Treasures from the rust: Civil War vintage Disston 12 handsaw.


Vern Burke, SwiftWater Edge Tool Works
Biddeford, Maine

This week’s treasure found under the rust in a pile of random saws is a Civil War vintage Disston No. 12 handsaw. 24″ long and 10 tpi crosscut. According to the etch, this is a “refined London spring steel” blade.

Antique Disston No. 12 handsaw

This saw has a gorgeous, intricately carved handle with the domed screws that identify it as an 1860s-1870s saw. The handle is intact with just a slight bit of deterioration on the upper horn.

Antique Disston No. 12 saw handle

Surprisingly, minor cleaning of the blade reveals a bold and complete etch! Not bad at all for 150 years! The “one son” etch narrows the date of this saw to 1865 to 1871.

Antique Disston No. 12 saw etch

For a handsaw this old, it’s a wonder this No. 12 survived in this kind of condition. A little TLC and this saw will be something special!

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