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.
SAW MEDALLION REFERENCE GUIDE. Saw medallions, or label screws as they are sometimes called, are invaluable for identifying old saws. Additionally, many of them are small works of art in themselves. I don't know of a comprehensive reference source for saw medallions that covers all makers, so I decided to start one here. Nov 10, - dating Disston hand saw medallions and a timeline of the company. Stay safe and healthy. Please practice hand-washing and social distancing, and check out our resources for adapting to these times. There are few saws with a Henry Disston etch. The same year Disston started using etches on the saws, Hamilton Disston became a partner in his father's company. Hamilton was listed in the city directory living in his father's house on Front Street. His trade was listed as a machinist. The company was called Henry Disston and Son from
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. 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. 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. 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.
Dating hand saws
The name changes came as Henry Disston's adult sons became his business partners. 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". 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 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.
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 tiendakiteboarding.com article assigned manufacturing dates to Disston saws, based on the medallions, creating what is . Hand saws have larger teeth and are generally used for quickly rough-cutting boards to length or width. These hand saws were manufactured in very large quantities and are easy to find and usually inexpensive. The specific name of this saw type also happens to be the general name of all non-power saws: "hand saw". Dating hand saws - Find a woman in my area! Free to join to find a man and meet a man online who is single and hunt for you. Find single man in the US with mutual relations. Looking for novel in all the wrong places? Now, try the right place. Men looking for a woman
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. 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. 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. And that was, as they say, all she wrote. The variety and quality of saws decreased immediately, as did the number of employees in the factory.
By the late '50's the factory had been moved to Danville, Virginia. Disston produced a line of electric saws, but they were not as popular as Black and Decker or Rockwell. In the 's Porter sold the company to Sandvick.
Henry Disston began selling saws in , eventually manufacturing everything from crosscut saws, designed to cut across the grain of a piece of wood, to rip saws, whose teeth help keep a cut straight when sawing with the grain. Other types of saws produced by Disston and other tool manufacturers include backsaws (with or without a mitre box). Apr 04, Siegley plow plane dating: EastexToolJunky: Hand Tools: PM: Bench plane dating assistance: BZawat: Hand Tools: AM "Dating" a plane: wericha: Hand Tools: 2: AM: Question on dating. bigbo Hand Tools: 1: AM: Can you tell me about these saws? ironhead: Hand Tools: 6. 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 tiendakiteboarding.com
In the 's the company stopped production. Today the Disston name is associated with Blu-mol reciprocating saw blades and drill bits that are made in China. Another company called Disston Precision is an industrial saw manufacturer and machine shop that operates in some of the buildings erected by Disston and Sons in the Tacony factory site. Warranted Superior Medallions. Warranted Superior medallions are found on secondary lines manufactured by Disston and other major saw makers with other brand names on the etch.
Some smaller 19th century saw makers may have bought sawnuts and medallions from the bigger factories.
People also love these ideas
After or so the "small guys" were actually secondary lines of the "big guys. Harvey Peace is one example.
10 Best Japanese Hand Saws 2019
Most American saws from the 20th century, regardless of brand name, were made in the works of Disston, Atkins, Bishop, or Simonds. In the case of Disston, their replacement medallions were stamped Warranted Superior rather than "Disston. Brand loyalty in the U. The purpose of this section is to show that the earliest Disston saws had no medallions and to offer evidence of which medallions were first used when they appeared in the mid's. The earliest medallions appear on saws with features that also appear on saws with no medallions.
These are examples of the 's medallion used until the "one-son" medallion started to appear in The company changed its name to Disston and Sons in All medallions appearing after this point have domed-style nuts on the screws. 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.
Then just start off focusing on buying antique Disston saws. The Disston saws were manufactured by the millions and are the easiest to find, and most are of exceptional quality, especially the common models see below.
Here are some searches for wood saws. I use a lot of new hand saws, but I get really excited about antique hand saws. Finding and restoring antique hand saws can be extremely satisfying, affordable, and fairly simple when compared to other woodworking hand tools like hand planes.
I love the satisfaction I get from restoring neglected antique saws. Another pastime that is growing in popularity is making your own hand saw. Hand saw parts and templates are readily available for anyone who wants to learn this historical skill, and create the best custom fitting hand saws.
Tom currently teaches classes on building different types of wood saws at our woodworking school. He teaches one class on making an 18th century panel saw and another on making backsaws, where students can make a dovetail saw and a tenon saw of their own see his classes here. The hand saw building DVD was filmed to help even beginners build this lovely hand saw with very detailed step-by-step instructions and tutorials on how to use all the woodworking hand tools required for hand saw making.
You can buy the panel saw video here. Other woodworkers may have slightly different priorities and terminology, but this is from my perspective. Hand saws are mostly used for rough cutting a board to an approximate size. The ppi will usually be marked on the saw plate can you see the number 5 on the above saw plate?
A 4 ppi rip hand saw will remove more wood, but may be more difficult to cut. Most normal hand saws run from inches to inches long. If you can only afford one initial hand saw of this style, then get a rip saw. A rip saw can indeed make cross cuts cutting the board to length though it will require more cleaning up than if you use a cross cut hand saw read more below. But it is much more difficult to rip a long board with a cross-cut saw.
Rip saws are simple to sharpen and refurbish. I have a good number of rip hand saws from different saw makers, but mostly Disston saws. If you find multiple old hand saws for a good price, you can certainly sharpen and set them in different ways to make certain jobs easier. As mentioned above, their teeth are shaped like knives so they can cut cleanly across the wood fibers. Cross-cut saw teeth are more difficult to sharpen than rip saw teeth, but very possible I enjoy doing it.
Look for cross cut hand saws with ppi points per inch. But the shape of the tooth is the best identifier if you can inspect it in person. Thinner blades 0. I have tried a good number of different models of antique and new dovetail saws, and own quite a few for my traditional woodworking school.
I own quite a few antique back saws, and they are all pretty great hand saws, like this No. You can find links below to sources for good antique dovetail saws. Here are a few of the popular dovetail saws within that price range:. I own quite a few Lie-Nielsen back saws, including several modern Lie-Nielsen dovetail saws, and really like them. I get asked all the time for my opinion on the Veritas dovetail saws, since they are significantly less expensive.
I have owned several of them, and did some extensive comparison between them and the Lie-Nielsen dovetail saw. Lie-Nielsen vs. I find the saw plate to be too thick, and the tooth shape and sharpness to be inferior to some other saw brands. This makes the sawing a little harder and the kerf and accuracy slightly inferior. The last dovetail saw that I tested in my shop, and with many students in my woodworking school, is the dovetail saw made by Florip Toolworks.
I discovered Eric Florip after I wrote the article comparing Lie-Nielsen and Veritas dovetail saws, and the Florip dovetail saws have become a fan of his saws, both for the quality and price point.
Eric may have a longer lead time that Lie-Nielsen, which may be a factor for you if you want to get cutting wood ASAP. Also, some come with teeth that I find to be too small ppi. Thank you for your very good article! Excuse-me but I speack very bad english and prefer write in french.
I am an artist who has created works with antique saw handles. I really like the old tools and this is a nice way to pay tribute to our craftsmen.
We could organize an exhibition at your place? See you soon! I have been restoring antique furniture since and have found your information excellent. Many woodworkers think it is necessary to purchase woodworking tools that cost a lot of money and that will give them excellent results. That is not the case. If you purchase a quality tool it can be tuned to outstanding condition and it can give you all you need for excellent work.
Disston Etches and Name Stamps
Your information is a major asset to that end. Thank you for all your hard work. Thanks Bill deVries. Thanks for the compliment Bill! Yes, quite often you can get by with an affordable tool. How did you find this article? Nice article Joshua. Like you, I have a fondness for old tools and saws in particular.
Early on I needed a saw sharpened and sent it to Tom Law to be sharpened. Tom and I spoke and what started with me needing a sharp saw turned into a friendship and Tom as a mentor of sorts.
Often folks walk into my garage and see the dozens of handsaws hanging on the wall and ask, what are you going to do with all of those. Thanks for the comment Dave!
And yes, I understand the inflow and outflow of tools.
Gotta keep a fresh flow or the tool collection becomes stagnant. Where do you live? So, are the mid priced brands like Linx or Pax that you can buy via the internet to be avoided as well?