Disston and Keystone Saw Works

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Blog entry by need2boat posted 04-18-2012 04:59 PM 1683 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I lived outside of philadelphia or Philly as most call it for a chunk of my life and I always liked the city and have a soft spot of the businesses there.

So when I got interested into saws and realized the biggest name in saws. . . . Disston was made there I went looking online any references but never got around to visiting what’s left. As it turns out some of the builds still stand and it was quite close. This past weekend with nicer weather and already being in the area I stopped to take a few pictures.

If you’ve ever see Disston in it’s hay day it’s was a really large complete. Present day less then a 1/4 of the building still stand but the area is largely undeveloped. Whats left is used for impound lots and vand/Truck feet storage and gated off with dogs so it’s hard to get any good pictures, the dogs don’t sound friendly ;-) so keep that in mind as you look at the pictures. It was best to keep moving!

You can see that some of the building have the Keystone with D in the middle.

Possible metal furnace & foundry


I read about about these on-line and it’s what first peaked my interest. From the water you can see them and I always wondered what they

these are used Grinding stones that were later repurposed for bulkhead on the Delaware River.

Very Cool, I have no idea how heavy they are but wouldn’t they be cool in your shop!

When you get closer you can see kids carved names in them but I couldn’t find any Disston marks as to what they were for.

-- Second Chance Saw Works Blog: Positive Rake

5 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


11051 posts in 1464 days

#1 posted 04-18-2012 05:10 PM

It’s cool and oh-so-sad at the same time… Cool to know it’s still there in any way, but sad to see that capability lost; a company that was a world competitor reduced to a few weed-infested buildings behind wire-topped fencing. Oh well, progress.

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. -- OldTools Archive

View Don W's profile

Don W

16026 posts in 1413 days

#2 posted 04-18-2012 05:28 PM

interesting Joe. Those old grind stones are worth some money now. At least in this area, I see a lot being sold at antiques shops.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View StumpyNubs's profile


6371 posts in 1646 days

#3 posted 04-18-2012 05:29 PM

Mail me one of those grind stones, will ya…

-- It's the best woodworking show since the invention of wood... New episodes at:

View Brandon's profile


4145 posts in 1797 days

#4 posted 04-18-2012 06:36 PM

Nice photos, Joe! I appreciate readings posts like this one. Did you consider rolling one of those grindstones home with you?

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View need2boat's profile


544 posts in 1538 days

#5 posted 04-18-2012 07:03 PM

Did I think about taking the stones, for sure but i don’t really have the place to keep them plus you would need a bucket loader or something to get them onto to a truck.

More then the stones I’d love to get one of the Metal keystones. Last weekend at the Craft vintage tool auction a guy was saying they are knocking down the building but I’ve yet to see anything doing web searches and I get the Philly paper, I may be one of 3 people who still do!


-- Second Chance Saw Works Blog: Positive Rake

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