New Handle or an Old Saw

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Project by Mauricio posted 08-12-2011 06:49 PM 3146 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is my entry into the Western Hand Saw world. Until now I’ve used Japanese saws so I’m pretty excited to have this one.

I finally found an old saw at a thrift store. It was 50% off that day so it cost under $2bucks.
The blade is not taper ground. Does that date it to the early 1900’s? Also if anyone knows what Disston model number this is I would appreciate the info. I haven’t been able to figure it out.

It was in pretty rough shape. The handle was cracked in two places and it was all full of worm holes so I decided to make a new one. I picked up some African Mahogany from the scrap bin at the lumber yard so I only have about a buck work of wood used in this handle. My only concern is that it is not the most durable wood but I figure if you can make ball and claw chair legs out of Mahogany then a saw handle should hold up.

It is finished with Treid and True Danish Oil and dark wax.

Here is my Blog about the whole process.

Now on to learning how to sharpen. I have my saw set and file ready to go for this. Hopefully I can get this thing cutting like a champ.

Thanks for looking. I appreciate any comments or feedback.



-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

8 comments so far

View need2boat's profile


544 posts in 3942 days

#1 posted 08-12-2011 08:33 PM

Looks good. I’ve found good info for Disston saw models and care at these sights. You’ll now be trying your hand at sharpening which is new to me as well. The vintage saws site has a great how to.



-- Second Chance Saw Works Blog: Positive Rake

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4835 days

#2 posted 08-12-2011 08:53 PM

I buy mostly throw away hand saws they come very sharp never need sharpening and when your done toss it out and open up a fresh one.Lazy or common sense you decide.They come now in bundles of five or ten and thats how I buy em.LOL Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Mauricio's profile


7168 posts in 4401 days

#3 posted 08-12-2011 09:05 PM

I have my share of Harbor Freight saws too. I have japanses saw that cut pretty good. But I hardly ever see cheap saws with rip teeth. I’m sure they’re out there.

And its just kind of cool to think that you can pick up any piece of steel, file some teeth on it and make a working saw if you had to. Mybe that is just the “Anarchist” mentality that is starting to seep in from reading C.Schwarz’s blogs.

I boght a really nice japanese saw once and then I broke abunch of the teath. I kind of like the idea of being able to resharpen this one and that it will last longer than me.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 4309 days

#4 posted 08-13-2011 12:15 AM

I can’t claim to be a true expert, but my guess on that saw is that it would be either a D-20, D-12 or D-23. They are all pretty similar saws. Looking at the handle, it is similar to some that I have that have been dated somewhere in the mid 1900’s. The fact that it has brass nuts means it is probably pre 1950, but I wouldn’t think it would be much further back than 1940’s or so.

Nice job of cleaning the blade. I haven’t looked at your blog yet, but the pics look impressive. I see Joe already reference the Vintage Saws website. They have great information for sharpening saws. You’ll either have to get or make a saw vise in order to sharpen them. That saw appears to be a crosscut (judging by the close tooth spacing). Those are a bit more tricky to sharpen, but if you make a jig to help you to keep your angles consistent, it still is really nothing more than shooting accross the blade with the appropriate file. Besides, you don’t have much to lose even if it doesn’t work so well.

I find saws like that all the time in flea markets for $5 or less. I can’t ever seem to pass them up. Another great use for old saw blades like that is to make card scrapers.


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

View Ken90712's profile


18067 posts in 4439 days

#5 posted 08-13-2011 11:35 AM

Nice job!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Mauricio's profile


7168 posts in 4401 days

#6 posted 08-13-2011 02:56 PM

dochollaheday: hanks for the input. The brass nuts were an upgrade I bought on ebay. they came with nickle ones.

The teeth I think are rip filed and are about 9tpi. The picture might be misleading because I already jointed them in preparation for shaping, setting and filing.

Thanks all for your comments.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Johnnyblot's profile


319 posts in 3526 days

#7 posted 03-26-2012 02:57 PM

Yeah! Well done. If I saw this saw I would love to pick it up and use it! It doesn’t get any better than this?


-- Gossamer shavings just floating around the back yard….-Bandit

View lysdexic's profile


5349 posts in 3873 days

#8 posted 04-17-2012 07:54 PM

I know this one. This is inspired me to try my own. The difference is yours is finished. Duh :/

-- "It's only wood. Use it." - Smitty || Instagram - nobodhi_here

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