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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



Henrry Disston & Sons

SA170539 Henrry Disston & Sons A Disston D-23 7 PPI 26" panel saw that is freshly sharpened and ready to use. The blade has a medium patina and the handle has no damage but the varnish is deteriorating with age. This is from a cache of D-23 saws that we bought from a retired carpenter who ran a tradtional carpentry shop. All of his saws are straight and well cared for, and most are sharp. Better than a new saw and cheaper. G+ Sold


H. Disston & Sons

SA170466 H. Disston & Sons A 24" D8 panel saw 8 PPI. The applewood handle has nice patina and no damage. The saw has a slight bend about 3 1/2" from the end that should not matter. The etching is still legible but the saw has a medium patina overall. It is dull but when sharpened should make a great user in a less common but very useful size. G+ $85



Disston, U.S.A.

SA170476 Disston, U.S.A. A classic Disston folding saw jointer. It folds over the blade, making it easier to hold square to the edge. G+ $39





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 unven 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




?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


Buck

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




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




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



Atkins

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




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




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



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


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




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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