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Saws

Buying antique tools by mail can be fraught with risk, because of all of the hidden problems that tools might have. Even in person, these problems are sometimes missed, and even new tools sometimes have functionality issues. However, I donít believe that there is any type of tool that is more problematic to buy remotely than a saw. If a saw is kinked, it is really not worth picking up of the ground, and 9 out of ten saws that I see have a kink or other bend that makes them none-functional. Often, I see these same saws bought by colleagues, and then offered for sale as ďstraightĒ usable saws. I donít think that they are being dishonest, I just donít think that they do enough woodworking themselves to really know. If we say that a saw is usable, you can be assured that it is. All of our saws will have straight, usable, blades, unless we state otherwise. Most of them will need at least a light sharpening. Rarely will they need setting. It takes a lot of sharpenings before you really need to set the saw teeth.

I believe that learning to sharpen your own saws is a basic skill that all woodworkers should possess, and we offer all of the files that you might need in our new tool department. However, if you feel that you are not ready for this, or just donít want to bother, there are few places that will do a great job of sharpening a vintage saw. Do not, and I repeat, do not, take the saw to a local saw service. They will remove the handle and put the saw in a machine. Note that saws need to be sharpened regularly, so sending the saw out every time it gets dull is really not a practical solution. Sharpening a saw is not rocket science. Anyone can do it well with just a bit of practice and some patience.

Explanation of Our Condition Grading System

Frequently Asked Vintage Tool Questions



Penn State Penn State Penn State Penn State

SA210762 Penn State A 26" saw with 12 PPI. This saw was made in York Pennsylvania, probably in the 1950s or 60s, and is their A-1 model. It is a quality saw and quite unsual to find it with such a fine tooth. The maple handle has no damage and just some minor finish loss. the blade is clean with some scattered staining. It needs a light filing but it has probably never been sharpened since new. A fantastic user for a modest price. The taper grinding on this saw is better than any saw that you can buy new today, and the steel is probably better as well. G++ $85


Henry Disston & Sons Henry Disston & Sons Henry Disston & Sons

SA210771 Henry Disston & Sons A 26" handsaw with 6 PPI that is filed with a very aggressive cross cut that could easily be changed to rip if you prefer that. The blade is staright and smooth, but it has staining overall and you have to hold the saw at the right angle to read to the etching. A great user. G+ Sold




Norvell-Shapleigh Hardware Co. Diamond Edge Norvell-Shapleigh Hardware Co. Diamond Edge Norvell-Shapleigh Hardware Co. Diamond Edge Norvell-Shapleigh Hardware Co. Diamond Edge Norvell-Shapleigh Hardware Co. Diamond Edge

SA210749 Norvell-Shapleigh Hardware Co. Diamond Edge Dimaond Edge was the trademark of Shapleigh's top-of-the-line tools. I read online that the business was only named Norvell-Shapleigh from 1901-1918, which helps to date this saw. The saw is marked Number 150 and I think was made by Simmons. It is etched with a pledge of being of the highest quality. It is 1n 18" panel saw with 12 PPI. That is not a common configuration. The blade is very clean and mostly bright. There are losses to the upper handle spur, although it maintains its original profile. The handle is wheat carved. This will make a most handly little saw to use. G++ $95


Mouson Brothers, Union Works Mouson Brothers, Union Works Mouson Brothers, Union Works Mouson Brothers, Union Works Mouson Brothers, Union Works

SA2106115 Mouson Brothers, Union Works A 28" rip saw with 4 PPI. That is quite coarse. The blade is stampled with the Moulson mark in a circle, however it is not one of hte marks that appears on Simon's book. The saw is clearly Victorian. The handle is magnificent with a carfully formed crest over the entire top. The handle has no damage. The blade is dark with mostly light pitting, but some heavier pitting, mosting on the right side. The blade has a wave in it and I can't say for sure if it will work OK or not. Because it is not kinked, and it is so course, it would probably work. However, this is a scarce early saw that is really best left to a collector. G+ $65


Handy Hand Saw Handy Hand Saw Handy Hand Saw Handy Hand Saw

SA2106102 Handy Hand Saw This saw has a very interesting etching of two different carpenters at work, one inside and the other outdoors. These to vignettes sourround the Disston logo. Below that it states "Manufactured by the World's Most Famous Sawmakers, Tacony, Philadelphia, USA. I have never seen this before. Sadly the saw has a bend in the blade that renders it usesless unless you have the skill to hammer that out. The tote is beech and has split on one side around the medallion. The blade is nice and clean. It is a 24" saw with 8 PPI. It is from the Disston collection of my friend, the late Dave Miller, who had one of the finest Disston collections that I have seen. G+ $29


Henry Disston & Sons Henry Disston & Sons Henry Disston & Sons Henry Disston & Sons

SA210669 Henry Disston & Sons A classic Disston D8 finger hole 26" rip saw with 6 PPI. This saw is straight, lightly used, and will make a great user. It is priced cheap because the blade has been cleaned and the etch is only faintly visible, and the handle has been refinished. The top handle spur was broken completely off, but it was put back on with no wood missing. For a collector, this saw is not good enough, but as a user it will perform as well as any mint D8, asssuming that it is properly sharpened. G+ Sold


Keen Kutter Keen Kutter Keen Kutter

SA210674 Keen Kutter A 20" panel saw with 9 PPI. It has a wheat carved applewood handle but the upper spur is badly broken. The blade has a medium patina but is smooth. The blade is not straight, but it is not kinked and it should work OK once you sharpen it. There is also one tooth missing. It is a good saw to practice sharpening with. I don't like to sell saws that are not straight so it is priced to go away quickly. This was a high-end saw when new. G $35



E.C. Atkins & Co. E.C. Atkins & Co. E.C. Atkins & Co.

SA210630 E.C. Atkins & Co. A 20" 10 PPI panel saw with a nice damage free applewood handle. The blade is not perfectly straight, but I think that it should be fine to use. It is almost sharp and just needs a light filing and a light cleaning. The etch is mostly clear. I priced it dirt cheap because I am known for very straight saws and this one isn't quite there. G+ $49



King City, Blish, Mize, & Silliman Hardware Co. Atchison, KS King City, Blish, Mize, & Silliman Hardware Co. Atchison, KS King City, Blish, Mize, & Silliman Hardware Co. Atchison, KS

SA210655 King City, Blish, Mize, & Silliman Hardware Co. Atchison, KS A 26" cross-cut saw with 8 PPI. In as found condition and neediing a light cleaning, this will make a great user saw once you clean it and sharpen the blade. It is a No. 25, if you anyone has an old catalog from this company, which is still in business today. The applewood handle has no damage. I am guessing that this saw is 1930s or 40s. G+ $65



Shapleigh Hardware Co. Diamond Edge Shapleigh Hardware Co. Diamond Edge Shapleigh Hardware Co. Diamond Edge Shapleigh Hardware Co. Diamond Edge

SA21062 Shapleigh Hardware Co. Diamond Edge A DE Number 155 26" saw with 7 PPI that is filed with a very aggressive cross-cut filing. The blade has the Union Pacific Railroad logo etched on it as well. The blade is very clean with some very light scattered staining, but still rates fine. The handle has a chip out of the lower spur and some tool box wear. It is sharp enough to use now, although the sharpening job is a bit uneven. It looks like a Disston made saw to me, probably a #7. Really a nice saw that overall I rate G++ $149


Henry Disston & Sons Henry Disston & Sons Henry Disston & Sons Henry Disston & Sons

SA210479 Henry Disston & Sons A 20" Acme 120 panel saw with 12 PPI. Acme 120 saws are not common, but short ones like this are really scarce. This saw has had the teeth sharpened on a machine and a slight amount of set added. It should not be that hard to recreate the original tooth shape and there is not enough set in it to even notice. The handle has been refinished by a collector. There is also a hang-hole in the saw plate. The etching is clear but slightly faded. It looks like somebody polished the plate with an orbital machine and if you look closely you can see light marks. These could be polished out as they are very faint. There are no kinks in the blade but there is a gentle curve to one side. An expert could probably remove this. Kinks are a different story. They are pretty much hopeless. This saw is so scarce that it is worth putting some work into it to make it a collector's grade piece. G+ $145


Keen Kutter Keen Kutter Keen Kutter Keen Kutter

SA210482 Keen Kutter A 20" Number 88 panel saw with 11 PPI. The saw is filed quite aggressively with a lot of forward rake in the teeth. It needs a light filing to use. The wheat carved applewood handle has had some extra finish applied over it and the upper spur is broken off wit a jagged edge remaining. The saw is straight until near the end where there is a light curve in the last few inches. It will be fine to use. The etching is clear. The blade is scattered staining but is overall pretty nice. I believe that it was made by Disston. I priced it to sell quickly, although sometimes that seems to act as more of a curse than an incentive. G+ $59


Henry Disston & Sons Keystone K-4 Air Master Henry Disston & Sons Keystone K-4 Air Master Henry Disston & Sons Keystone K-4 Air Master Henry Disston & Sons Keystone K-4 Air Master

SA210456 Henry Disston & Sons Keystone K-4 Air Master A Disston K-4 panel saw in a scarce size 20 inches, with 10 PPI. This is the one with a B17 bomber graphic. The blade has light surface powder rust but should clean well with a white pad and wax. The graphic is faded and might improve a bit with cleaning, but I am not sure. The blade is straight until the last inch. It doesn't really matter at the end like this, and it is much easier to straighten out at the end. It needs sharpening, but only a light filing will be enough. This will be a great user in a handy size. G+ $65


Henry Disston & Sons Henry Disston & Sons Henry Disston & Sons

SA210421 Henry Disston & Sons A Disston 26" D-20 with 9 PPI. The D-20 is the skewback version of the D-23, but they are dramatically less common and were discontinued in 1931. The blade is mostly bright with some scattered staining. The etch is clear. The carved applewood handle has no damage and most of its original finish. If you sight down the saw. It is not perfectly straight, but it is very nearly so and will make a great user. I don't mean to brag, but any other dealer would call it pin straight even if it was much less straight than this saw. You will need to sharpen it before you can use it, but it just needs a very light filing. G++ $95


Frame Saw

SA210373 Turning Saw This is a beautifully made pair of ends for a turning saw, with boxwood handles. I think that they are chestnut. The boxwood handles are both split from shrinking on the steel center rod. I will include a new old stock blade. I have a few sizes so you can tell me your preference and I will send the closest thing that I have. You will need to make the cross brace piece and a turn stick. Piece of cake! They are 12 inches high. G+ $49



I. Colbeck

SA100110 I. Colbeck A 14" backsaw. I would have guessed that this was an early English saw, although Simon Barley dates it as Victorian. English saws often look earlier than they are. It certainly looks quite early. This one has a dark patina on the blade, which has a gentle wave to it. The handle hardware is all replaced at some later date. The handle has a great look, although the upper spur is shortened. I am selling this saw strictly as a collector, not a user. It is a rare early saw worthy of some respect despite its shortcomings. G- $59


E.C. Atkins & Co E.C. Atkins & Co E.C. Atkins & Co

SA210248 E.C. Atkins & Co This is a mitre box saw that originally came with a Millers Falls Langdon mitre box and has just enough of the original decal on the handle to tell us this. The depth of cut is 4". I am not sure if they would have called this saw 24" or 25". The actually cutting edge is about 24 1/2". It is very sharp and was probably never used since it was last sharpened. There is light surface powder rust on the blade. It needs to be rubbed down with one of those white synthetic pads and some past wax. It should clean to better than G+ $69


Dixon

SA210112 Dixon A #5 jeweler's saw with bright polished steel finish. This is a very lightly used tool. Fine $35






Disston Keystone K-6 Challenger Disston Keystone K-6 Challenger

SA201241 Disston Keystone K-6 Challenger A 26" cross-cut saw with 10 PPI. The handle has nice finish and no damage. The blade is smooth and straight with scattered staining. The saw is close to being sharp. It needs just a light touch up and it will make a great user. G+ $59




The Disston Crucible - 3 Volumes

SA201146 The Disston Crucible - 3 Volumes These are a company published magazine, presumably distributed to Disston Employees. Here we have three copies, March 1924, May 1926, and March/April 1927. The March/April 1927 edition has a beautiful attached color picture of the Norther Lights. The May 1926 edition has had the picture removed from the cover and underneath there is a poem. The March 1924 edition has the picture as part of the cover and not a separate piece. These must be quite scarce as I have never seen any others. The May 1926 copy has the second half of an article about the last file maker in the US making files by hand. The first half of the article appeared in the April 1926 edition that I don't have, but I read the second half of the article and found it quite interesting. It is interesting how early trades died out here that perservered in Europe. G++ $49


Langdon Mitre Box Co./Henry Disston & Sons Langdon Mitre Box Co./Henry Disston & Sons Langdon Mitre Box Co./Henry Disston & Sons

SA201077 Langdon Mitre Box Co./Henry Disston & Sons An original saw from a Langdon mitre box. It is a 25" saw with 3 1/2" of usable cutting depth. The back is marked for Langdon and the blade is etched by Disston. Nice as found condition and still sharp enough to use. G++ $129




Henry Disston Henry Disston Henry Disston

SA200661 Henry Disston A Disston D-100 Buck Rogers style saw. These have an aluminum handle which was touted to be unbreakable. This is a mid-20th Century saw, but is still a very good usuable saw, better than any new saw today. It is dull and needs sharpening. It has 8 PPI and is 26" long. An owner has scratched his name into the aluminum on the handle. There is no etching on the blade and it sure looks like there never was one. A great saw for the user for a modest price. G++ $85




L.B. Towns, Philada L.B. Towns, Philada L.B. Towns, Philada

SA190438 L.B. Towns, Philada A 28" rip saw with 5 1/2 PPI, but a rare Philadephia maker. I have never seen a saw by L.B. Towns before, and had not even heard of him. He is recorded in the Schaffer book, which sadly is the only reference book available on American saw makers. While Simon Barley has created a mastperpiece for British saw makers, there is a real dearth of information in American makers. The teeth are finer towards the end to start the saw and it is still crowned. It has two flaws, both of which I forgive for such a rare saw. Fouth teeth are broken, but none are consequtive, so you don't notice so easily, and the upper spur has been repaired. The applewood hadle has a lovely patina and the repair, while not invisible, is not obtrusive either. An important saw for the Philadelphia saw collector. It is actually still pretty sharp and as straight as the day that it was made. G++ $275


Union Hardware Co. Torrington, Conn. USA

MI190124 Union Hardware Co. Torrington, Conn. USA An adjustable length hack-saw that currently has a new-old-stock 10" blade installed. As found, it has seen use but no abuse and was properly stored. G+ $27





Henry Disston & Sons

SA181241 Henry Disston & Sons A 14" Disston saw with a heavy brass-back. It is as found and the back has never been polished. The handle is beech and has no finish left. The wood looks like it has been cleaned with a chemical at some time. The blade is tapered, but that might just be because the back is pushed down in the front. The blade has a medium patina. The teeth have been jointed so that they are allmost gone, as if somebody wanted to change the tool configuration. The blade isn't perfect straight, but I think that if it is retensioned it will be fine. It isn't kinked. This is a quality saw that would be worth letting a pro prepare, or do it yourself if you know saws pretty well. G+ $85


Drabble & Sanderson, Sheffield Drabble & Sanderson, Sheffield

SA181217 Drabble & Sanderson, Sheffield A 10" brass-back dovetail or carcass saw with about 18 PPI. Unsurprisingly with such fine teeth, they are quite unevenly filed. The blade is etched with a London retialer at 4 High Holborn. The name looks like F. Presely but I am not sure. The saw is as found and needs a careful cleaning, but if done properly it should look great and the etching should be legible. The handle has a crack on one side, and on the opposing side, the same crack caused a piece to fall off. It won't affect use. The back is pushed forward making the blade look short, but it is not. It is unusual to find a brass-back saw in England that has not been polished in some way or other. G+ $75


Reliance Saw Co, Philada Reliance Saw Co, Philada

SA18101 Reliance Saw Co, Philada This is a 14" back saw with a mark that is recorded in Erwin Schaffer's book, but with no info. I have never seen this mark before, but the saw is obviously an early Disston made saw. The saw may have been lightly cleaned by a collector, but it essentially looks as found. It is not straight and should not be bought as a user. There is a kink about half way down the blade and while it isn't terrible, I don't see this saw every been used again. Enjoy it as a rare example. G+ $129


Paul J. Devitt, Phila, Patent Ground

SA170488 Paul J. Devitt, Phila, Patent Ground A 26" skew back panel saw with 8 PPI. A lightly used saw with a particularly nice handle. the handle really rates fine. The blade has scattered staining and a few spots of very light rust. It is very smooth and will work great once it is sharpened. It is dull now. There is one perturbation in the blade about 7 inches from the end, but it is slight and I don't believe will have any impact on use. I am not sure off hand who made this saw but it is a quality American saw made from this hardware store. G++ $89


Masterpiece Saw Masterpiece Saw Masterpiece Saw Masterpiece Saw Masterpiece Saw Masterpiece Saw

SA14031 Masterpiece Saw This is a wrought iron framed hack saw with an ivory handle. It is a magnificent piece, and may be a true masterpiece. A masterpiece was a piece that proved that a craftsman was ready to be a full fledged member of the guild. Hence the term, master piece. These pieces were typically of extraordinary quality and beauty, as is this saw. The one thing that might argue against this, is that this saw is signed, in three places, with a maker's mark. I don' think that a masterpiece would have been signed because the craftsman would not yet have had his own mark. The mark on this saw is a circle with a teardrop hanging from it. It is neatly marked in three places, but could easily be missed as the mark is tiny. I believe that this saw is French, and 18th Century, or perhaps a bit earlier. The detail and quality of execution are of the highest order. Even the handle is subtly sculpted in a way that sets it apart from the pack. The condition is also just what you would want, with a lovely uncleaned patina overall. This saw has always been appreciated and has never been neglected in a bad environment. The top rail shows some of the striation lines of wrought iron and has some bending and straightening that clearly date to the original period of use. This is a true museum quality piece and I would love to see it go to a museum. G++ $2195


Unmarked

SA161085 Unmarked A lovely early hack-saw of the style that is often marked by Peter Stubbs, but this one doesn't seem to be marked. Lovely original condition, properly cleaned by a responsible collector. The blade is 8". The handle is decoratively turned applewood. Highly recommended. A strong G+ $99




Stair Saw

SA141070 Stair Saw An elegantly formed, craftsman made stair or dado saw. The lines on this saw are simple but wonderfully proportioned. I am just not sure what wood it is made from, although I would guess ash. A very nice example of a common tool. G+ $69




Jeweler

SA12059 Jeweler's Saw This is a frame saw for a very fine blade, like jeweler's use, but this one is probably too large to really be a jeweler's saw. It takes a 9 1/2" blade. It holds the blades with pins, like a woodworking frame saw. One pin is missing, but these are just cut off nails. The handle is rosewood with an elegantly turned steel fitting at the end of the ferule. Lovely untouched condition. A real quality tool. It has no blade with it. Fine $45




Antique Saw

SA90930 Geo. H. Bishop An important and rare brass-backed miniature dovetail saw. The blade is 8 inches, but it this is not a normal 8 inch saw. The tote is tiny. It is sharp and appears unused. I have owned it for 20 years and I have never seen another like it. I remember the day that I bought it a prominent dealer of that time offered me $1K for it, but even then when that was quite a lot of money, I could not bring my self ot part with it. Now I want somebody else to enjoy it. Fine $395

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