Disston #8 Half Back Saw


Here is an early, pristine example of a very rare Disston saw. The #8 was intended to bridge a gap between a back saw and a hand saw. The small brass spine was designed to stiffen the back more than an ordinary panel saw, but at the same time allow the saw to be used like an ordinary panel saw--the best of both worlds. There is something extremely captivating about this saw. They were originally introduced somewhere in the early 1860s, and made continuously until the early 1920s. One would think that with such a long span of production, that they would be very common. Nothing could be further from the truth, they are very rare and hard to find in any condition. The fact that they show up so rarely would suggest that they were not well received by the market. They were most likely perceived as a "gimmick" saw by their intended market. They were sold in 14", 16", 18" and 20" lengths. Most had crosscut style teeth. The saw shown is a 14" model. Brass back with apple handle and three split nut screws. Circa 1865.

A closeup of the ornate handle...

Note the intricate detail on the spine and medallion. The "Henry Disston" imprint is only 1/16" high!