.

Rinse and repeat until you have reached a surface with the right amout of shine you are looking for.


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