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Thread: Uncommon/rare Combination Saw Found

  1. #1
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    Uncommon/rare Combination Saw Found

    Flashback:

    A year ago I was at a garage/tool sale in the country around my in-laws' house. I bought about a dozen hand saws for $15. I was very happy with this, as there were some old Disstons, Atkins, and Peace that were worth refurbishing into "user" condition. Of course, I knew I wouldn't get around to cleaning them up/sharpening them for a while, and I put them in a box.

    Present Day:

    I have been going through a major shop reorganization, and I decided I would go through the pile of handsaws I have laying around. Gleefully distracted from the work that actually needs to get done, I brought each saw into the light to see what I actually have. After being pleased with the usual "cool" old saws I ran across one that I had never seen before. Not only that, but it didn't even have a "brand medallion" in the handle like most old saws. Hm. So I examined it even closer, and there it was stamped on the brass shoulder strips on the from of the handle: Hiram Smith, Patent May 18, 1858. I immediately got excited, and after a bit of searching online I could only find one article with that name. As it turns out, I had myself an old combination saw!

    The saw is designed with a straight edged spine, engraved with a ruler. The handle has brass strips on the leading edge, and it's attached at 90 degrees to the spine of the blade so it can be used as a square. Also, there was originally a scratch awl housed in the top of the handle, now missing. There is a number 3 stamped on the blade. The poor thing is in rough shape, but I still can't help but be excited about stumbling upon such a cool old saw!!

    - Hutch

    BTW, does anyone know of an online resource for learning more about this maker/saw? Thanks!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 1.jpg   2.jpg   3.jpg   4.jpg   5.jpg  

    6.jpg   7.jpg   8.jpg  

  2. #2
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    No idea but it is a cool looking saw.

    I wonder what the purpose of the brass strips was intended to be - keep you from dinging the handle maybe?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Mooney View Post
    No idea but it is a cool looking saw.

    I wonder what the purpose of the brass strips was intended to be - keep you from dinging the handle maybe?
    "The saw is designed with a straight edged spine, engraved with a ruler. The handle has brass strips on the leading edge, and it's attached at 90 degrees to the spine of the blade so it can be used as a square."
    "Forget the flat stuff slap something on the spinny thing and lets go, we're burning daylight" Bart Leetch
    "If it ain't round you may be a knuckle dragger""Turners drag their nuckles too, they just do it at a higher RPM"Bart

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bart Leetch View Post
    "The saw is designed with a straight edged spine, engraved with a ruler. The handle has brass strips on the leading edge, and it's attached at 90 degrees to the spine of the blade so it can be used as a square."
    Well there yah go, reading comprehension 101 - thanks Bart Clever idea for sure.

  5. #5
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    Super cool is right. The scratch awl should not be hard to replicate. Enjoy.
    "Folks is funny critters."

    Think for yourselves and let others enjoy the privilege to do so, too. ~Voltaire

  6. #6
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    That is a cool saw, I can see that being handy for someone that would have been doing a lot of hand sawing. I recall my dad always starting houses using one as the temporary electrical service was always a few days late getting connected.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  7. #7
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    I'm sure you've found this, but here's the patent: http://www.google.com/patents/US20313

    According to "Journal of the Franklin Institute, Volume 66" "Hiram Smith, of Camden, N. J.," was the assignee but the patent was "granted" to Disston: http://tinyurl.com/qfmnj5r (pages 116/117). So it looks like the saw was actually manufactured by Disston

    This page talks about the preceding patent by Gorham and some of the follow on work: http://takeadip.tripod.com/id13.html

    Wk Fine Tools has a link to a nicer format of the patent and some of the other related patents: http://www.wkfinetools.com/hUS-saws/...ents-Index.asp

    Finally now knowing it was probably a Disston made saw I jumped over to disstonian institute page and it looks like it was also made as a Disston #29 (or the 29 is really close to it anyway) http://www.disstonianinstitute.com/43page.html I was going to say the 38, but the nut pattern matches the 28 closer.

    Jim Bode sold a 43 with the scribe intact, has a nice picture of the scribe: http://www.jimbodetools.com/Phenomen...aw-p18492.html

    This guy has a nice collection: http://www.takeadiptools.com/page30.php

    The "Disston Lumbermans Handbook" references the 43, but only briefly and not in a very interesting way (this version: https://archive.org/details/disstonlumberman00henrrich not this version: https://archive.org/details/disstonlumberman00henr ).

    That's all I have, certainly an interesting piece and probably of some value even without the scribe. Thanks for sharing!

  8. #8
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    Nice saw Matt good to see you pop in. Just getting set to sharpen some old saws I have myself. Planned as a winter project.

    Sent from my SGH-I337M using Tapatalk
    cheers

  9. #9
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    Before attempting to sharpen or clean it, I would suggest you to find out wether it has some value for collectors, maybe you hit the jack pot with it.
    Best regards,
    Toni

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________
    web site:http://www.toniciuraneta.com
    I also dream of a shop with north light where my hands can be busy, my soul rest and my mind wander...

  10. #10
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    Thanks all, especially Ryan for all the links.

    Yeah, it's still a mystery wrapped in an enigma. I have continued to search online for as much info on the saw as possible. There is nothing, I mean nothing (as yet), for this particular style of saw from this early in its production.

    I couldn't resist working on it a bit to see if I could get clarity as to the date. So today I placed part of the blade in some vinegar for a few hours to break down the surface rust, and then I wiped it away with #0000 steel wool. I didn't touch it with sandpaper, and I was hoping this would be enough to find an etching or stamp on the blade.

    The number 3 I saw stamped on the one side is actually the number 23, as in 23 inches. That side of the saw is numbered 1-23 starting at the tip, while the other side is numbered from the handle to the tip. Also, I could see parts of the full ruler, meaning the line parallel to the back edge. As shown in these later models. http://www.disstonianinstitute.com/4...o38cat1911.jpg

    After searching and searching for an etching in the middle of the blade I finally found some numbers stamped there...I think. It doesn't appear to be etched. Whether etched or stamped, the mystery seems to deepen. There is what appears to be a "2" followed by what looks like a "1", a space, and then possibly a "3" or "8". I have been looking for as many Disston saw stamps/etchings as a can and none seem to contain any small sized numbers. Typically there are the LARGE saw model numbers in the etching, but these are not the same. These are less than 1/8" tall and about 1/16" wide.

    Right now I am not sure what to do, but I am really tempted to light use 2000 grit wet sandpaper in the area in question. I won't for now, but man do I want to see what it says.

    - Hutch
    Last edited by Matt Hutchinson; 10-29-2015 at 09:55 PM.

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