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Turn of the Century Disston Dovetail Saw

I found this beautiful old saw hanging on my wall yesterday. I think I bought it at at the flea market a while back and forgot about it.

Its really nice, but its been abused and neglected. Its time for a face lift. I am assuming it is a dovetail saw? I want to know more about it. I would like to become more of a hand tool user.

On the blade it says "HENRY DISSTON AND SONS, CAST STEEL, PHILADA.USA, WARRENTED" And the handle says "C. ROSENBURG" on both sides. It also has an X marked on the edge of the blade stiffener.















What can you tell me about this saw?

  • About how old is it?
  • Is there a name for this style or shape?

I plan on restoring it to a usable and very nice looking saw. I will start by separating the handle and blade. Then I think I will use a chemical stripper on the handle since it is covered in glue and varnish. Then I guess I will give it a good sanding and refinish.

What else should I know about restoring this saw?

  • How should I treat the blade? Just .000 steel and elbow grease?
  • How can I sharpen it?
  • Can I have a professional saw shop sharpen it?
Blake,

Not sure how far you have searched yet, but there are numerous sites devoted to Disston Saws. This is the one I go to a lot. A bunch of info can be gleened from them. Great looking saw, not sure which one of the backsaws you have, but I am sure it is pictured somewhere.
 

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Bench Almost Complete

More bench progress…

Here is the "tail" vice mortised into the end of the bench. You can also see how the underside of the bench looks with all the different widths I used:

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Clamping on the wider "apron" pieces front and back:

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And adding the end aprons with dowels:

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As you can see I painted the 4×6 fir base black:

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I leveled the table with shims under the feet and then bolted the legs to the floor:



And then the fun part began…

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I routed the edges of my vice jaws on the router table:

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The vices came out really nicely. I made the tail vice so it would span across the entire width of the bench. That way I could have bench dogs along both edges of the bench for wide clamping.

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Nearly complete… now all I have to do is add the dog holes, and a little sanding/finishing. I actually made it to the Sacramento Woodworking Show on Sunday and picked up some brass Veritas bench dogs.

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I think it looks really good with the black base.

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(See all the shavings on the floor!)

UPDATE:

Here are the links to the finished bench and cabinet in my projects:

Nice looking bench Blake.
 

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100+ year old Disston Backsaw ...RESTORED

After some help from fellow Lumberjocks and a little research (here), I determined that this beautiful old backsaw is about a hundred years old (give or take).

"Before" photos:







After:

I carefully took apart old saw and put the blade through the electrolysis process. Then I stripped the handle (which was covered in layers of paint and dripped varnish)... and applied Shellac. I also polished the brass. This is the result:

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On a side note… Here's a little shop humor for you:

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I also just finished a chest of drawers for my workbench. So all of my favorite hand tools have a really nice home now:



Happy woodworking everyone!
Nice work with the saw Blake.
 
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