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Minnesota Hobbies: Repurposing an Old Saw

Updated on September 29, 2016

A Picture I Painted


It's Fun to Paint

It's actually not extremely hard to create your own project. The hardest part of painting is knowing when you are finished and the second hardest thing is enjoying your own creation. Like anything else that requires putting a little bit of your own soul into the creation, your self esteem gets mixed up with the end result.

Will someone like my painting? If they don't like it, is it a reflection on how they feel about me. After all, this painting represents my innermost expressed feelings. This painting is me.

The Scene

The picture of the house has hand prints across the bottom. I did Licensed Daycare in my home for fourteen years, and I received this huge frame from one of my friends when they moved into a house and someone had left the picture behind.

It originally had a picture of a poppy on it, but I painted over it and created the house scene. At that time, painting houses and old barns was my specialty. Since I had kids around, I decided to take some pink and blue paint and for each kid, we'd have them press their hands onto enamel paint and make a print on this picture with their right hand. I did this for each kid I had over the years. The 'old kids' would all remind me that the 'new kid' needed his or her hand print on the picture and they'd all watch as the new kid was 'initiated' and received into the 'family'.

I put their name next to the print. It's incredible how fast time passes. These children are now all adults. Most have children of their own that are as old as they were when they squished their hands onto the picture. The picture brings tears to many people's eyes. I never thought about it when I did it, but, now - I'm glad I did.

The Old Milk Crate Awaits Me


In Retrospect

I used to paint on a lot of things. If it stood still too long, it ended up with a picture painted on it. I come by this trait naturally, as I come from a long line of creative individuals. My father could paint scenes on the sides of Ford Econoline Vans and made a few extra dollars in the 1970's by painting a scene on the broad side of the vehicle.

I watched him one day. He had purchased a used van and he sanded it down and repainted it white. Then, on the panel on the rear, he began at the back and started putting a scene across.

First he painted the blue across the top side of the painting, then he painted the green across the bottom. Then, he came back and squished and smeared white paint across the blue, Then he made a series of upward strokes with a paintbrush loaded with a couple colors of black and yellow and white. Grass magically appeared. Then, he added some long rust colored square, added some sort of horizontal slashing on top of that. Took a smaller brush a tapped it across the top of the long rust covered square and all of a sudden, I'm looking a long covered bridge. Then. A squish of red on one end and here was a scene that had grass, blue sky, a covered bridge and a cardinal bird sitting on a branch of a tree looking at the bridge.

It took him 45 minutes to paint it.

As I Was Saying

Like I said before, I used to paint on a lot of things. I have painted on saw blades, which is what I am going to discuss right now.

I have a milk crate sitting with an assortment of metal objects all primed and waiting to be slopped with paint. I think I burnt myself out, since this crate has been waiting for me for over 14 years. I just haven't made any time to paint them.

I do have a couple children that can paint, but I think when you grow up around people who do create, you do watch and learn and it becomes just another 'thing you know how to do'.

Back to Saw Blade Painting

When I lived with my parents, I was not very good at painting. I was good at gluing objects together and getting creative with rocks and general fiber crafts. Back in the 1960's, early 1970's through the mid 1970's, there were a lot of older people - people that were getting into their fifties, that were looking at the economic times and looking for creative ways to make money.

My mother, and a few of her friends, were good at crafts. There were times that they'd make Christmas ornaments and then, they'd all get together and have a sale where they had displays and all the objects were arranged and were priced at like a dollar apiece.

They sold everything. It was all very popular stuff. My mother made little birds out of a cornstarch/salt clay and would bake them, then she'd paint them realistic and glue them onto small rings.

These Were My Mother's Creations

A Bluejay
A Bluejay | Source
an Oriole
an Oriole | Source

Inspiration is all it Takes

My father's picture on the side of the van took only a few minutes. I have heard that art is just an illusion. People will see what you want them to see because the colors mix together and they will believe your image is true to what they believe it is.

The following picture is very similar to what my father painted on his van. My mother's friend had painted this picture. Perhaps this is what my father had seen and was inspired by.

The Inspiration for the Van Painting


A Shop 'Up North' Sold These

Driftwood/Bird | Source
Mixed Media
Mixed Media | Source

Typical Sawblade


Just to Inspire

I don't intend to tell you how to paint on a saw. I'm sure that if you are talented enough to be painting on a saw, I don't need to instruct you. Just don't forget to use a metal primer before you start. A rust-reducing primer would be ideal.

Most of the blades that I got, had rust on them. There was a product that I used to use by Rustoleum that chemically changed the rust to something that wouldn't fall off.

Like I Said Before

Sawblades are not the only thing you can paint on. Anything can be painted on.

Tractor Seat


Digger Blade


Two Man Saw Blade


Railroad Shovel


My Poor Husband Got Neglected


The Old Tackle Box Got Repurposed



Well, I said I wouldn't tell you how to paint. I'm still not, but I can tell you more about where I get my information to paint.

I have a magazine that belonged to my mother called Tole World. This magazine tells you step by step the colors that you need to use for each step. It tells you the brush size and shape. Many of my paintings were done using a wide flat for the sky and background grass. A long round was used for trees and branches. A short flat was used for grass and leaves. A fan brush works great for tapping branches on a pine tree.

If you forget to wash out a brush, or you have an old beat up brush, save that brush for doing dot work. Sometimes it's handy to have a crispy brush for adding details like apples. You can add red paint to a crispy brush and paint a lot of apples in one stroke.

Art is an Illusion

Art is simply bending color to make the eye recognize a familiar object.

How About You

Do you have artistic inclinations? Do you paint on sawblades or other objects?

See results


Handpainted Sawblades


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    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      It's way beyond my meager skills this is a cool idea!