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Disston saws.

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trevtheturner

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Lot of two Disston saws purchased at auction:

1. A 24" cross-cut, 8 tpi.
2. A brass-backed tenon saw, 12 tpi. The blade tapers from front (including brass back) 2 5/8" in height to back 3 1/2" high. This taper seems to add something to the feel and balance of the saw. First impressions are that I like it.

The tenon is inscribed by maker on the brass back and both are inscribed on the blades. The blades are straight & true and all teeth are present and correct, well set and sharp. They feel good in the hand and cut very well.

They are of some age and the condition of the handles shows that they have been well used, the front edges of the handsaw handle being worn back to the fixing studs/screws, showing an amount of careless use. The wood is otherwise all complete, not cracked or split, and has no bits missing. However, there is hardly any 'finish' left, just dirty, bare wood. The tenon saw handle is spattered/smeared with white paint! :shock:

So, to what extent is it acceptable for me to clean the handles, and put a new finish on them? Can I remove the handles and sand them clean or should I limit the cleaning to gentle use of a solvent? Should I consider something like a linseed oil or wax finish? Should I remove the handles to clean them or do it in situ? I want to prepare them well for further use (I suspect they will get a lot), not to 'collect' them, but I don't want to mess 'em up!

I'll appreciate any advice.

D'you think they were worth the 20 quid for the pair?

Cheers,

Trev.
 

Philly

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Trev,
Only my opinion, but if you are going to use them as "keepers", clean 'em up, oil the handles and enjoy!
Don't worry about the "Co##ector Police" -as long as you don't fit orange plastic JAck handles......
regards
Philly :D
 

bugbear

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<i>Can I remove the handles and sand them clean or should I limit the cleaning to gentle use of a solvent? </i>

Unless you're convinced you can remove them with no difficulty, I'd advise against. It's very difficult to get 'em back on, such that they stay put. The commonest problem with handes is looseness. If they're tight at the moment, I'd leave well alone.

BugBear
 

Alf

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Up the proverbial creek
Trev,

You're familiar with the Disstonian Institute site I hope? Check you've nothing rare (unlikely), then do with them as you will. Your saws to do with as you desire, you lucky devil. Like BB I'd say removing the handles is to be avoided if at all possible - DAMHIKT... Maybe try with a solvent first (white spirit) and if that doesn't get it as clean as you want resort to sanding, although you'll lose all that lovely "patina". Boiled Linseed Oil would probably be the finish of choice, but again, it's up to you. Definitely worth the £20 IMO.

Cheers, Alf
 

trevtheturner

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Thanks all for your advice. The handles are absolutely tight and solid, so I'll leave 'em be and clean them in situ.

Nope, didn't know of the Disstonian Institute, Alf. :oops: Although a mite of brain power and a modicum of common sense should have led me to a web search before asking. Doh! :roll: Interesting site - thanks - I'll get the saws, and another I have, up into the 'puter room to try to identify what I have.

Cheers,

Trev.
 
A

Anonymous

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Nice find on the brass backed saw. I'm assuming it is a No. 4 since you described it as a tenon saw and 12 ppi. I haven't found one of these in the wild and I have looked pretty extensively.

By all means, clean and oil the handles. Follow with past wax if you desire. Unless these saws have split nuts, I don't see a problem with removing the handles. I've removed/reinstalled the handles on 50+ Disstons without a problem.

Enjoy your finds!
 
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