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Saws

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

SA181139 Henry Disston & Sons A 22" 11 PPI #16 panel saw. This plate on this saw is bright and clean with a perfect etch. The blade would rate a srong fine but the little nib is broken off. No big deal, but it needs to be noted. It is sharp and ready to use. The handle has a lovely rich patina to the applewood and no damage. The handle has the original finish with just some minor tool box scratches. This is a fantastic saw by any measure, and one of the high-end Disston models. G++ $179


Henry Disston & Sons, Philada

SA181144 Henry Disston & Sons, Philada A 14" backsaw with 13 PPI. The blade has a dark patina but is still straight and smooth. The back has some very light rust and a dark patina. The applewood handle has a dark patina but no damage. The saws needs sharpenign but it will be a great user and is prices modestly for this desirable size. G+ $95



W. Johnson, Newark W. Johnson, Newark W. Johnson, Newark

SA181158 W. Johnson, Newark A classic cabinetmaker's bow saw in lovely untouched condition and signed by an American maker, which is not common. It is also a smaller size. I have seen other Johnson saws over the years, but they have all been larger. I am not sure of the wood. It is some kind of fruitwood and has a lovely color. The blade is an original old blade but is not marked. It is a 12" blade. There is some old ink writing on it that appears to be the original price code from a hardware store. The string is actually some kind of braded metal and while old, is clearly not original. I suspect that the winding stick is also replaced, but also quite old and probably installed with the braided cable. This is really a wonderul piece. Fine- $95


Henry Disston & Sons

SA181060 Henry Disston & Sons This style of of adjustable dado saw is associated with Bishop, but after that patent ran out, Disston did make some. The etching is clear, including that it is a #14, but the blade has a lot of rust staining and some scattered pitting. The adjustable depth stop has scattered pitting overall. The deteriorating finish on the handle doesn't look very good. The handle looks like a crack was glued in the past. There is also a some chipping in the lower spur. Having said all that, the teeth are pretty sharp and usable as is, and it will make a great user for about half the price of a clean Disston example. G+ $69


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

SA181045 Henry Disston & Sons A 28" Number 7 rip saw with 4 1/2 PPI. The teeth are filed a bit less aggressivly out at the end to start the saw. There is one tooth that has broken off at about half its height. The blade has staining overall but the etching is totally legible. The handle has no damage. This saw has been filed a few times, but it appears to be within 1/8" or less of its orignal height. In other words, lightly used for a 100 plus year old saw. This is a nice one. G++ $129



The Simmonds Saw The Simmonds Saw The Simmonds Saw

SA180975 The Simmonds Saw A 24" panel saw with 10 PPI. This saw has a level vial in the handle that is parallel to the cutting edge of the saw, and is plumb to the brass faced front of the handle. The blade is smooth but dark, and is not straight. As it is, this saw is not usable. The handle is made from cherry, and I think was made by a owner with the new design, having the level vial and square edge. It is beautifully done, but it is only a collector's piece thanks to the bent blade. Hence the low condition grading. Good $65


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


Henry Disston & Sons

SA180968 Henry Disston & Sons A 12" Number 4 backsaw with 3" depth of cut and 14 PPI. The blade has a medium patina and the etching is visible. It needs a light filing. G+ $89





Henry Disston & Sons

SA180920 Henry Disston & Sons A 26" 9 PPI #7 handsaw in as found condition. The blade has some light surface corrosion but is really quite good and will clean up well. The etching is clear. The handle has no damage. This saw looks to be about full original height and may never have been sharpened. It is dull now, but the teeth are even and well set, so all it needs is a light filing and of course a cleaning. G+ $99



Henry Disston & Sons

SA180931 Henry Disston & Sons An 8" Disston dovetail saw with 16PPI. It is also etched, "Made for Hammacher Schlemmer & Co, New York City since 1848". The applewood tote has nice color and no damage. The blade has a light patina and some light scattered staining. It is still sharp enough to use but really should have a light filing. G++ $169



E. C. Atkins and Company E. C. Atkins and Company

SA180864 E. C. Atkins and Company An apparently unused Atkins Number 58 "Reliable" saw with 8 PPI an 26" long. The blade is bright and clean like new not stains. The handle has some very minor marks on the finish but is otherwise perfect. This kind of condition just doesn't come along in saws. This saw is probably 1940s or 50s. If it was older it would be worth a lot more in this condition. A gem. Fine $99



Keystone Saw Works

SA180865 Keystone Saw Works A scarce 30" 5 PPI rip saw number 107. The Keystone line was Disston's slightly less expensive line. The medallion is H. Disston & Sons, but the etching is Keystone Saw Works. The etching about half visible. The blade has a smooth medium patina. The handle has no damage. This is a nice saw for a user or a collector. Thirty inch saws aren't that easy to find. This saw needs a light filing before you use it. G+ $119


Henry Disston & Sons Henry Disston & Sons

SA180843 Henry Disston & Sons A 14" Disston 13 PPI backsaw with 3 1/4" depth of cut. The applewood handle has a nice patina, and no damage, but there is some white paint on the right side. The blade has one spot where there is a gentle curve that I think can be tensioned out, but it is perfectly usable just as it is. It does need sharpening The teeth are not very evenly filed, although I have seen much worse. G+ $119



Henry Disston, Philada Henry Disston, Philada Henry Disston, Philada

SA180860 Henry Disston, Philada A very scarce Henry Disston 14" early brass-backed double eagle saw. Double eagle saws are scarce, but brass-backed examples are really scarce. The blade has a medium patina. It is nearly perfectly straight when sighting down it. From the side, one sees two light hammer marks, one of which is strong enough to feel. The depth is 3" at the handle and 2 7/8" at the end. I don't think that the blade is tapered, it is just too deep in the back at the end. The applewood tote has only minor chips. The back was hand polished by a collector years ago and is repatinating nicely. This saw is probably usable, but I would hope that a collector buys this saw. G+ $395


Unmarked

SA180810 Unmarked A scarce little 14" panel saw with 9 PPI. It has an applewood handle and is clearly a saw of some quality, but I see no evidence that the blade was ever etched. The blade has a medium patina and needs sharpening. This saw will make a great user. I have one of these small saws hanging on the side of my workbench. G+ $75



A.&E. Baldwin, N. York A.&E. Baldwin, N. York

SA180636 A.&E. Baldwin, N. York A very scarce American pad saw. This saw is distinctly different from English saws and I is clearly not just a retailer marked English saw. The handle is very dark mahogany. The mark is very faint and hard to find. The nozzle was lightly hand polished by a collector at some time in the past. There is no blade with it now but we sell new blades. G+ $75



Disston Disston

SA180611 Disston A pristine Disston K-6 Challenger saw. It is a 26" saw with 9 PPI. It appears to be barely used and needs just a light touch up with a file and it is ready to go. The blade is mostly bright and shiny with a perfect etch. Saws don't show up in this condition too often. Fine- $95




E.C. Atkins & Co

SA180614 E.C. Atkins & Co A 10" carcass saw with 15PPI. According to the etching, which is totally legible, it is a No. 20 saw. It is also etched "Chicago Board of Education" The applewood handle has no damage and the blued steel back has never been cleaned, retaining much of its original bluing. Really a great saw that would have rated higher but for scattered corrosion staining. These small high-quality back saws have gotten really hard to find in nice condition like this. G+ $139


Simonds, Fitchburg Mass Simonds, Fitchburg Mass Simonds, Fitchburg Mass

SA180542 Simonds, Fitchburg Mass This is an as found rip saw, 5 1/2 PPI. The blade is has light surface rust but should clean nicely. It is the No 62 saw, which was a mid-range version of the Simonds high-end saws, if that makes sense. It has a wheat carved applewood handle, but not as much carving as a 72 would have. The handle is lovely, with a rich color and some tiger figure in the applewood. The medallion has "2.50" on it, which I presume was a price. There are two broken teeth, one about a third of the way out and the other at two thirds. That one affect its use. A nice saw that will make a great user. G+ $98


C .E. Jennings & Co. New York

SA180411 C .E. Jennings & Co. New York A 24" panel saw with 10 TPI. The etching s clear and reads "Extra Thin Back, 8, patent temper, patent ground...". It also has the Jennings etcing that "Our aim is to excel all others in quality and workmanship, C.E. Jennings." A lovely as found saw, in a scarece configuration, that is almost sharp. Half a stroke on each tooth and it will be ready to use. The beech handle is wheat carved. G++ $119



E.C. Atkins & Co

SA180354 E.C. Atkins & Co An Atkins Perfection No. 65 panel saw in very clean and little used conditoin. The teeth appear to have the original factory filing, which is quote aggressive. It is not dull but needs a light touch up before you use it . The blasde is also dry and needs to be cleaned with wax. The blade has dried greese on it but is mostly clean and bright, and the etch is perfect. If this saw was older it would be much more expensive in this condition. Fine- $89


Geo. H. Bishop

SA180329 Geo. H. Bishop A Bishop's patent #10 14" dado saw. The blade has a lot of surface staining but this is still quite a good example saw. The hande is crisp and lovely. The etching is clear and the blade is sharp. Not a pristine example but a really nice one and in the large size. G+ $129




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



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

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

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


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


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


Unmarked

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


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




Buck

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




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 $145


Jeweler

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


Book: Reprint of E.C. Atkins & Co. 1898 Catalog

MI180438 Book: Reprint of E.C. Atkins & Co. 1898 Catalog A 128 page catalog of all of the 1898 offerings of E.C. Atkins. Free to the first person who orders it and spends $200 on vintage tools. Fine $0







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+ SOLD



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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