Keen Kutter No. K88

Doing some clean-up of one of my (new) old saws. I believe this to be a Keen Kutter No. K88 rip saw. If anyone knows where I should look to try and date this saw, I’d love to have that information.

Wish I had some “before” photos to share, showing what these saws looked like when I found them. They each got a soak in Evapo-rust, and depending on the amount of pitting or rust still left, made a trip to the wire wheel on the bench grinder.

I’m fearful that posting what I’m doing to these tools will make some collector somewhere screech in pain.

Before snapping these photos, I’d already gone over the saw plate with sandpaper to clean off the black crud left behind after the Evapo-rust soak, and brighten it up. In places where there’s no etching to uncover, I started out with a 60 grit sanding sponge, and then jumped up to higher grits to uncover any etching left and clean up the blade some more. For this one, I started with 320 grit, and then did 1000 and 1500 grit. It doesn’t seem to matter what jumps I make in grits. Not sure if I wouldn’t have seen the same results just starting with a high grit, and being done with it. Applied a lot of WD-40 in the process to clean it up.


Hopefully you can see some of the etching in the photo – I barely can make it out, but it’s often easier to make these things out in the photos.


If I’m measuring correctly, this saw has 4 teeth per inch.


I’d read somewhere about applying paste wax to the saw plate to protect against rust and make the saw run effortlessly through the wood. I went ahead and did that – not convinced yet what kind of difference it will make.

These were silver-colored before, but the yellow came out a bit after some light sanding.


I considered sanding this tote all the way down, but it was in pretty good shape, so I opted to just try to clean it up some.


Several of my found tools have this “W” scratched in. My wife’s great-uncle Walter lived on this farm, and worked as a carpenter.


Started out going over it lightly with a brass brush and scrubbing away at it with a rag and more WD-40. This GoJo handcleaner was sitting right there, so I figured what the heck, and gave it a shot. Don’t have a sense that it did much – may have brightened the wood up a little bit, for better or worse.


After I was all done cleaning the tote, I applied more paste wax and rubbed it down.

It looks good, though I really like how the old Disston tote I cleaned up a couple of weeks ago felt after sanding it down to a ridiculous 1200 grit. I might be tempted to go that route on all of these – we’ll see.

In any case, at 4 tpi, I’m anxious to try ripping some boards with this guy soon.



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2 Responses to Keen Kutter No. K88

  1. Greg Merritt says:

    Looks good! Sharpen it and put it to work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wesley Beal says:

      Thanks Greg. Sharpening is right at the top of my gather-the-tools-and-learn-how list. The garage that will be the home to my workshop will finish having it’s roof installed today – getting closer, bit by bit, to having a workshop again.

      Liked by 2 people

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