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The medallions on Disston handsaws changed more over time than any other feature on the saw. By using the medallion, you can estimate the age of your saw. The Medallions and Timeline of Saw Manufacture The medallions on Disston saws give the most accurate indication of manufacturing dates for handsaws, panel saws, and backsaws. The first complete timeline of Disston handsaws was written by Pete Taran and published in the Winter issue of the Fine Tool Journal. His article assigned manufacturing dates to Disston saws, based on the medallions, creating what is called a type study. Since the publication of Taran's ground-breaking research, the number of known medallions has increased significantly, and they have been featured on the Disstonian Institute website.

Disston purchased the lot next door and erected a new factory building within a very short time. By the end ofthe factory employed 65 men. Many more saws were produced in the year alone than had been throughout the decade of the 's. The left medallion appears on a No. Both read "H. Note the eagle's head is pointed upward. The earliest medallions had optimistic-appearing eagles.

A distinct possibility is that these medallions were not made in a progression like those after the Civil War. The variations seen in the 's and 50's may have been produced at the same time. All of the medallions made before are cast in sand.

The later ones were made by the Washbourne patented process: stamped from sheet brass, impressed with a die to make the keystone and lettering, and the bolt was soldered into the back of the disc.

The process used to form the early medallions was to make a line of impressions of the medallion in fine casting sand, connecting them with a channel. Molten brass was poured into the mold, and the resulting medallions were then cut apart. There would have been an additional part put on top of the sand mold to form the bolt shaft, which was later threaded.

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There is no documentation to show how this was accomplished. This method must have had in a high rejection rate. Any voids, particularly in the shaft, would have resulted in scrap. The result was a brittle medallion of low density that makes a "thunk" noise when dropped. Struck medallions, somewhat like coins, make a ringing sound when dropped. Late 's or early 50's medallions left and right with "H.

Phila" in the stamp. Note the small size of the letter "A". This feature comes and goes for four decades, 's's. This Federal-style was used for perhaps a decade before a stylized, Aztec type of eagle was introduced.

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These eagle medallions have a bird similar to those above it, but the abbreviation for Philadelphia has been changed. More medallions from the late's early 's era.

Feb 11,   DISSTON BACK SAW, No. 4. (Information taken from Disston catalog) Here's an illustration of the #4 circa Handiest of all small saws. Necessary for all fine joinery and cabinet work. The finest back saw made. Blade is of Disston Steel, with the Disston temper - hard and tough. Teeth are shaped for fast, accurate cutting. Welcome to Vintage Saws! Specializing in the sale of vintage, Disston hand saws of all ages and styles. Our mission here at Vintage Saws is to provide the highest quality saws of the 19th and 20th Century to the woodworker and collector alike. All the saws that we sell are newly sharpened, properly set and ready to use right out of the box. Henry Disston started selling his own saws in , operating out of a rented basement in Philadelphia. Despite setbacks during his first decade in business, such as fires and the confiscation of his machinery in a rent dispute, Disston built his company into the largest manufacturer of saws in the world.

Note the full spelling of "Henry. Strasil for the contribution. Two medallions, one from a full sized saw, the other from a backsaw. The eagle is similar to the designs above, except it is the mirror image. The lettering has serifs, six-pointed stars flank the eagle, and the city is abbreviated "Philada". I wish I could say exactly where this medallion fits in the order, but there is no evidence indicate that. It was found on a No. Notice the style of the eagle has changed from the Federal-style eagle found, for example, on US coins and is more stylized.

This style change appears in the later versions of the eagle medallions. This medallion dates to the middle and late 's. It clearly is different in style from those preceding it, and is much like those made in the 's, with only minor differences. This and the medallion from the period below are the most common eagle medallions.

The only significant difference between this and the medallion directly above it is the appearance of stars flanking the eagle. The established date for this medallion begins in For example, this one may have appeared initially on any date between, say, and ; there is no evidence to say precisely. Some medallions from the 's can be said to have been introduced during a specific year, while others can be categorized only by decade, such as those made before the Civil War.

Split sawnuts. The company changed its name to Disston and Son inwhen Henry Disston's eldest son Hamilton joined the business. He had apprenticed at the company in the late 's and early 's. During the Civil War he joined the Union Army against his father's wishes. Henry Disston relented and eventually encouraged other workers to volunteer. This particular medallion is rarely seen, and was produced for only a short time before the keystone medallion was introduced.

Often saws from the mid to late 's feature a Disston and Son etch on the blade and the earlier eagle medallion with only Henry Disston's name. The materials that were in stock were used even if the names on them were not up-to-date. One son medallion, This is found more frequently than the previous medallion.

Dating vintage disston saws

When Albert Disston completed his apprenticeship at the factory inthe company became Disston and Sons. Three younger brothers: Horace, William, and Jacob, eventually worked for the company as well. Antique tool sellers, including both a big-name auctioneer and countless small-time dealers have made the mistake of saying the appearance of "and Son" followed by "and Sons" was a type of birth announcement.

The name changes came as Henry Disston's adult sons became his business partners.

Rare Disston & Sons Saw Pwalpar VLOG Part One 7 26 2016

This medallion often appears on saws with the "one son" etch, making it the first medallion to feature the word "sons. The perimeter is also sanded flush with the surface of the handle, as were all previous medallions. This changed with the introduction of the new-style saw nuts in the mid's.

This medallion, the one before, and the next, are all variations on the same design and time frame, the period. It has a dot at the end of the word "SONS".

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The left medallion is from a No. On the right is a medallion from a No. As you can see, there were several medallion designs in the era, with subtle differences in appearance. This medallion also has a larger letter "A" at the end of word "Philad'a" than on earlier saws. I have no evidence to say whether this medallion or the one immediately above is older. The lettering on this small medallion has serifs, unlike those before or after its production.

There is no evidence to say exactly where in the sequence from this medallion appeared.

This medallion is found on Disston saws made both before and after the major product line change of Because of changes in the saws' etches, the manufacturing date of saws with this medallion can be identified as being either before or after All handsaws were made after have a letter "D" in the name, for example: D-7, D-8, D Disston Medallion Study. While I have never been a proponent of attempting to date any tool by a single feature, I have been receiving an increasing amount of inquiries about the age of various saws. I decided to look at my entire collection, and document every known variation of main saw medallions. Henry Disston 12" Split Nut Back Saw - Early Eagle Medallion Handsaw. $ shipping. 12 Inch Disston Keystone Back Saw Made in U.S.A. 12 TPI. $ shipping. Ending Feb 24 at PM PST. Antique Disston D8 Thumbhole Skewback Hand Saw 26" Blade untouched 5ppi. $ shipping. Vintage Disston & Sons Early 's 22" Handsaw With Nib 10 TPI.

This medallion is mounted on a No. Its perimeter is flush with the handle's surface, like all that precede it, but the lettering and design of the keystone and scale are identical to the unique "Choice" saw medallion shown below.

This dates the medallion close to The split-nut or spanner style of fastener is about to be phased out.

The ring of dots around the perimeter of the medallion is gone as well. This medallion is on a mid's "Choice" saw, which was introduced about The perimeter is serrated, which is unique.

It is raised above the surface of the handle, the first time that feature is seen. The saw has five split nuts on the handle, which also is unique to this model. All medallions appearing after this point have domed-style nuts on the screws 1" medallions found on full-sized handsaws These medallions first appeared in and have a major difference from those made before them, they are attached with cap screws instead of split nuts.

The design was patented by Disston on August 29, Instead of sitting completely flush with the handle like earlier medallions, there is a slight radius to the perimeter of the medallion, which rises above the wood. This example is from a No. Hayes at the factory on April 16, It was manufactured while he was touring the plant. This appears to be of the same design as the Hayes saw. Although it's hard to see in the image of the Hayes saw, both medallions have a comma after the word "sons". The images of medallions from this period show small variations in the design, particularly in the punctuation and design of the keystone and scale.

The bottom example has webbing in the keystone shape. Patent date for Glover's design of saw nuts, which are stronger than those manufactured in the 's and early 's.

For an interesting anomaly in this medallion click here. Some examples of this medallion have six-pointed figures that look decidedly like a daisy.

The Medallions and Timeline of Saw Manufacture

By Disston was making more saws than any other manufacturer worldwide, and their share of the market increased each year. Also by this time, Disston had bought over a dozen of its competitors, leaving only Atkins, Bishop and a newcomer to saw making, Simonds as major sawmakers in the US.

Bishop stopped making saws inand Simonds made a strong impression on the market for only a short time, closing down in The modified logo in advertising and shorter name on the medallions was probably done to improve brand identity. This medallion is found on Disston saws made both before and after the major product line change of Because of changes in the saws' etches, the manufacturing date of saws with this medallion can be identified as being either before or after All handsaws were made after have a letter "D" in the name, for example: D-7, D-8, D The letter is to the left of the number with a hyphen between them.

Some saws had a letter "D" in the name prior to ; the most common being the D In all cases, those models with a "D" have etches in which the number appears inside of the letter.

No handsaws with names like No. It reflects the international status of Disston products by this time, calling attention to the country of manufacture, not merely the city. Its perimeter is wide.

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D-8's and D's were nickel-plated; D-7's were the same style, but not plated. When Disston was sold to HK Porter, most existing saw models were dropped from production and new home-handyman models were introduced along with a line of power saws. Toggle navigation. LOG IN. How to identify a valuable Disston handsaw. And there will almost certainly be a handful of old saws among them. But could any of them be a potentially valuable Disston? The 7 was the company's most succesful saw - Image: As his business grew, he invested in its future by founding the enormous Keystone Saw Works in The logo displays an eagle alongside the company name - Image: Over the years the logo changed subtly, making dating the saw as simple as checking an online database - such as the one found at DisstonianInstitute.

Get the best deals on Disston Hand Saw when you shop the largest online selection at Free shipping on many items | Browse your favorite brands Vintage disston hand saws. $ 0 bids. $ shipping. Ending May 3 at PM PDT 1d 7h. or Best Offer. Watch. Vintage Disston Lightweight Hand Saw - 8 ppi - circa Aug 09,   Disston saws are very recognisable by the maker's medallion that appears on the handle. The logo displays an eagle alongside the company name - Image: . Over the years the logo changed subtly, making dating the saw as simple as checking an online database - such as the one found at Mar 9, - Explore dhd's board "Disston Saws" on Pinterest. See more ideas about Vintage tools, Antique tools and Old tools pins.

Condition This really is the kicker, as an antique saw has to work in order to be valuable. This is why restored saws sell at a premium, compared with unrestored ones. Take a look at the saw's teeth. Similarly, the handle should be intact with no pieces missing.


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