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Antique hand saws.. H Disston & Sons.. Worth Restoring?

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Forum topic by Dan posted 12-10-2010 12:02 AM 21579 views 2 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dan

3543 posts in 1626 days


12-10-2010 12:02 AM

I am very happy today. I recently won an auction from a local online auction place for a tub of old tools. I had no description of what was in it but from the picture I could tell there were some older and neat looking hand tools. Anyway I got the whole tub (ill post pics of everything later) for 17.00…

Two items jumped out at me right away. These two hand saws. The first one is marked H Disston & Sons Philada and is 12 inches. The 2nd saw at bottom of picture is marked Henry C Weber on the blade along with some more wording that I just cant make out without doing some light sanding…

I just recently got into restoring old hand planes and I learned a few things but I know nothing about saws. My question is should I restore these things and use them? I could really use these in the shop but I don’t want to restore them if they are somehow worth some money. I looked them up on ebay and different places and I just cant tell if either of these are worth anything. I was hoping someone on here could provide me with some advice on what I should do with these… I have no problem bringing them back to life and time and effort is not an issue. I just don’t want to hurt the collector value if its worth something…

NOTE: The Weber saw has a WW marked on the handle. Anyone know if the saw would come like that or if it was added later?

I am itching to restore these things…

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"


17 replies so far

View chrisstef's profile

chrisstef

11456 posts in 1752 days


#1 posted 12-10-2010 01:04 AM

Dan,

I have the same Disston back saw shown above, i acquired it after my grandfather passed away. I went through the disstonian instiitute site and couldnt find much about it. Im not sure if it once was accompanied by a miter box and used as a small miter saw or used as a back saw. I cleaned the one i had up some, basically de-rusted it, and gave a light sanding to the handle. She’s a beaut. One of these days ill have all of my disston saws sharpened. If you find any info on it keep me posted.

-- "there aren’t many hand tools as awe-inspiring as the #8 jointer. I mean, it just reeks of cast iron heft and hubris" - Smitty

View swirt's profile

swirt

1952 posts in 1718 days


#2 posted 12-10-2010 03:59 AM

One is a Disston 4 (almost all the disston back saws were No 4 despite different lengths) It is likely that the other was made by Disston but sold with a store or some other company name on it. The WW is most likely the initials of one of its past owners.

Clean them up. Sharpen them and put them to work.

Here is the place for info http://www.disstonianinstitute.com/
and here is the place to learn to clean them up
http://www.vintagesaws.com/library/saw_clean/saw_clean.html
and sharpening
http://www.vintagesaws.com/library/primer/sharp.html

I don’t think either of these are special… in terms of being worth record amounts…. but they can be made into great saws for using and passing down to your kids.

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View lilredweldingrod's profile

lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 1853 days


#3 posted 12-10-2010 04:00 AM

Forget the name Dan, from now on it is Lucky Dan. lol Great saws. Wish I had the information you are looking for, but not this time. Do the saws a favor and put them to work, they live for it. Rand

View swirt's profile

swirt

1952 posts in 1718 days


#4 posted 12-10-2010 04:02 AM

Click here and then zoom on the photos. The second photo shows a Henry Weber Etch… it is on a bigger saw, but might help you make out what yours says
http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/beauty-saws-back-darlington-hand-weber

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View therookie's profile

therookie

887 posts in 1573 days


#5 posted 12-10-2010 04:07 AM

I think you shoud restore them. But if you dont want to I will if you want to get rid of them. :)

-- http://aewoodworks.webs.com

View swirt's profile

swirt

1952 posts in 1718 days


#6 posted 12-10-2010 04:08 AM

Could’t find much more on henry c Weber & Co so I doubt he was a saw maker. I found this which confirms my suspicion that the Weber saw is actually a Disston with a custom etch for the hardware chain
http://genforum.genealogy.com/weber/messages/1388.html

-- Galootish log blog, http://www.timberframe-tools.com

View brianinpa's profile

brianinpa

1810 posts in 2469 days


#7 posted 12-10-2010 06:10 AM

Dan,

I wouldn’t waste your time with those saw. Just send them to me and I’ll take them off your hands…

Honestly, clean them up, have them sharpened, and put them back to use. The older the saw, the better it cuts: that is my story and I’m sticking too it! Nice score!

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

View nordichomey's profile

nordichomey

100 posts in 1848 days


#8 posted 12-10-2010 07:13 AM

Dan

I followed the instructions from vintage saws and it worked well. I later found more advise at this sight about restoring… little more complex with etching, etc. http://www.wkfinetools.com/index.asp

Now…. what made it really fun was aging the saw basis the medallian. Just glancing at your pictures I would say your saws are really old. Maybe 1850’s. I dated my 22” 10 tpi panel saw basis the medallian from the Disston Institute. It is a 1877-1888 era. My wife found the saw in the basement of the first house she bought. Former owner had left it there with other old tools.

-- nordichomey

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nordichomey

100 posts in 1848 days


#9 posted 12-10-2010 07:20 AM

Dan

Here is the link to date your saws. http://www.disstonianinstitute.com/medv2.html i think you will find the Disston is a 1877-1888 era basis the medallion. Same era as mine. As far as the WW. I have not found information on why those initials exist??? mine says AO.SWAN

-- nordichomey

View Dan's profile

Dan

3543 posts in 1626 days


#10 posted 12-10-2010 07:37 AM

Thanks everyone for the info. The links were really helpful. I started cleaning a couple of them up and they are in great shape. Very little pitting. I have the blades soaking in EvapoRust now and will check them in the morning.

Also more good news for me. There was a 3rd old saw in the tub of tools I won at the auction. The blade was really dirty so I could not make out any wording but it is the same style as the other two… The tub also had two really neat miter boxes. One was a Stanley and the other was a Craftsman. They are also very old and I am having a lot of fun playing with them… I may end up selling two of the saws unless I become to attached when I am restoring them…

Thanks again for the info and links!

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

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Dan

3543 posts in 1626 days


#11 posted 12-10-2010 07:42 AM

Chairlie – I live in Grand Rapids, MI which was once the furniture capital. There was once a Stickly bros factory here in town… A lady I work with actually has a really old dining room set thats all Stickly and even still has the original tags on it…

-- Dan - "Collector of Hand Planes"

View Blake's profile

Blake

3439 posts in 2620 days


#12 posted 12-10-2010 08:04 AM

I restored one of these a year ago. I wrote about it here:

http://lumberjocks.com/Blake/blog/6405

http://lumberjocks.com/Blake/blog/12425

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View docholladay's profile

docholladay

1287 posts in 1805 days


#13 posted 12-10-2010 10:20 AM

You did well. Those old Disston saws are my favorites. I believe that the steel used in most any saw made prior to WWII is better than that used in most modern saws. I know it is better than what is used on any saw you can purchase for less than $100 new. A western type saw does need to be properly sharpened. I see that some of the previous responders have already referenced some very good sources for you about saws. You could certainly get or make a vise, file & saw set and learn to sharpen them yourself. I would encourage that you get a really cheap, junk saw to practice on first if you choose to go that route. Those saws are in good shape and you don’t want to risk messing them up. Sharpening saws is not hard and can be fun (albeit a little tedious), but it does take some practice. If you want to send them out to be sharpened, check around for a good sharpener. Get one filed rip and one filed crosscut. The rip can be used for cutting dovetails and tenon cheeks. The crosscut can be used for tenon shoulders as well as basic crosscut work.

-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View Ledhole's profile

Ledhole

3 posts in 484 days


#14 posted 08-23-2013 02:25 AM

Does anybody know how old and what they are for? I would also like to know what that notch is for on the big saw

it is obviously been made into it from the beginning

View Ledhole's profile

Ledhole

3 posts in 484 days


#15 posted 08-23-2013 02:28 AM

Here is the notch

showing 1 through 15 of 17 replies

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