Hand Tool Journey #12: 100+ year old Disston Backsaw ...RESTORED

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Blog entry by Blake posted 12-17-2009 09:54 AM 4648 reads 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 11: Turn of the Century Disston Dovetail Saw Part 12 of Hand Tool Journey series no next part

After some help from fellow Lumberjocks and a little research (here), I determined that this beautiful old backsaw is about a hundred years old (give or take).

”Before” photos:


I carefully took apart old saw and put the blade through the electrolysis process. Then I stripped the handle (which was covered in layers of paint and dripped varnish)... and applied Shellac. I also polished the brass. This is the result:




On a side note… Here’s a little shop humor for you:



I also just finished a chest of drawers for my workbench. So all of my favorite hand tools have a really nice home now:

Click for details

Happy woodworking everyone!

-- Happy woodworking!

10 comments so far

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 2946 days

#1 posted 12-17-2009 02:45 PM

Blake, You did a great job on the saw! ...the chair got a chuckle and the drawers show a craftsman’s tools well!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 2945 days

#2 posted 12-17-2009 03:11 PM

Nice looking saw. I have that same exact model. I know that mine was made between 1917-1918, so your estimate is really close.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3117 days

#3 posted 12-17-2009 03:24 PM

Great job on the saw looks new!
Your tools are well organized too.

View blockhead's profile


1475 posts in 2728 days

#4 posted 12-17-2009 03:26 PM

Very nice restoration. The little dings and knicks on the handle add a lot of character. The brass looks like new, what did you use to clean and polish it with?

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View Karson's profile


35032 posts in 3820 days

#5 posted 12-17-2009 04:04 PM

Very nice restoration.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View bench_dogg's profile


63 posts in 2557 days

#6 posted 12-17-2009 06:19 PM

Nice sticker :)

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2715 posts in 2706 days

#7 posted 12-17-2009 08:13 PM

I love old tools . You did a super job on the restoration



View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 2540 days

#8 posted 12-17-2009 11:22 PM

Very nice

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2754 days

#9 posted 12-17-2009 11:43 PM

Nice restoration and good save of a valuable tool.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3143 days

#10 posted 12-18-2009 02:46 AM

Nice work with the saw Blake.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

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