When a circular saw blade has served its original purpose as a cutting instrument, you don’t have to throw it away. A dull saw blade can be painted or otherwise decorated to become a unique work of art. Saw blades range in size from as little as 4 inches in diameter, which typically are used for hobby or craft cutting, to 6 feet or more for commercial operations such as logging. Depending on the type of saw blade, the teeth around the edge can be fine and barely noticeable or have large indentations that are deep and dramatic.
The first step toward transforming your saw blade into a decorative piece is cleaning it up. If the saw blade is very old, it likely has some rust and dirt or dust. Newer saw blades also could have sticky residue if they were used to cut through fresh wood containing sap. Remove rust and other surface imperfections by sanding the blade with a piece of sandpaper. If the surface is relatively smooth and clean with only a few blemishes, a light sanding with fine sandpaper having a grit of 150 to 180 should be sufficient. If the saw blade is heavily rusted, begin with coarse, 40- to 60-grit sandpaper to remove the bulk of the rust and then use progressively finer sandpaper to achieve a smooth surface. When the surface is clean and smooth, spray the entire blade, including the front, back and edges, with a metal primer. This prevents rust from reforming and also provides an adhesive surface for decorative top coats of paint.
When your primer is dry, you can begin painting the picture. Painted saw blades produce a casual appearance and typically look best when adorned with wildlife, landscapes or other scenes from nature. Paint your design with inexpensive acrylic craft paints. When the picture is fully dry, spray the saw blade with a clear acrylic sealer to protect the design.
If you don’t have the talent for painting objects or scenery, use the technique of decoupage to apply an attractive picture to the face of the saw blade. Cut out a picture that appeals to you from a magazine or print off a picture from your computer. If you print your own picture, use photo paper or card stock. Standard-weight copy paper will easily curl or rip. Brush Mod Podge decoupage glue onto the back of the picture and position it where desired. After a few minutes, brush more Mod Podge over the top of the picture. Use your fingers to gently smooth out wrinkles. Don’t press so hard that the paper tears, though. When the glue is completely dry, spray acrylic sealer over the entire saw blade.
If you want your saw blade to be attractive as well as functional, add clockworks to it. The hole in the middle of the saw blade is perfect for inserting the stem of a clock movement. Battery-operated clock kits can be purchased for under $10 and include the movement, hands and self-stick numbers. If you make your saw blade into a clock, realize that the back of the clock will cause the blade to stick out about an inch or so from the wall. For a nicely finished look, build a simple shadow box for your saw blade clock to go into.