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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, as well as a DVD by Tom Law that explains it all very well. 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

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. If somebody knows about this maker, please let me know. G+ $595


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+ $119

Dobie, Glasgow

SA161094 Dobie, Glasgow A rosewood handled pad saw. The maker's mark is faint, which is typical because these tools were very hard to mark. The brass nozzle has been polished. The blade is not all bent up as they often are, but is lightly rusted. We sell new blades for these and they are cheap. The nozzle is nice and tight and will make a great user. G+ $59

Henry Disston & Sons

SA161054 Henry Disston & Sons A scarce Disston patented floor saw, the first of its type that I have had. It has teeth on both sides at the end for starting a blind hole in flooring or a wall. The etching is legible but not super clear. The etching has a Nov. 1908 patent date. The applewood handle has some wheat carving and no damage. The blade has a medium patina and no rust. A nice example. G++ Sold

Patent Saw

SA161061 Patent Saw This most unusual saw is marked, "Pat. Jan. 10, 1882" on both the blade and the handle. We acquired this in a collection and the collector had researched it. It was patented by one Charles Bush, patent number 252,179, as a compass saw. The blade is curved across the blade, and swings 180 degrees to expose a second blade for cutting in the opposite direction.. It is must unusual. It has an applewood handle and is in lovely condition, properly cleaned by the collector. Fine- Sold

Warranted Superior

SA161017 Warranted Superior A 14" backsaw that was probably made by Disston. The etching on the blade is no longer legible, and only barely visible. It would have been made for a hardware store. The handle is applewood with a lovely color and original finish. It has a palm swell reminiscent of some British saws, but this is clearly an American saw. There is some light pitting on the left (etch) side. The right side has a dark patina but no pitting. This will make a great user saw. G+ Sold

Henry Disston & Sons

SA160934 Henry Disston & Sons A 20" Disston D-8 panel saw with 10 PPI. The blade is very clean and rates nearly fine, with a totally clear etching. The finish on the applewood handle is not as good, so the condition grading really represents an average of the two. Make no mistake, this is a superb saw in a most handy configuration. G++ Sold

Bow Saw Handles

SA160939 Bow Saw Handles This is a pair of French polished satinwood handles that were on a very high grade bow saw. I bought them 25 years ago fron an English dealer in Chester, England, who told me that he had the saw and that if I held onto the handles he would sell me the rest of the saw when he found it. Now I am a trusting person, but 25 years later I can't help but feel that he has let me down. They will make superb pair of handles for your own bow saw project. You will never see nicer handles. The longer handle is 4" and the smaller 2 1/4", not counting the brass rod. The brass rod is 3/8" in diameter. Fine Sold

Hernry Disston & Sons

SA160951 Hernry Disston & Sons An apparently new old stock Disston Dado or stair saw. I have never seen another one quite this good. From an old collection that we bought. Fine+ Sold

Henry Disston & Sons Henry Disston & Sons

SA610101 Henry Disston & Sons This is a late 19th Century Disston #7 rip saw. It has a 28" blade with 5 TPI. The teeth have been sharpened rather clumsily and it should be resharpened with some care. It would be very hard to find one in better condition. The blade is bright on both sides except for some minor staining at the end on both sides. The etching on the blade is as crisp as the day it left the factory. The handle has 3 pat. dates on it, May 12, '74, Aug 29, '76, Nov. 18, '79. The handle has no missing wood, but it was dropped on the upper handle spur and a piece was cracked on the lower edge, but did not come off. I have glued this back. It was strictly a cosmetic issue and the handle was no weakened in any way. The handle has about half of the original paper label remaining as well. This is one of the better condition Disston saws that I have had. G++ $195

Keyhole Saw

SA16094 Keyhole Saw This is the nicest keyhole saw that I have had. The handle is just sublime. The handle has a French polished finish and except for some tiny chips on the lower front spur, as shown, it is perfect. It is a work of art. The blade is still sharp and shows no wear, although you would want to lightly filed it before using it. The sides of the blade are patinated. It is totally as found. It is a 10" blade, narrower than most. It is straight until near the end where there is a slight bend that could easily be completely removed. It came to us in an old collection that has been full of gems like this. For the connoisseur. G++ Sold

Henry Disston & Sons, Pihlada, USA

SA160917 Henry Disston & Sons, Philada, USA A very scarce open-handled, brass-backed, 9" dovetail saw. It is also etched on the blade, "Sold By, Born Brothers, Mechanics Tools, 93 & 95 W. Randolph St. Chicago." The blade has a lovely medium patina, with one spot of very light and recent powder rust, that should clean right off. It looks like a collector hand polished the brass back at one time. It has 18 PPI. Sighting down the blade, it has no kinks, but it is not perfectly straight. It is close though and wiell within tolerance to make a great user. G++ $195

J. V. Hill late Howel, London

SA16082 J. V. Hill late Howel, London An 8" London made cabinetmaker's dovetail saw from the mid-19th Century. The open handle is damage free with wonderful form and patina. It has 16TPI. The back has been polished, but it was done by hand by a collector, not buffed on a wheel by a dealer. It is of course still a crime, but when it is hand polished the eges are not ruined and it still has the chance to repatinate nicely. The blade is not dead straight, but it is close, certainly within tolerance, anc absolutely without kinks. A scarce and desirable saw for a discerning user or a collector. G+ $129

Henry Disston  Sons

SA160814 Henry Disston Sons A 24" D-8 panel saw with 8 TPI. It needs a light filing to use but the teeth are well formed and will set already. This is a relatively late Philadelphia made saw, probably from the 1940s or early 50s. The applewood handle has no damage and still has nice original finish. A great user that would be much more expensive if it was older. G+ Sold

Wm Marsden Wm Marsden Wm Marsden

SA160660 Wm Marsden A very scarce 20" backsaw by William Marsden, who worked in Sheffield from 1825-1828 according to Simon Barley's book (which we have for sale but it is not on the website yet) I have not seen this maker before and the size really makes it special. The blade is patinated, but it is mostly smooth with very little rust. The handle wonderful. The upper spur and lower spur are both pretty much intact, although both have had minor damage glued. The blade is nearly dead straight, as good as you will find in a saw of this age and size. Truly an awesome saw from a good old collection. G+ $269

T. J. Gardner, Narrow Wine St. Bristol

SA160636 T. J. Gardner, Narrow Wine St. Bristol This is a little used saw that was not stored well. The handle is superb. There is some rust on the blade, mostly light, and some heavier rust on the back. Gardner was a planemaker and this saw was of course bought in from a Sheffield maker. It is a 14" saw with a bit over 3 1/2" depth of cut, and 12 PPI. It is perfectly straight and should be restorable to make a great user saw. I should clean to better than its current Good Sold

Henry Disston & Sons

SA16061 Henry Disston & Sons This is the last of the sharpened saws that I got from Tom Law's estate. It is a 24" Disston #16 panel saw with 10 PPI. The blade is cleaned and has a light patina. The etching is totally legible but not bright. The handle has no damage but the finish is worn. The blade is not perfectly straight but it is close and certainly will work great as Tom tested every saw. A scarce and desirable configuration, a high end Disston model, and sharpened by Tom Law. What more can I say. G+ $195

Pad Saw

SA160559 Pad Saw An as found rosewood padsaw with a particularly nice piece of Brazillian rosewood that retains most of its original finish. There is a mark on the handle but I can't read it and I am guessing it was an owner's mark. The brass nozzle has a dark rich patina and is still nice and tight on the handle. This is one of the better examples that I have had. G++ $79

Panel Saw

SA160582 Panel Saw This is a typcial 1950s or early 1960s American 26" panel saw with 10PPI. The mark was printed on and is too worn to read. The saw has a plywood handle. There are a few light stains on the blade but it is mostly very clean. The handle has scratches to the finish but no damage. Not of the quality of a pre-War saw, but still as good as any made today and a great user. It needs a light filing. G+ Sold

Unmarked Saw Vice

SA160521 Unmarked Saw Vice An as found cast-ron saw vise of typical form that needs a good cleaning. This is a good quality American vise of about 1900. Very often the jaws on saw vises are sprung or misaligned from being misued in some way. Of course we don't sell exampes like that. This one just needs a good cleannig and it will rate at least G+ $59

Taylor, German Steel

SA160430 Taylor, German Steel This 10" carcass saw has a truly wonderful handle, with no damage and great form. The blade is 13PPI, but it is not perfectly straight and I am not recommending it for use. It is a rare early saw and should be preserved for postertiy. The back is correded, but I have scraped it around where the mark is and it should clean up find if you follow are recommended technique for scraping corrosion. Do not use an abrasive on it. See our FAQs section for more details. With proper attention tis will make a great looking saw from the early 19th Century. Good $95

Patent Handle Saw

SA1603120 Patent Handle Saw A 26" straight back rip saw with 4 1/2 PPI. This saw is still relatively sharp but needs a short stroke with a file on each tooth. It has seen very little use. This is a common patent saw, but I can't remember off hand who made it. The handle is marked, Pat. June ... The blade is etched with an old steam engine passenger train, but the etching is very faint now. Otherwise it would be a fantastic piece with this etching. The passenger car is marked 39. A great user saw that is not quite there for a discerning collector. G+ $109

Simonds Crecent Saw Tool

SA160216 Simonds Crecent Saw Tool A combination raker filing gauge and jointer for crosscut timber saws. It is in the original box, which is a bit tatty. The tool needs a light cleaning but should easily clean to G++ Sold

Orignal Dealer Sign:  Disston Saws

SA15102 Original Dealer Sign: Disston Saws This sign was removed from a cabinet in a hardware store that once held saws for sale. Our picker tells me that the cabinet was purpose made for this hardware store. The sign is brass that has been acid etched to remove the background, whic his painted black. It is absolutely as found with a pleasing patina. It measure s 10" by 1 3/4". I am thinking that this sign is turn of the Century, i.e. somewhere around 1900. An important piece of ephemera for the Disston collector. G++ $289


SA150928 Atkins A clean and shiny Atkins No. 54 26", 7 PPI panel saw. This is quite coarse for a panel saw. It is almost sharp and just needs an ever so light touch up. The handle has some tool box wear to the finish. I would rate the blade fine and the handle G+, so overall I gave it G++ $85

Patent Handle Saw

SA150877 Patent Handle Saw A 26", 4 1/2 PPI rip saw that looks like it may still have the original factory filing. It certainly shows no appreciable loss of height. It is almost sharp now and just needs a very light touch up. I should know off hand who made it, but I can't remember for sure and I don't want to say and be wrong. The handle is marked "Pat. June 8 XX" The blade is etched with a steam locomotive pulling some old passenger cars. It is a really neat etching, but sadly it is not very clear any longer. If you look closely you can see the marks where some idiot polished around the etching with an orbital sander. I think tha tthis ruined any chance of bringing it back more clearly. I can't really read the name etched under the scene but it migh be Warner. This saw is still interesting to a collector but I am pricing it strictly as a user. The blade is really only sttained, not pitted, except in one spot about the size of a coin on the left side, up towards the handle. G+ $109

E. C. Stearns & Co., Syracuse, NY

SA150835 E. C. Stearns & Co., Syracuse, NY This is a high quality cast iron folding saw vice that clamps onto the edge of a table or bench. It is much heavier and higher quality than most folding saw vices. Needs only a light cleaning and is should rate G++ $50

Henry Disston & Son

SA150664 Henry Disston & Son A very scarce 15" #7 panel saw with 10PPI. The blade is clearly etched despite having a medium dark patina and some light pitting. The medallion is an "and Sons" medallion, which is not uncommon for saws made at the transition to the Sons period. This saw is very as found with a dry old surface on the handle, whch intact although there is a small crack in the upper spur, but miraculously, nothing broke off when it happened. There are three teeth missing. The blade is not perfectly straight, but it close, and better than what some dealer's call "pin straight." An nice find for the saw collector. Good $169

Hudson Tool Co, Number 10, Carpenter

SA150574 Hudson Tool Co, Number 10, Carpenter's High Grade A lovely as found 26" 7 PPI rip saw. The handle is applewood and has no damage, a nice original finish, and a rish patina. The blade needs only a light cleaning. Sighting down the blade there is a gentle curve to the left, which normally means that it was set unevenly. It needs to be sharpened anyway, and should be reset to get this resolved. This is a high quality saw, probably made by Disston, that should clean to better than G+ $89

Henry Disston & Sons

SA150583 Henry Disston & Sons A #7 panel saw, 28" with 6 PPI. This is a nice as found saw that will clean up beautifully. It is dull and the teeth are unevely filed now, so it is not a good saw for your first sharpening job. I would let an expert sharpen this one the first time. It should clean up to better than G+ $119

Adelaide Saw Works, Sheffield Adelaide Saw Works, Sheffield

SA150514 Adelaide Saw Works, Sheffield This is a rare saw, an English answer to the Disston #42 combination saw, combining a rule back and a square. It is a 26", 5 1/2 PPI rip saw. The blade has a dark patina. The graduated back appears to be etched but I am not sure. The maker's mark is stamped. The blade is straight but there is small ding in the blade, about 1/4" down from the upper edge and 10" in from the end. It is no big deal. The blade is smooth and the handle has a lovely patina. The upper spur is chipped, but still retains most of its original length. A very interesting and collectable saw. G+ $199

Henry Disston, Philada

SA150351 Henry Disston, Philada This is an early H. Disston #7, with the mark stamped on the blade, not etched, and the eagle on the medallion. It is a 28", 5 PPI rip saw, and is so marked. The blade is straight and relatively clean, although there are some patches of light pitting on the right side. The surfaces shows evidence of having been lightly hit with a wire brush. I think that this can be removed when the saw is properly cleaned. The handle is quite nice for an early handle, with nice patina. The upper spur is chipped and smoothed out, but done during the original period of use. This is a very honest example of an early Disston that is good enough for a collector but also good enough to file and use. G+ $195

Moore Bros, Empire State Saw Works

SA150222 Moore Bros, Empire State Saw Works A 26" panel saw with 7PPI, filed aggressively, i.e. with quite a bit of foward rake. Unused and as sharp as new. Also extraordinarily clean. The blade is bright and the etching is like new. It is marked, among other things, "Our Superior, No 4XXX, Our Latest and Best." Made from Extra London Spring Steel." The handle is beech stained to look like applewood and with wheat carving. A relatively late saw, but still a wonderful quality saw that could not be duplicated today, and in amazing condition. Fine $149

Unmarked Pad Saw

SA141232 Unmarked Pad Saw A typcial rosewood handled pad saw that has seen lots of use but is in good as found condition and will make a great user for a reasonable price. It has hard to find these that are not all buffed up by the English dealers. Good $55

CE Jennings Saw

14127 C.E. Jennings An exceptionally delicate key-hole saw with both a very narrow blade and a very delicate handle. There are a couple of bends in the blade out in the last third where it is really delicate. It would be fine ot use but I have never seen one before and I can see it appealing to a collector. Lovely original condition. G++ $75

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


SA141022 Buck An as found rosewood handled pad saw that has never been polished. The nozzle is very darkly patinated and the handle is dark enough to pass for ebony. The blade is old but unmarked. It is still a good blade, which is unusual with these. A nice example that just wants to be wiped off with some wax and a rag. G+ $65

Diamond Black Saw Co. Philadelphia, USA

SA140857 Diamond Black Saw Co. Philadelphia, USA A 26", 7PPI panel (panel means CC) saw with a mark that I have not seen before. As found, it should improve with careful cleaning. There are some hammer marks on the blade, around 6 - 7" from the end, as if somebody was trying to remove a kink. It seems very straight now. The handle is beech and is nicely wheat carved. An interesting saw for a collector or a user. G+ $79

Decorative Dado Saw

SA140424 Decorative Dado Saw A delicate and elegantly formed dado saw. The blade is 5 1/4" and it is 8 1/2" overall. Nicely patinated beech. Craftsman made tools vary widely in form. Some are strictly utilitarian, and some, like this one, are subtle statements of the maker's fine taste and skill. G++ $145

Sculptural Stair Saw

SA140382 Sculptural Stair Saw This is far more than a saw, it is a great example of tools as art. The craftsman who made this expressed himself artistically in a way that few of us ever can. The lines of this saw are truly sublime. Sadly, the handle has been broken off and reglued, but when a tool has this degree of elegance, that really becomes secondary. It has wonderful orginal surface and patina with a relatively clean, lightly patinated, blade. Truly a piece of folk art. The wood is beech. G+ $85

Keen Kutter Keen Kutter

SA130865 Keen Kutter A number 816 28" 5 1/2PPI rip saw. The etching has the Keen Kutter logo surrounded by furled banners. It looks like a Disston No. 16 to me, and most likely is. Nice as found condition with a nice medium patina. The etching is clear. The wheat carved applewood handle has an old chip to the lower edge of the upper spur, but this does not affect the overall profile of hte handle, which is a very nice handle. A very fine quality saw that is almost certainly a Disston 16. G+ $149

Keen Kutter No K500

SA130830 Keen Kutter No K500 A 26" 9PPI CC saw. I just love the etchings. Not only does it have the KK standard "The recollection of quality remains..." it also has "I recommend and fully warrant this saw to all mechanic as it is the best that money and human enginuity can produce" The etching side of the saw looks as it it was blued, but I think that it is just how it patinated. The handle also has a lovely dark patina, and no damage. The handle is not wheat carved, but is very sculptural. The blade has a bend at the very end, about 1/4" from the end, as if it was dropped on the end. That won't matter for use, but it should be easy to get rid of it you want. This will make a great user or a collector's grade saw. G++ $185

Henry Disston & Sons

SA1306101 Henry Disston & Sons This is a scarce Disston Acme 120 saw, 26" size. Somebody has recut the teeth and set them for 9ppi, CC. The blade has a dark smooth patina, but all of the etching is still totally legible. The handle has been "cleaned" with steel wool. There is a hang hole in the handle. And as if that was not enough, there is a slight bend to the blade, but it will still be fine to use. If you have always wanted a genuine Acme 120 and could not afford one, here is your chance. Good $165


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

Coping Saw

SA160248 Coping Saw A nice clean unmarked coping saw, probably from the 1950s or 60s, and certainly American made. The blade is razor sharp and ready to use. Free to the first person who orders it, and spends $200 on vintage saws. G++ Sold

Antique Saw

SA101122 James Turner, Phila A brass backed carcass saw with a classic tapering blade. The bold applewood handle has lovely patina and no repairs. Engraved on the opposite side of the back from the maker's mark is "Wm M. Lee, 1871". It is also marked Made for Bowlby & Brenner. The blade has a med. patina with light surface rust overall. The teeth are very fine and very unevenly filed. There are some chipped teeth as well. Unlike most saws that we sell, this saw is not perfectly straight and we are not selling it as a user. This is a rare saw and there is no good reason to use it anyway. The brass has been hand polished. G+ $295

Antique Saw

SA100110 I. Colbeck A 14" backsaw. Erwin Schaffer's book list Colbeck as American, with no known information. Phil Baker concurs that he thinks Colbeck is American. I would have guessed that this was a very early English saw, although I did find it in the US. 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- $85

Antique Saw

SA9091 W. Taylor An 11" carcass saw by a rare Philadelphia maker with the double eagle mark on a brass back. This is the first saw that I have had by this rare early American saw maker. The handle is applewood and has a very pronounced hook forward. The blade is dark with some pitting. The brass back has been wire brushed some time ago. One screw is missing and the handle spurs are chipped top and bottom. It never had a medallion, which is consistent with its age. This is a rare saw in need of restoration. Fair $145
See Picture

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 $995

Antique Saw

SA70354 Saw Set I love personalized antiques, be it ceramics, tools, or anything else that is named and dated. This tool is beatifully engraved, "Fred Harris, September, 1921". It is an English style saw set with a built in adjustable stop. It is more for panel and rip saws, not for fine toothed back saws. Great as found patina. This is a special tool. G+ $49

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