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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

Henry Disston & Sons

SA170347 Henry Disston & Sons A 26" Disson #16 panel saw with 10 PPI. This saw was sharpened by Tom Law and is still sharp, but it has been used a bit since it was sharpened. I bougth this saw from Tom's estate and I believe that it was one of his personal user saws. It has seen a lot of use, but it is still straight and is ready to use. The upper handle spur has been repaired by Tom and it is a first class job. I recently acquired three more saws from Tom's estate, but I don't think that there will be any more after this. You can't buy a saw today of this quality. G+ $99

Henry Disston & Sons

SA170350 Henry Disston & Sons A Disston #4 backsaw in superb original condition. It is a 16" saw with a 3 3/4" deep cut and 12PPI. This saw is sharp and ready to use as soon as you wax the blade. The handle retains most of its original varnish. Not a particularly old saw, it is probably 1930s or 40s, but the condition is amazing. Connoisseur grade. Fine Sold

Herny Disston & Sons

SA170352 Henry Disston & Sons A 26" D-23 panel saw with 8PPI and sharpend with a very aggressive forrward rake for fast cutting. Razor sharp and ready to use, this saw is from the workshop of a recently retirned traditonal carpenter. It has not been used since it was last sharpened. It is marked 6 1/2, but I presume that it was recut to 8. If you want a quality vintage saw but don't want to learn sharpening just yet, the saws that I got from this workshop are a great opportunity. There is some dry grease on the blade but it should clean off to rate Fine Sold

Keen Kutter

SA170338 Keen Kutter A connoisseur grade Keen Kutter No. K816 panel 24" saw with 8 PPI. The wheat carved handle is crsip, with most of its original finish intact. The blade is mostly bright, with right side being nearly perfect and the left (etched) side having some scattered staining out toward the end. The etcing is perfect. E.C. Simmons only branded their best tools Keen Kutter and this is a top-of-the-range saw. It is still sharp with what is probably the factory sharpening. It only needs to have the blade waxed and you can use it. A real gem. Fine- Sold

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

Boxwood Bow Saw

SA170318 Boxwood Bow Saw A small craftsman made bowsaw in boxwood with a bone turnbuckle and beech handles. The blade is 9". For an extra $10 I will include an extra new old stock blade, assuming that I have one in this size, which I should. This is a special tool for the collector or discerning user. G+ Sold

Henry Disston & Sons

SA170241 Henry Disston & Sons A scarce 20" #16 panel saw. It has a smooth blade that has a light patina but no rust and a clear etching. The handle has damage, just normal wear. It is marked 10, but it has been recut to 8 PPI with a lot of set, to make it a fast cutting saw. It is dull now but the teeth are even and well formed so it will be easy to resharpen and you will probably never need to reset the teeth even if you sharpen it 5 times. It would be a more expensive saw if it was still 10 TPI. G+ Sold

?Cocker ?Cocker

SA170171 ?Cocker A 26" panel saw that looks relatively early to me. I would have thought that the handle was from half of the 19th Century. Unfortunately, I can't read all of the mark. I can read the word Cocker, and it looks like there might have been something & Cocker. On the next line, I can read "mans". It could have been German Steel, but if it is, there is no space between the two words. The saw is as found, with a darp patina on the blade and the handle. The handle had three saw nuts holding it on, but one of them was replaced by a home made rivet of sorts The upper spur was shortened a long time ago as the patina blends in. The blade is not straight and it is not a user. It has a great look and I hope that a collector will appreciate it. Fair $45


SA170125 Buck A particularly nice rosewood pad saw. The Brazilian rosewood handle has stunning grain. The brass nozzle has a rich patina. The nozzle is tight on the handle, as it should be. The Buck mark is a bit faint because it was struck on a curve. There is no blade with it but we sell new blades for these. A gem. G++ $75

Rosewood Pad Saw

SA161258 Rosewood Pad Saw A wonderful rosewood handled pad saw with light colored rosewood that really shows off its grain through a French polished finish. The brass nozzle has a lovely color. The blade looks to be much new than the saw but is sharp and like new. This is the connoisseur's pad saw. Fine- $79


SA161123 Invincible A scrace 16" size 8PPI panel saw with an etching that I have not seen before, but was presumably one of the myriand of marks that Disston used for hardware stores. At 8PPI it is relatively coarse for a short saw and will make a really handy bench saw for quickly cutting off stock. It is as found and the blade has scattered staining but is mostly clean. The handle has no damage. It is dull. It should clean nicely and will then should rate better than the current G+ Sold

Henry Disston & Sons Henry Disston & Sons

SA161115 Henry Disston & Sons A Disston #16 in a scarce configuration, 20 inch panel with 12 PPI. The wheat carved handle has no damage but the finish is worn. The blade is smooth and straight, but it has some old rust staining. It has been nicely cleaned and will make a great user once it is sharpened. The etching still easily legible when held in the right light. G+ Sold

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

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

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

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+ Sold


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

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

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

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+ Sold

Saw Wrest

SA1610100 Saw Wrest A large saw wrest for setting the teeth on big saws, probably circular saws for lumber mills, but I am not sure. Free to the first person who spends $50 on old tools and asks for it. G+ $0

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

SA100110 I. Colbeck A 14" backsaw. According to Simon Barley's definitive book on British saws, I. Colbeck was a trademark of Constantine Brothers, information which I have no doubt is correct. Erwin Schaffer's book list Colbeck as American, with no known information. 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 an attractive saw worthy of some respect despite its shortcomings. Free to the first person who orders it and spends $200 on old tools. 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 $695

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