Harvey Peace "Vulcan" No 40, saw rescue

Discussion in 'Forum: Saw Identification and Discussion' started by kiwi, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. kiwi

    kiwi Most Valued Member

    Picked up a sorry looking $2 backsaw today, blade painted silver and left outside in the weather for some time, but it had the early Harvey Peace "Vulcan" medallion to add to my collection:).
    Got it home and took it apart. The split nuts came apart more easily than expected, although the medallion was difficult to get out, requiring a bigger hammer (the other two screws appear to be larger replacement split nuts, and those screws were tapped out with a small hammer and punch ). Removing the handle revealed an old break in the plate at the screw holes :((possibly broken when the replacement larger diameter screws were forced into too small holes ?). I thought I'd take the spine off to make it easier to clean off the paint, (and because it appeared to be badly aligned on the plate), and although it initially seemed to be solidly rusted in place it also finally yielded to the big hammer approach.
    The thick silver paint was removed with paint stripper and the underlying rust sanded down with several grades of sandpaper. The marking on the spine reads "Spring Steel, Harvey W Peace, 40, Brooklyn NY, Warranted" with an additional "Vulcan" with an arm-and-hammer logo. There's also two light "C Turner" Owner's stamps.
    ( I'm guessing this No 40 backsaw with its "Vulcan" medallion dates from c1870s, but I'm only guessing, comments welcome)
    The grey weathered wood was also sanded lightly and oiled. Brass screws were cleaned (I like shiny )
    Re-assembly was straight forward, and seeing the handle was tight and the plate was straight I touched up the teeth with a file and tried a cut. It cut well, but tended to bind in the kerf, so I dug out some sawsets from the sawset collection:). After trying a couple of sawsets I found my Taintor's N0 7 worked best on the 10 ppi teeth, and the saw now cuts cleanly.
    So, with only 3 or 4 hours of enjoyable fettling, this wreck of a saw now looks and works fine, (and I've increased its value by maybe $10-$15 !!)
    [ideally, the saw should have a proper jointing and sharpening, but considering its other blemishes (character features !), my old eyes, and my lack of need for another working saw, I'm calling it "good enough" for now]
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    Last edited: Jul 28, 2018
    Underthedirt likes this.
  2. Underthedirt

    Underthedirt Most Valued Member

    Hi Kiwi,

    That looks 1000% better than before, why oh why do people feel the need to paint saw plates???
    It's a good looking saw, I like the big forward hook on the American style handle.
    A nice survivor bought back to life from an ultra cool maker, thanks for sharing...:)


  3. rob1713

    rob1713 Active Member

    Nice job Kiwi, time to get looking for the next abused patient to benefit from your talent.
  4. Joe S

    Joe S Most Valued Member

    Hey Rob et al
    Nice save on a very nice saw. As Mari wonders, "why do people feel the need to paint saw plates???" A fresh clean up was the only option and you did a fine job leaving some of the "patina" on the blade to suggest it was an old saw. For more info and examples of the Harvey Peace saws Josh at Hyperkitten has done a nice job. Here are some examples of some more 40s. http://www.hyperkitten.com/tools/hwpeace/saws/backsaws/40_backsaw.php

    Joe S.