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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 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

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

SA210459 Henry Disston & Sons A Disston D-100 26" hand saw with 10 PPI. This saw looks unused and while I hate to describe old tools as mint, this one could legitimately be called mint. Mint means that it could pass for new in a store when it was originally sold. Some dealers used mint to mean that it is all there and that the repairs are not obvious. That is not our definition! The saw is sharp enough to use, but it is not as sharp as if it was just sharpened. I don't think that it was ever used, but perhaps the blade got a bit dulled just rubbing on boxes etc in storage. Or maybe it was used and I just can't tell. This is a 1950s example made in the Danville plant. They don't come any nicer than this. I priced it cheap since it is a post-War example. It is still way better than any new hand saws available today. Fine+ $109

Atkins Atkins Atkins Atkins

SA210462 Atkins An unusual Atkins "The Five Hundred" stainless steel handsaw with a clear plastic handle, 26" and 8 PPI. After the war plastic was exotic and this saw is from that period. The blade is decorated with a pattern. The etch is clear. However, this saw is NOT straight and will NOT make a good user. I am selling it strictly for collector interest. I don't normall sell saws that are not straight, but this saw is interesting enough that I decided to offer it. The upper spur is cracked but intact. G++ $39

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

SA210466 Henry Disston & Sons A Disston #7 rip saw that is 26 inch with 6 PPI. Anything over 5 1/2 PPI is not common. This one is near full original height and has a smooth blade with no damage to the handle, which even has a trace of original label remaining. The finish on the handle is a bit deterioriated. One of the saw nuts is a replacement. It matches perfectly in patina, but it is slightly smaller in diameter. This will have no functional impact, and has probably been with the saw since it's original period of use. The saw plate has some scattered staining and a light patina, with a few spots of very minor pitting. The etch is clear. This is a nice example for the user or collector. G+ Sold

Mound City, St. Louis Mound City, St. Louis Mound City, St. Louis Mound City, St. Louis

SA210470 Mound City, St. Louis A clean as found 18" panel saw with 9 PPI. The saw is as found and really clean, with a perfect etch. The worst thing about it is that the varnich on the handle is deteriorating a bit. I don't know anything about the mark, but it is attractive with a topographic view of old St. Louis. Really a little gem. G++ $129

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 Henry Disston & Sons Henry Disston & Sons

SA210440 Henry Disston & Sons A 22" D-100 panel saw with 12 PPI. The blade is smooth with a clear etching, but there is scattered light staining overall. The bright polished surface is still visible. The French polished and wheat carved applewood handle has no damage and a pleasing patina. As an added bonus, the applewood has a tiger figure. These saws were only made in the first quarter of the 20th Century. The only detractor on this saw is that there is a hang hole in the blade. This saw has not been used since it was sharpened by the late Tom Law. All you need to do is wax the blade and you will have a great user saw, ready to go. G++ Sold

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

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

SA210367 Henry Disston & Sons A 26" D-23 LIghtweight with 8 PPI. This saw is clean and very sharp. Clearly never used since being professionally sharpened. Inexplicably, somebody has coated the handle with a glossy finish, probably polyurethane. I don't like that, but it is a great user saw. G++ Sold

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


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

Boxwood Pad Saw

SA190253 Boxwood Pad Saw A boxwood pad saw that has been lightly polished. The boxwood has nice color. The handle has a pronounced curve to it. It won't impact it's use. The blade is not perfectly straight but could be improved and used. New blades are cheap and we used to sell them until recently when we decided to discontinue new tools. G+ $36

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

Saw Set

SA200924 Saw Set An unmarked Elipse type saw set. It is missing the adjustable piece in front that the saw rests against. Free to the first person who orders it and spends at least $50 on old tools. Good $0

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

Creighton & McNair Creighton & McNair

SA161065 Creighton & McNair A 10" open handled dovetail saw with 15PPI. I have owned this saw for nearly 30 years and in that time I have never seen another by this maker, nor have I found any reference to the maker. The double eagle mark, and the general style of the mark, all speak to it being a mid-19th Century Philadelphia saw. The condition is very much as found. The tote has some wood losse to the upper and lower spurs, but it is pretty minor. The tote has scraches on both sides from being scratched by another saw in the till. The blade is actually straight and usable, although obviously nobody is buying this saw to use. The eagles were struck with the stamp canted so that the top of the eagle fades out. UPDATE: One of our customers, who is a knowledgable saw collector, has informed me that Creighton & McNair was an Alexandria Virginia hardware store that operated circa 1849-1852. I bought the saw locally here, not far from Alexandria. It was probably made by Disston, although it could also be Johnson & Conaway. G+ Sold


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


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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