1850s Disston rip saw…

Happy New Year to all of you out there! :)

Its been a busy holiday season for me…I’ve been working hard sharpening saws for customers, designing new saw classes, rehabbing saws for sale and tons of other stuff.

I did get a few hours in the shop for my own work for the first time in a while on Christmas eve and I spent it cleaning up a gorgeous 1850s Disston rip saw…I thought I’d share some pics…

You can see above that this beauty is amazingly clean and complete…there’s a touch of shallow pitting towards the toe, but other than that, this is the cleanest pre-Civil War Disston I have ever seen. It’s a 28 inch plate with 4 points per inch….a big ole boy! The nib on this saw is also amazing….its huge!!! I cleaned the plate with mineral spirits and 600 grit paper.

The tote is 100% complete with not so much as a scratch or crack in it….one of the nicest totes in perfect condition I’ve ever found. The medallion dates this saw to mid 1850s. I cleaned the tote with mineral spirits, gave it a good coat of boiled linseed oil and waxed it when dry.

The stamp is as bold and crisp as they come. Also stamped is “CAST STEEL…7…WARRANTED” and “PHILADA” as was customary. It’s normal to find these old Disston saws with a much bolder maker’s mark than the model marks…you can see how bold the HD is compared to the rest of the stamp. Separate dies were used for each of these marks.

It’s always exciting to find saws from this period in such great condition. :)

That’s all for now. In the coming months, I’ve got lots of great new articles in the works for the blog…some truly unique filing techniques, saw making stuff and rehab skills.

Stay tuned!


3 Responses to “1850s Disston rip saw…”

  1. Niels says:

    Happy New Year!

    That is an amazing saw- It looks like new old stock! I had no idea that there was a secondary stamping on those saws.

    I have a nearly identical saw, except mine looks like it spent the last ~160 years underwater.



  2. Joe McGlynn says:

    Hi Matt,

    I found your blog via the articles you did on building your sawbench on wkfinetools.com. The first one, where you rip the white oak beam. was something else.

    I’m building a bench and need to rip one side of it to get the width I want. I was going to try to manhandle it through my bandsaw but after seeing you rip that oak beam I’m going to do it by hand.

    Wish me luck!


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