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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

Richardson, Newark, N.J. Extra Richardson, Newark, N.J. Extra

SA180141 Richardson, Newark, N.J. Extra A 12" backsaw with 2 3/4" depth of cut and 13 PPI. It is sharp enough to use, but is not freshly sharpenened. The blade has a medium patina but is smooth and rust free. The applewood handle looks perfect from the left side but on the right side there is a big chip out of the side of the upper spur. The saw has been carefully cleaned and waxed by a collector. Ridchardson Extra saws were top of the range American saws and are as good as any made. G+ Sold

Henry Disston & Sons

SA180152 Henry Disston & Sons A 26" #7 panel saw with 8 PPI. As found with some staining on the blade and an uneven patina. The blade is quite deep and is certainly full original height. It needs a light filing but will be very easy to sharpen. The handle is dark and has too box scratches but no damage. The etching is 100% clear and legible. A great user saw that would be more money if it had a more attractive patina. G+ $89

Henry Disston & Sons

SA180160 Henry Disston & Sons A 26" Disson D-95 panel saw with 8 PPI. This saw is currently filed quite aggressively, meaning with a bit of a hybrid filing with some rip mixed in. This was common for old timers to do and will make this saw cut quite quickly. It is sharp and ready to use. The blade is clean with a nice etch and the Deco bakelite handle has no damage. Fine- $135

Henry Disston & Sons

SA180114 Henry Disston & Sons A 26" panel saw with 11 TPI. This saw is in outstanding condition. The applewood handle retains 98% of its original finish and has no tool box rash. The blade is bright with a perfect etch. There is one spot on the upper left corner of the handle spur where the wood is scraped, but this would not even bear mention on a typical condition saw. I did give it the minus for this one ding. The teeth need a very light filing before you use it. Fine- Sold

Henry Disston & Sons

SA171236 Henry Disston & Sons A clean 24" Number 12 panel saw with 10 PPI. The carved applewood handle has no damage and the blade etching is fully legible if a bit light. The saw is covered with hammer marks were somebody worked on it to remove a bend. It appears to be about full original height, but it must have fallen into the wrong hands. It is reasonably sharp and I tested it and it works fine. This should make a great user and you won't find another number 12 so cheap. The handle is worth the price. G+ Sold

Black Diamond, Delaware Saw Co., Philadelphia Black Diamond, Delaware Saw Co., Philadelphia Black Diamond, Delaware Saw Co., Philadelphia

SA171126 Black Diamond, Delaware Saw Co., Philadelphia A 22" panel saw with 9 PPI, and so marked. Someone covered the blade on this with grease a long time ago and put it away. The grease is still on the blade and has protected the saw, which appears to have seen very little if any use. The etching is perfect, and would be one of Disston's many house brands. The handle has most of the original finish, although it does have some tool box finish wear. The blade is the full original height and has the original crown. The saw is not sharp but I doubt that it has ever been filed. Once you clean off this old grease it will probably rate better than the current G++ $95

Henry Disston & Sons

SA171111 Henry Disston & Sons A 7 PPI Number 7 26" panel saw. The saw is also etched "Property of the P. & R. R.W.Y. Co.", which stands for Philadelphia and Reading Railway Company. Thank you to Curtis for telling me what this abbreviation stood for. The blade looks to be full original height and still has its crown. The handle has no damage but the finish is deteriorating from age. It retains some of the original paper label on the handle. The blade needs a light cleaning but this is a nice saw for the collector or user. Both etchings are very clear on the blade. G+ $99

Henry Disston & Sons

SA171068 Henry Disston & Sons A #4 backsaw, probably from the 1940s or maybe early 50s. The blade etching is fading but is still mostly legible, including the 4. The back is not marked. The medallion just says Disston, USA. It is 14" size, and has 3 1/2" of exposed blade at the handle. It ony has 3 1/4" at the front, but I don't think that it was meant to be tapered, the blade is just too deep in the back at the front and needs to be pulled out. Or just use it as it is. It is a nice straight saw that will make a great user. It has 13 PPI. The beech handle has no damage and much original finish, but it does have some tool box rash. G++ $109


SA171065 Disston A 26" Disston D-23 panel saw with 8 PPI. This saw is sharp and ready to use, after you wax the blade of course, but it is about half way though a sharpening. This is a Philadelphia made saw, but it is one of the last and would date to the 1950s. The blade is clean and bright with just some very minor surface corrosion that should rub off to just leave a bit of light patina. The nickel has bubbled on the handle screws and they are a bit rusty. That is what the negaive is for. Overall the condition of this saw is superb and for the price you can't go wrong. Fine- $75

Henry Disston & Sons

SA170812 Henry Disston & Sons A 24" Number 7 panel saw with 9 PPI. This length is actually scarce in my experience. The blade is smooth and straight with a medium-dark patina. Somebody has rubbed some ink over the etch to make it more pronounced. It is totally legible, but probably was without the ink too. The blade is not sharp, but it is full original height, with its original crown, and I suspect that this saw has never been filed, or if it has only once or twice. The beech handle has a few shrinkage checks but none of them go all the way through or compromise the handle strenght. The upper spur has been broken and reglued, but no wood is missing. A great user. G+ $129

Offset Saw Offset Saw Offset Saw

SA170479 Offset Saw A brass-backed saw with an offset blade for flush cutting. I have never seen this saw before and it is only marked with a trademark on the back, which is that of a pair of blacksmith's pincers. What really makes this saw special is the owner made case. It is mahogany with a sycamore escutcheon with an inlaid monogram. The work is extraordinary. The whole thing is French polished. The saw fits it like a precision instrument. The style of the work is reminiscent of Edwardian furniture and I am thinking that it is from that period. I bought it in England but I am surprised that I don't recognize the saw. The case has kept it sharp and I have used it for flush cutting pegs and it works well. Fine $265

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

P.B. Pealey, Philada P.B. Pealey, Philada

SA170436 P.B. Frayley, Philada This is one of the most worn saws that I have ever seen, but it is well cared for with a nice handle and patinated but rust free blade. I have never seen this early Philadelphia mark before but a saw collector has confirmed that it is P.B. Fraley who worked in Philadelphia from 1849 until 1859 when he was bought out by Disston. There are two letters that are not very clear, "Fr" but the rest is very clear. It is a 14" backsaw and the blade is down to only about 1 1/8" at the end. A real survivor. Good $195

H. Disston & Sons

SA170419 H. Disston & Sons A common Disston keyhole saw that will make a great user once you sharpen it. The blade has a few slight bends out near the end. This is pretty typical on these and won't impact its use. G+ $39

Harvey W. Peace, Vulcan Saw Works

SA17046 Harvey W. Peace, Vulcan Saw Works A nice as found 10" carcass saw that has 11 TPI filed CC. The teeth are very unevenly filed and are dull. One thing that I have found is that if the teeth are sharp, it harly matters how uneven they are. Sharp trumps even every time. The blade on this saw is pretty clean. The etching is not bright but it is still legible. The applewood handle has no damage, but it has extensive marks, mostly on the left side, but another saw touching it in storage. The back has a signicant amount of original blueing, now turning brown, but also some rust about 2/3s of the way out. Overall a good 19th Century American saw for a user or a collector. The supply of good old backsaws is quickly drying up. G+ $115

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++ $2995

Pad Saw

SA17033 Pad Saw A boxwood pad saw this as found with an old blade and with a pleasing patina to the boxwood and brass. One of the lockng screws is missing that holds the blade, but it locks fine with one. A good user and a nice honest tool. G+ $45

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+ $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

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

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++ $69

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+ $59

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

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

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

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 $495

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