Rehabilitating My 42x
I hesitate to call this a “restoration”, and it isn’t really much of a repair, so maybe I should call this a rehabilitation? It didn’t even take that long. In fact, I spent more time shopping for the right saw set so that I wouldn’t have to do a whole lot to it in the first place.
I’m not going to sit here and wax philosophically about saw sets. I know what they’re used for, but have never used one. I could probably figure out how to use mine – it isn’t complicated, in concept. But I’m not a saw sharpening authority by any means. Heck, I’m barely a saw sharpening novice! (Something to keep in mind as you read on.)
I am, however, fairly adept at navigating your favorite auction site and mine – eBay. So let’s wax philosophically about that for a bit!
When I was told I had to have a saw set for Matt Cianci‘s Build A Back Saw class I’m taking next month, I started looking for one in familiar hunting grounds. Matt recommended trying to find the Stanley 42x, as it is the quintessential saw set, the one everyone compares every other saw set to. In cases like this, where I am well aware of what I don’t know, I tend to stick to the advice of others who I believe ARE in the know. Thus began my (fairly short) search for a Stanley 42x.
After a few weeks of watching the auctions (what? You don’t just go out and buy the first one you run across, do you?), I determined that most of the Stanley 42x saw sets tend to sell for anywhere between $30 and $50, regardless of condition. In other words, one that is all beat to crap can sell for the same price as one that is in near perfect condition. My goal became: Buy one that is in near perfect condition and save myself a lot of trouble.
Patiently, the eHunter waits on his haunches by the Stanley watering hole. He spies his target – good condition, no box (to discourage high-bidding collectors), low starting price, late night ending time – but makes no move. Instead, he watches to see if his quarry will come closer. It does! In fact, it heads right for him! He waits… and waits… until just the right moment, when he STRIKES, mere seconds before it gets away!! And snags a (damned near) perfect Stanley 42x saw set for the acceptable price of $38.
And when it arrives in the mail, it is true to the surveillance photographs our eHunter so closely reviewed. It’s only fault is one that cannot be photographed – the handle does not easily return to its starting position when grasped and released; it appears the springs are at the end of their life.
Once again, Joe Federici came to the rescue. Joe knows saws – probably better than most people I know, and certainly better than me – so I turned to his website for information. A quick stop by his on-line store and I had two brand new Stanley 42x saw set springs coming my way, along with a full set of instructions for replacing them.
With replacement parts and my trusty Millers Falls No. 63 at hand, I pulled out Joe’s instructions and started reading them. But I have to be honest with you… I made it about half way through the first step before I said, “Oh, I got this…” and set them aside and just started into it.
(I don’t need to explain that to anyone, do I?)
It was a pretty simple and painless procedure. Remove the only screw you can find, remove the handle, remove the anvil and cylinder (and accompanying springs), replace springs, add a bit of lithium grease for lubrication, replace anvil and cylinder, replace handle, replace screw. Give it a few squeezes to make sure you didn’t bugger anything up and you’re good to go.
I did go ahead and remove some dust from the under side of the grips and… well… seriously, that was about it. This thing was so clean it had about 98% of the original finish. The only part with any kind of wear showing was where the teeth on either side of the tooth you’re setting rest during the process.
This was about the most painless tool
restoration rehabilitation project I’ve done in seven years. Looks just like it did when I started, right?
In this case, that’s a good thing.