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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

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

SA221133 Henry Disston & Sons A 26" number 7 hand saw with 6 PPI. The teeth are filed what I would call an aggressive cross cut. It needs sharpening, but this will make a great user if you need a saw for quickly cutting across boards. The handle has no damage but there is a drip of paint on each side. The etch is totally legible. G++ $99

Simmonds Simmonds Simmonds Simmonds Simmonds

SA221010 Simmonds A Simmonds 26" Number 372 rip saw with 5 1/2 PPI. If it were not for some stains on the blade, this would be a much more valuable saw. The majority of the blade surface is bright and clean. The right side is nearly all clean. The left side, with the etch, has mroe staining. The applewood handle is nice, with great color and original finish. The blade is nearly sharp enough to use and probably still has the original factory grind. One short stroke on each tooth is all that it needs and you are good to go. G++ $109

Bright & Co. Pottsville, PA Bright & Co. Pottsville, PA Bright & Co. Pottsville, PA Bright & Co. Pottsville, PA Bright & Co. Pottsville, PA Bright & Co. Pottsville, PA

SA221016 Bright & Co. Pottsville, PA This is an early Richardson made saw that was made for the hardware dealer, Bright & Co. of Pottsville, PA. It has the fancy early Richardson handle that has a lot of hand formed detailing. To my eye, the early Richardson handles are the most attractive of the early American saw makers. The upper handle spurr is chipped. The applewood has nice color and a little bit of figure. The blade has a dark patina, although a collector has carefully cleaned it around the etching to make the etching more legible. Otherwise it is untouched. The steel back has a dark patina as well. The blade is not perfectly straight, but it isn't bad and would be usable. It is actually still sharp enough to use as well. However, this is clearly a collector's piece, being a very scarce saw. It is the only example from this hardware dealer that I have ever seen, and early Richardson saws are scarce in their own right. I did a quick Google search and the only reference that I found for Bright & Co. was in the obituary of the founder's daughter. She died in 1911. This one is from my own collection and I hope that it will go to a good collection. G+ $245

Fenton & Marsdens

SA22097 Fenton & Marsdens A superb English saw wrest by one of the best Sheffield makers. The handle is rosewood and the tool has a lovely untouched patina. It starts out with very fine slots so that it can set any saw that a cabinet maker might use. For the connoisseur. G++ $59

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

SA220717 Henry Disston & Sons A particularly clean Disston 24" #12 panel saw with 11 PPI. This is the top of the line Disston handsaw and is ground to perfection, allowing them to be used with very little set. The blade is mostly bright and clean with minor scattered staining. The handle has no damage but the finish on the handle has some losses, mostly on the left side. The etch is totally legible. It is sharp enough to use, but it is not freshly sharpened. I see very few number 12s that are this nice. It was an expensive saw when new so they were never common, and 120 or so years later, most of them are either gone or shabby. For the connoisseur. G++ Sold

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

SA220541 Henry Disston & Sons This is a 26" Disston Number 16 rip saw with 5 1/2 PPI. It looks to me like full original height and was probably not used. The handle has no damage, although the original polished finish has oxidized and is now dull. The blade is not rusty, but it has a medium patina. The etch is still clear. If you clean this with automotive rubbing compound it will come up beautifully. Use the red stuff. It is more aggressive than the white. I think that this is a find even though it needs a little cleaning. G++ Sold

Saw Wrest Stop

SA220512 Saw Wrest Stop This is a small brass piece that slides along a saw wrest and acts as a stop so that you set the teeth consistently. A saw wrest is the British style of saw set with slots of varying size that are used to bend the teeth. G+ Sold

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

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++ $245

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

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+ $59

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

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

SA14031 Masterpiece Saw This is a wrought iron framed hack saw made by a master craftsperson. 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++ $1995

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

Morril Old Styl Saw Set

SA220639 Morril Old Styl, Saw Set This is a good quality antique saw set in as found condition. It needs a drop of oil on the anvil and that is about it. It is literally marked, "Morril Old Styl" and some abbreciates that are meaningless to me. It is mostly dark overall but should work as intended. Free to the first person who orders it and spends at least $200 on old tools. G+ $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


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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