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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, 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



Keen Kutter Keen Kutter

SA150427 Keen Kutter This is perhaps the best matching pair of rip and CC saws that I have ever seen. These are high-end Disston made saws, but branded #88 Keen Kutter for E.C. Simmons hardware. They are both 26", one 5 1/2 rip and the other 9 PPI CC. The 112 saw was skew back version of the #12 saw, and along with the 12 was considered to be Disston's top-of-the-line. This pair has bright clean blades, with just a minimal amount of skattered staining. The etching is very clear. The rip saw is very sharp and may be unused, and not surprisingly, the etching is a bit brighter on this one. The carved applewood handles are both damage free with lovely color. There is some deterioration to the polished finish on the handles, not from wear, but from age. These two saws are at least one order of magnitude better than anything made today, and are as close to being in the same condition as when they were made as one could ever hope to find in saws that are over 100 years old. For the true connoisseur. Fine- Sold


John Spear

SA150434 John Spear A 9", 16 TPI brass-back dovetail saw from the first quarter of the 19th Century. This saw has a wonderful handle, although there is some wood chipped off of the lower spur. Nice patina and a great look. The blade has some very light waving to it, but with a saw that has very little set, like a dovetail saw, it might be enough to affect performance. Hence the cheap price for a great looking saw. Good $79


John H. Obold, Reading

SA150439 John H. Obold, Reading A 28", 5 1/2PPI rip saw that needs only a light filing to use. The handle is a wheat carved applewood handle, with no damage, but it looks like sombody varnished it some time and it was a sloppy job. The varnish is even over the medallion. I think that this is an Atkins saw, but I am sure that one of you will tell me exactly which make and model it is. It will make a nicer user for a reasonable price. G+ $95


Moseley & Sons, London

SA15042 Moseley & Sons, London A particularly attractive 9" dovetail saw with the earlier style tapering depth and 20PPI. The handle has a lovely form and no damage. The blade has some light kinks in the last 2 1/2", which, with this thin a saw plane and such fine teeth, will be a problem if you try to use the saw that far out. Perhaps somebody could fix this but I don't know how to. Priced to reflect this. G+ $75



Wenzloff & Sons

SA15048 Wenzloff & Sons This is the 20", 10PPI, panel saw version of the Seaton chest saws. The 20" size was commissioned by our company to fill a need for a smaller size panel saw than the 26" size, which was at the time the only size available in this pattern. This particular saw we sold new to the owner of a well known manufacturer of reproduction furniture. He has had his finisher put an "old" finish on it that looks very convincing. I can tell you that the work of his finisher often appears in major auctions, cataloged as old original finish. This is essentially a new saw, but with the appearance of being old. It is still sharp and was probably never used. The company uses does not relay on hand saws for its production work and this saw was really for show. Fine $295


Panel Saw

SA150414 Panel Saw A scarce 16" panel saw with 9 PPI. The etching is not very clear and I can't make out the maker's name, although this is clearly a Disston made saw, probably a #8. I can read "Patent Ground" and one can just make out a keystone. This will make a great user saw. The blade has a medium to dark patina, with a some minor spots of pitting. It is almost sharp, just needing one stroke of a file on each tooth. The handle has no damage and again nice patina. G+ Sold


W.S. Milligan, 228 Federal St. Boston, Mass

SA150417 W.S. Milligan, 228 Federal St. Boston, Mass A nice as found 26" panel saw, 7 PPI. Nice medium patina overall and a nice damage free handle. I would just need to have the blade lightly filed and waxed to be ready to use. The etching is very clear and also reads "Extra Spring Steel Patent Ground". I don't know who actually made it but this is a quality saw from the turn of the Century. The original owner was proud of it and has deeply branded his name into the handle, one "F. L. Pierce." G+ $99


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


Henry Disston & Sons

SA150359 Henry Disston & Sons A very clean D-7 in an unusual configuration, 12 PPI and 20". Still sharp enough to use, you just need to clean the blade off with wax and a rag. G++ Sold





Perfection Miter Box Perfection Miter Box

SA150310 Perfection Miter Box This is a hybrid miter box, the moving parts all being cast iron or steel, but the base being wood. It has a saw with it, but the saw is later and is marked Millers Falls, having probably been made by Disston for Millers Falls. The saw needs a light cleaning and sharpening, and the box could do with a light clean to. It will make a great mitre box for somebody on a tight budget. I am not sure of the age, but I would guess 1920 or 30s. It has a label on the back, but it has some losses and is not entirely legible. It was made in Torrington, Ct. G+ $45


Unmarked

SA150328 Unmarked An 8 PPI, 26" panel saw. The handle is wheat carved and looks like it might be birch stained to look like apple. I am not sure. I can't see that it is marked with an etch , but the blade is dark and needs cleaning. The blade only needs a light filing and it will be ready to use. Probably made by Atkins, and certainly a quality American made saw from before 1930 or so. A great user saw for not a lot of money. G+ $69


Unmarked

SA150290 Unmarked An English style saw wrest (set) with the original stop. The stops ae so often missing. Lovely color to the boxwood handle. Light surface rust has been cleaned off of the blade, leaving a nice light patina with some scattered light pitting. The brass has been polished. G+ $39




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


Henry Disston & Sons

SA150135 Henry Disston & Sons A nice, clean, 26", 8PPI D-15 Victory panel saw The blade is bright and very clean with a clear etching. The finish on the rosewood handle has tool box marks and wear. Because of this, I rate the blade Fine- but the handle just G+ $159




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




Fulton Special

SA141243 Fulton Special A 20", 11PPI panel saw from Tom Law's inventory. This saw was in Tom's saws for sale and I bought it from his estate. It is freshly sharpened by Tom. It has a slight bend in the blade, but Tom must have found it to be acceptable. The blade looks like it may have been chemically cleaned. This saw would not normally be good enough for us to offer, but as one of the last of the Tom Law sharpened and refurbished saws, I am making an exception. Good $78


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

HS, 1896

SA14114 HS, 1896 This is a very heavy duty cast iron American saw vice. It mounts on the bench top with screws and was clearly more of a professional grade saw vice for somebody who would use it all the time rather than a clamp on type for more periodic use. It weighs about 12 pounds and is 15" accross. I don't know who made it. Cast into the base is HS and 1896. This is a saw vice for the person who wants to own the best and has the room to leave it mounted. Should clean to at least G++ $119


Pad Saw

SA141112 Pad Saw A crisp and little used boxwood handled pad saw with a lovely light patina on the boxwood and the brass. The boxwood has an original French polish finish. The blade is nothing special, still pretty sharp but not all that straight. We sell the blades new. A superior example. G++ $69




Johnson & Conaway, Philada

SA141136 Johnson & Conaway, Philada A 12" brass-backed carcass saw with an applewood handle and the double eagles mark. The handle is lovely with no damage. The handle and back have been cleaned with fine steel wool but an idiot. Sorry, but there is no kind way of saying that. The blade has a mild curve in it that might come out with retensioning. It has a pleasing medium patina. The handle still has about 30? original finish on it. This saw will look a lot better if it gets some of its patina back. A very scarce saw from the early days of American saw making. G+ $199


Buck, Totn Court Rd

SA141060 Buck, Totn Court Rd A lovely boxwood handle gentleman's saw with a 7" blade, 20PPI. The front corner of the blade has been rounded. It has been polished so that the brass is shiny and has no patina. An attractive tool that will make a great user for fine work. G+ $79




Stair Saw

SA141070 Stair Saw An elegantly formed, craftsman made stair or dado saw. The lines on this saw are simple but wonderfully proportioned. I am just not sure what wood it is made from, although I would guess ash. A very nice example of a common tool. G+ $69




Payne & Co, Sheffield

SA141023 Payne & Co, Sheffield This is a crisp and little used 12" brass-backed saw. The back has the rich patina of brass that has never been polished. The blade has a pleasing smooth patina. The 12PPI teeth are filed in a pure cross-cut configuration, which is very unusual. Most old back saws have some form of hybrid tooth filing. The blade has a gentle curve caused by needing to be retensioned, a technique that is not hard to do. The teeth are dull and need a good sharpening, but make no mistake, this is a lovely saw that will make a great user. G++ $109


P.S. Stubbs

SA14107 P.S. Stubbs A delicate small hacksaw by Stubbs, the famous Lancashire maker of jeweler's tools. The blade is 3 1/2". The blade is marked Stubbs, not the frame, but I believe the blade to be original to the saw and that they are both by Stubbs. Wonderful quality and a very scarce tool in this small and delicate size. Fine $149



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+ $65



Robt Sorby

SA140935 Robt Sorby This is a crisp and little used keyhole saw. It still has traces of an original label on the handle. The blade is 17". These tools were used hard and are rarely found in this condition. G++ $69





Spear & Jackson, Sheffield

SA140849 Spear & Jackson, Sheffield A classic English keyhole saw with a decorative and undamaged handle. The blade has a dark patina with some bends in the second half, as is is common for these. It is a nice, decorative tool that could probably till be used. G+ $39




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




Unmarked

SA140438 Unmarked This is a delicate 8", 15 PPI brass-backed saw. It has a lighter back and a thinner handle than a typical dovetail saw and may have been made for a child, but really seems like too fine a tool for that. It does have the owner's mark, "S.O.B." stamped in 4 places on the handle. Children's tools don't typically have owner's marks. I think that it was a tradesman's tools but I just haven't seen one like it before. Lovely as found condition. G+ $95


Henry Disston

SA140345 Henry Disston An early Disston 28" rip saw, pre-dating the use of etching on the blade. This saw is marked Henry Disston, stamped on the blade, with the "inch worm" mark. That part of the mark is clear, the Philadelphia part is faint. It looks like it was just struck that way. Finding a good straight and clean panel saw from this early period is not common. The configuration is also unusual, being 8 PPI rip. The saw appears to have seen very little use, and perhaps it survived because it was an odd configuration. The handle has chips in the upper and lower spur and a shrinkage check right through the medialion. It is very dry in here now, this would close up considerably in the summer. The handle is beech. I think that this a #8. This is your chance to own a mid-19th Century Disston saw that is still in usable condition. It is sharp now, but not super sharp. Certainly usable as it is. G+ $269


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


Kenyon Kenyon

SA140231 Kenyon This is an rare 18th Century English saw. It is an 18" backsaw that has an most unusal blade configuration. The blade curves up at the front to allow the saw to start blind holes. I can only assume that this is a modification, although it is done to a standard that makes it possible that it is in fact original The blade and back has been lightly "cleaned" with an orbital sander by a misguided collector. This is barely visible to the naked eye but obvious in the magnified photo of the mark. The handle is untouched with the classic early style rouned cheeks and just two rivets. The upper and lower spurs are both chipped, but they are largely inact and have no repairs on them. This is truly an extraordinary survivor. I don't recall ever seeing another 18" 18th Century backsaw. Usually, if an early saw does survive, it will be a small one like a dovetail saw. Good Sold


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


Henry Disston & Sons

SA130557 Henry Disston & Sons A little used Disston Number 16 panel saw, 24" and 9 PPI. The blade has mostly a medium patina, but near the handle has more of a light patina. It is untouched, in just the kind of as found condition that I like. The handle has no damage, and a lovely color. I think that the handle is cherry rather than applewood. The etching is 100% legible, but you do need to hold it at the correct angle to read it. Nearly sharp, needs only a once over with a file. A partiiclarly nice example of a high-end Disston saw. G++ $219


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


Wheeler, Madden, & Clemson

SA120352 Wheeler, Madden, & Clemson This is a rare 12" brass-backed saw. I don't recall ever seeing another brass-backed saw by this maker. The etching is perfect and the blade is clean. The handle has a crack on the left side on the cheeck, and the lower spur is complete, but needs to be clamped where it was dropped and the wood is separated. The blade almost perfectly straight, but it looks like somebody was working on it to straighten it. The blade has been lightly polished. I am selling this saw more as a rare example than as a user. G+ $109




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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