First up, remove the nuts and handle. Look! Once upon a time it really was shiny steel. Who'd have believed it?
Tools of torture: scraper, wet'n'dry wrapped round a block, some white spirit (mineral spirits, North Americans) and paper towels (not shown). Newspaper or other bench top protection is essential - it gets messy.
First scrape off the worst of the rust.
Then work along the length of the saw with the wet'n'dry wrapped round the block, lubricated with some white spirit. I used 320g but really could have done with something a bit coarser for this one, if I'd had it.
Give it a wipe with the paper towel, and ye gads! Is that the hint of an etch I see before me? God bless Henry and his super deep etches. Any British saw's etch would be a distant memory by now.
Some more abrading - about 40 minutes all together - a whizz of non-woven abrasive over the nuts, white spirit to clean up the handle, a quick buff of beeswax polish on the handle and Renaissance wax on the plate and behold; the before and after shot:
I cheated like crazy with the nuts and chucked them in the cordless drill to speed things up.
The etch is almost completely legible. The bulk of Disstons that have swum into my ken have been Canadian. Of course the whole point of Canadian production was to get round import taxes into Commonwealth countries (previously known as the British Empire), so it makes sense to find them here. I gather the actual saws are identical to the US-made ones.
Clean and mainly shiny, yes. Sharp? Not even close. A run over with a file to top the teeth demonstrates the sort of problem teeth I'm up against here. Below that, just making a start.
It took two passes and several hours to get it at least sharp enough for a test run. In fact enough time passed that the light has gone, so we've gone to arty black and white again. Really it needs another go, but that can wait for its next re-sharpening. Besides which, I'd managed to generate a blister on my finger where it was bearing on the saw file, so saw filing is the last thing I want to do any more of just now, thank you...
The proof of a successful rescue is in the cutting. Just fine and dandy, slight curve to the plate not withstanding.
So now I'm thinking the TTS should probably have it back again; maybe I can provide tool rehabilitation in exchange for down payments on the Rogers Patent Mitre Planer? Yeah, should only take me about 20-30 years of rust removal... ;)