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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 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

Buck & Ryan, London Buck & Ryan, London Buck & Ryan, London

SA230813 Buck & Ryan, London A 14" brass-backed saw with 12 PPI, filed cross-cut. The heavy brass back has not been polished and has a pleasing light patina. The blade is clean with just the residue of dried grease or sap in spots. The beech handle has no damage and shows only honest wear. I rarely find untouched saws in this nice of a condition. It looks like it was just lifted from an old tool chest. Buck & Ryan was a high-end tool show in London. They were perhaps the largest dealer for Norris planes. So, we don't know who made this saw, but it would have been one of the best Sheffield sawmakers or Buck & Ryan would not have put their mark on it. G++ $159

The Simonds Saw, Fitchburg, Mass. Chigago, Ill. The Simonds Saw, Fitchburg, Mass. Chigago, Ill. The Simonds Saw, Fitchburg, Mass. Chigago, Ill. The Simonds Saw, Fitchburg, Mass. Chigago, Ill.

SA230713 The Simonds Saw, Fitchburg, Mass. Chigago, Ill. A 26" Number 10 cross-cut saw with 7 PPI. This is quite course and will be an aggressive saw. The etching is not bright, but it is totally legible. The saw has been nicely cleaned by a collector. He did not polish the brass fittings. The saw is sharp enough to be useable but could use a light touch up. G++ $95

Jackson Jackson Jackson Jackson

SA230413 Jackson A 12" open-handled carcass saw with 14 PPI filed cross-cut. It is not sharp, but it would only take a light filing to be ready to use. The blade is smooth, with light patina and light scattered staining, and is of course straight. The handle has no damage. Bargain priced. G+ $99


SA230324 Stanley A new in the package Stanley flush cut saw. The blade is toothed like a Japanese saw but it was made in Taiwan. The packaging has a copywrite of 2000. It looks to be a quality saw. The blade is about 5 inches. Fine+ Sold

Richardson Bros, Newark, NJ Richardson Bros, Newark, NJ

SA230224 Richardson Bros, Newark, NJ A very desirable 8" dovetail saw by RIchardson with 15 PPI. The blade has very light pitting and has been cleaned, but you can still mostly read the etching. It reads, "Richardson's Improved, Back Saw, Extra. Newark, N.J." The use of the word Extra implies that it was a higher end saw. It needs sharpening but it will make a great user. The handle has no damage and a nice original surface. G+ $145

Norris, York St. Lambeth, London Norris, York St. Lambeth, London Norris, York St. Lambeth, London Norris, York St. Lambeth, London Norris, York St. Lambeth, London

SA230138 Norris, York St. Lambeth, London Many makers, and Norris was one of them, also operated small tool shops. This is a saw that would have been sold through the Norris retail show. It is an 8 1/2" dovetail saw with 16 PPI. The handle has been split and glued, but it appears to be as strong as new and no wood is missing. The brass back has been polished. It need sharpening if you want to use it. This is the only Norris marked saw that I have been. Wooden planes marked Norris are relatively common, but I would call this saw rare. G+ $145

DeWalt DeWalt

SA23019 DeWalt A DW303MK reciprocating saw in the orginal box with three Milwaukee wood with nails blades. The saw is a bit dirty, as was everything in this shop. If you do construction work, these are indespensible. I used mine exentively when remodelling my house. G+ $44

Beckett Beckett Beckett Beckett

SA221237 Beckett A 12" open handled carcass saw with 13 PPI filed cross-cut. They would need a light sharpening before use. The steel back has been lightly "cleaned" by an idiot with a wire wheel, luckily with the emphasis on lightly. The upper and lower spurs both have minor chips, but they are mostly intact. The wood around the split nuts is chewed up a bit from using a turnscrew that did not fit correctly. I looked up Beckett in the Barley book and this exact mark does not appear. There is mark that is nearly identical, but it has a "A. Beckett" instead of just "Beckett." A very nice Victorian saw These older saws in such nice condition don't come around that often anymore. G++ $139

Henry Disston & Sons, Philada Henry Disston & Sons, Philada Henry Disston & Sons, Philada Henry Disston & Sons, Philada

SA22125 Henry Disston & Sons, Philada A scarce brass-backed Disston 14" backsaw with 13 PPI. The depth of cut is about 2 3/4". The teeth are hand filed and not all that even, but I would call it a rip filing. It would work as it is, but certainly could use a light sharpening. The applewood handle has a nice patina and no damage. The brass back has a rich patina and has never been polished. The blade is smooth with a medium-light patina. G++ $199

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

SA221210 Henry Disston & Sons This is a great example of a scarce 14" brass-backed Disston saw. It has 13 PPI filed cross-cut. The depth of cut is 3", which is probably full original height. There is a slight taper to the blade and the depth at the hande is 3 3/8". The brass back was probably very lightly hand polished. The applewood handle is in great conition and has a lovely color the majority of its original finish. The blade is mostly bright. The handle has an owner's mark of "Sharratt & Nuttall" as well as another mark. I am wondering if anyone recognizes this partnership? The saw needs just a light filing and a light cleaning of the blade before you use it. For the connoisseur. Fine- $295

Henry Disston & Son Henry Disston & Son Henry Disston & Son Henry Disston & Son

SA220415 Henry Disston & Son A 14" brass-backed saw with 10 PPI. This saw is unusual in that it is triple marked Henry Disston & Son. It is on the back, etched on the blade, and on the medallion. The blade is not very tall, but I don't think that it is worn down because the etching is pretty much centered on the blade. The blade is also quite tapered, which was sometimes done at that time, more commonly on English saws. The tote is quite nice, although there are some small losses on both the upper and lower spur, but really quite minor. This saw was sharpened by Tom Law and it still has his masking tape bill on the back. I left it on since it was Tom. The saw is still pretty sharp. The brass back has never been polished and is crisp with great color. G+ $295

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

SA220418 Henry Disston & Sons A #12 Disston saw that 12 PPI and is 26" long. This is unusual to have such fine teeth on a 26" #12. The saw is as found but the blade is really quite clean with a clear etch. It has scattered rust spot but other than one spot out near the end, it is all very minor and will clean up well. The tote has losses to the spurs on the top and the bottom and it looks like somebody added soem varnich to the tote a long time ago. This is not a collector's grade 12, but it will make a great user at an affordable price. G+ $149

Gerard, St. Antoine Gerard, St. Antoine

SA220232 Gerard, St. Antoine This is a lovely little cabinetmaker's veneer saw. It is only 4 1/4" across. There is a bit more to the mark at the end, but all that I can maker out clearly is "Gerard, St. Antoine. I think that the stock is applewood. It has a rich and pleasing patina. For the connoisseur. G++ $69

Patent Saw Set Patent Saw Set

SA220235 Patent Crosscut Saw Jointer and Raker Gauge Used for large timber crosscut saws, it allows the jointing file to match the arc of the saw, as well as file the raker teeth slightly shorter than the cutting teeth. It was made by Atkins, although this one is not marked. It is in nice as found condition. G+ $20

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++ $79

Veneer Saw Veneer Saw

SA211177 Veneer Saw A fancy veneer saw that is made from a lamination of mahogany and a lighter wood. It is sharp enough to use but would benefit from a touch up. I would guess that it dates to around 1890 - 1900 mainly because this kind of mahogany was used for the furniture of that period and thee was a lot of veneer work in that furniture. G++ $85

John Booth & Son, Philada, Premiums Awarded ...

SA211116 John Booth & Son, Philada, Premiums Awarded ... A nice crisp as found example of a Philadelphia made applewood pad saw. It does not have a blade with it. The brass nozzle is crisp and has traces of original lacquer. I has the mark that was used after the 1876 Philadelphia Exposition. G++ $48

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

SA210911 Henry Disston & Sons A scarce Disston Diamond Jubilee saw, celebrating the first 75 years of Disston, from 1840 - 1915. Sadly also perhaps marking a turning point, since after the Great War, things were on a steady downward slide. This is a 26" saw with 10 PPI. THe blade is clean with a clear but not bright etch. It has been well used and is worn down a bit, but was well cared for. The rosewood handle is damage free. There is a light bend in the blade about half way out, but not enough to matter. The blade is sharp enough to use, but needs a light touch up. This is a not an easy saw to find and this is the nicest one that I have had. G+ $199

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

SA210786 Henry Disston & Sons A 26" Acme 120 with 10 PPI. The blade needs a light cleaning but is quite nice with a decent etch. The teeth on this saw have been reshaped a bit, but they are not far off the original shape, and they now have a light set. It would not be hard to put them back to a pure original configuration, but the saw should work well as it is. There is a slight wave in the blade out towards the end, but not enough to create a problem. The handle looks correct, but the patina lines on the blade don't match, so this handle is probably originally from another similar saw. It seems unlikely that it was just moved slighly on the same saw. I priced this saw to be a bargain for a relatively clean Acme 120. G+ $165

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

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

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


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


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

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