From a Chain on a Chainsaw to a Handsaw

  • By: Monica Shulz

You can make a handsaw from an old chainsaw chain. The materials you need for this task are a welding torch, grinder, a chainsaw, metal bars, full-threaded bolts and nuts, spray can, safety gloves and helmet, clamp, power drill, and a wing nut. Here is a how-to guide.

Turn the round chain into a straight line

You want one continuous line from the round chain. Identify one tie strap on the chain, clamp the chain near the cuter, grind out the two holding rivets and knock the remaining part of the rivets out. While at it, you want to be gentle not to damage the rivet holes. They will hold your chain tightly when you install them in the handsaw handle.

Make the variable screw from one bolt

First, you want to use a long bolt. Use a clamp to hold the bolt firmly, cut the bolt leaving about 2 ½ inches long. Hold the newly cut bolt, grind out through the center about half an inch deep. Do the same to the sides so that you are left with two protruding points. You also want to add a pinhole. Use a power drill to drill a hole through the two pointing edges of the bolt.

Make the handle

You can recycle old iron bars to make a handle. First, imagine what your handle will look like. It will have one horizontal bar with two welded bars at approximately 45 degrees from the vertical line. Your chain will guide you on the size of the bars you choose and eventually the handle you make. Cut the angles appropriately using a hack saw or an electric metal cutting saw.

Weld the handle

Once you have the bars cut, fit them nicely and weld them together. You want to avoid a mismatch when welding. Use a flat bench to ensure that you are welding the bars the way they should align. If they don’t align, your handsaw will most certainly give you a bad experience. You also want to smooth out the vestiges of the welding torch.

Weld in the nuts on both sides

While you can attach the chain directly to the bars, it will not have that smooth operation. So, you should weld two long nuts at both edges of the bar. Again, you want to align the bolts horizontal to the main handlebar. While welding the bolts, be careful. Use the welding-grade gloves.

Paint the handle

If the bars are rusty, smooth them out. You can sand the metal if it has old paint. Use a pain can or spray can, whatever is available. A spray can will do a good job.

Set the variable screw and gliding screw

On the variable screw side, bolt into the nut of the previously prepared variable screw. As for the gliding screw, you want to remove the threads from the nut so that the screw can enter without resistance. You will use the wing nuts to hold it in place.

Set up the chain

Use the rivet holes and the pinholes for this task. On the variable screw side, put the drive link inside the shaped-out bolt and fasten it using a pin. On the gliding screw side, slide the chain inside, insert a pin, and tighten the chain using the wing nut. Tighten to the desired level.

The finished product

Now you can use the handsaw to cut any piece of wood. You can tie one side of the slanting ends with a rubber band to make it a handle.


This addition helps you turn an old chain into a wonderful and useful handsaw. You can engage the author via youtube of

Photo by DIY projects / CC BY 3.0