Question About Disston Saw

Hi,
I have an 8 ppi Disston crosscut saw that I inherited from my grandfather. Out of curiousity, I've been trying to find out more about it.
The etching on the blade is very faint, but it looks like it says "Townsman". I haven't been able to find anything matching this on any of the old tool sites I've looked at.
Can anyone tell me anything?
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http://www.vintagesaws.com/ sales and info, you can possibly find a value http://www.disstonianinstitute.com/ All about Disston history
I found a very old pre-1920 Disston D-23 recently in a thrift shop for less than $5, all teeth there, with a "less than" handle on it, then right away got a used full condition matching handle on eBay. These saws can go for a lot of money as you may see on the first link. But they are also fine user saws, which I hope will be of a higher value for you, considering it came through family of original ownership.
Alex
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On Tue, 07 Sep 2004 12:17:37 -0700, matthew_r_blanchette wrote:

    You won't. The "Townsman" is not a "classic" Disston, such as collectors covet. Our Townsmans (Townsmen? I have one too.) were made after Disston sold out. If the button says "Disston USA", it's a user, not a collector. Give it a good set and sharpening, and go to town.
    With the 8 tpi, you can file it as a combination rip/crosscut, if you only have or want one saw. FWIW, I tried that and didn't like it. I refiled mine to a very aggressive crosscut, and got another late-model Disston 5 tpi rip.
    Have fun.
--
"Keep your ass behind you"


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Thank you both. I've been using it for years, and plan to keep doing so. My next step is to teach myself to sharpen it. But I was curious about the history behind it, and it was good to learn. Thanks again.
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sharpening it myself, which led me to the collector sites, which made me curious....
Anyway, thanks for the info.
I have one other question. At some point, the handle was finished with some sort of varnish, which was cracked by the time I got it, so I sanded it off. Would you recommend putting some other finish on, or leaving it alone?
Again, I'm looking for durability and ease of use, not "collectability". Although I wouldn't mind hearing "Hey, nice saw." :-)
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On Wed, 08 Sep 2004 09:33:06 -0700, matthew_r_blanchette wrote:

Mine was showing its age, too. It's my saw, to fit my hand, and it'll never go to eBay in my lifetime. I sanded it a bit and slapped on some poly.
--
"Keep your ass behind you"


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On 8 Sep 2004 09:33:06 -0700, matthew_r snipped-for-privacy@fleet.com wrote:
<snip>

Not "recommending" one way or the other, but what I did with my old Disston handles was sand them down good which had the advantage of not only taking off the old finish but also seems to make them feel even softer and better in the hand. Then, I soaked them overnight in BLO - handle and BLO in a large freezer bag with the air pressed out. Wiped them down, let 'em sit for a while, rubbed them down again, replaced them on the saw. Looks fine and feels great in the hand.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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On Wed, 08 Sep 2004 21:40:52 +0000, Tom Veatch wrote:

Nice method. How does the BLO handle sweat?
--
"Keep your ass behind you"


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On Wed, 08 Sep 2004 20:24:48 -0500, Australopithecus scobis

My palms don't sweat that much with exertion. They usually don't start getting sweaty until SWMBO starts suspecting I'm having an affair with the UPS delivery lady.
I was using one of them today (the saw, not the delivery lady) for some 6x6 and 4x4 joinery work for SWMBO's gazebo. Sweat was dripping off the bill of my cap, but it didn't seem to phase (faze?) the saw handle. In fact, seems like the more the handle is handled, the better it looks.
Tom Veatch Wichita, KS USA
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wrote:

How about acetone instead of BLO?
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On Thu, 09 Sep 2004 06:46:26 -0700, matthew_r_blanchette wrote:

Say what? Acetone would remove residual finish, then it would evaporate. "BLO" means Boiled Linseed Oil. BLO is a curing oil finish. Flexner doesn't like it much. I like it for tool handles, lately. It doesn't prevent moisture from moving in and out of the wood. It does give a nice finish for handles. If I were to refinish my Townsman's handle today, I would use BLO instead of poly.
Were you suggesting simply removing all old finish and leaving bare wood? Feels nice, but gets grubby.
For collector-grade tools, shellac is better; it can be removed easily with alcohol. I use shellac on many of the tools I make, and BLO for the rest. I don't use lacquer because I don't have a respirator.
--
"Keep your ass behind you"


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way it feels. But, I'm also looking to prevent future grubbiness if at all possible.
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IIRC, the Lie Nielson saws have an oil finish on their handles . One thing about oil, you can follow with poly as you might desire.

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Why, please tell me, would I want to put poly on a handsaw handle?
Or more correctly asked, why would YOU want to put poly on a handsaw handle?
Patriarch, not really wanting that to sound as argumentative as it seems to be in 10pt monospace Courier...
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Never in your life nor mine would I put poly on a saw handle. :-)
I was trying to make the point that if after applying blo to a saw handle, you didn't like the results, you could put some other finish on it over the blo.
I apply wax to my Lie Nielson handles when they seem to need something. I have a cherry handle on an old Disston back saw that I made myself (the handle, not the saw) that has nothing on it. All this discussion has me thinking about cleaning up the handle on a 1940's Crafstman handsaw that was my Dad's. It is a 10 point saw filed to a rip profile, really sweet. As Taj Frid would have told us, it does quite well for crosscuts as well as rip cuts. I have his 10 point Disston cross cut saw that is the same vintage. Both saws are a pleasure to use.
"patriarch snipped-for-privacy@nospam.comcastDOTnet>" <<patriarch> wrote in message

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Patriarch, who reacted with horror at the thought of poly and Lie Nielsen in the same sentence.
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On Fri, 10 Sep 2004 05:02:21 +0000, wrote:

_I_ did it because I didn't know any better! That answer your question? :)
--
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And, as my mother would have said, "Well. I guess that's how we learn."
Nobody bled, right?
Patriarch, who's glad that Google keeps some of these lessons for future reference...
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