Carcass saw


Well-known member
I've decided I need a carcass saw, since I'm using the wrong one for all of my quick cross cuts (usually my dovetail saw. I have the 3 saws in the picture below. All are filed at about 14 tpi. The sandvick on top has what apears to be a good blade, but I'm not sure of the metal quality,  and the handle is poorly made. One of the Disston's is in good shape, and the others handle needs a little work, but otherwise is in good shape.

My main concern with the Disstons is that the blade is not shinny. I use the reflection in my dovtail saw for squaring up the cut.

So my plan is to polish one of the blades on the disston (sand paper, and buffing wheel). grind the teeth off, file flat and sharpen at 10 tpi.

Does this sound like a good plan? anything I should be aware of? comments? I've never sharpened from a flat edge, but as I only have $5.00 in each of these saws I'm will to try.


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I think you should purchase a new one from Tom at lie neilsen or Joel  at tools for working wood......Then sell me the two distons for 5.00 each.
Joe no problem, the saw is $5.00, shipping is $6.95, and handling is $137.00, (you can make the handling out directly to Tom)

If you want all three I can give you a discount on shipping!
Tim - don't do that (polish the plate, grind the teeth off, re-file and re-joint it) to the last saw in the group if its intrinsic value as an antique matters to you.  Doing so will convert it from about a $100 saw on the antiques market to about a $20 saw.

For the other two - there's little or no collector's value, so there's no damage to be done by restoring them.

But, it will take a lot of work to do what you're describing (hours and hours), and unless you've experience in shaping, filing and setting saw teeth, you'll not know if you've got it right at the end.  That's why it would be a very good idea to purchase one new premium saw from Lie-Nielsen, Lee Valley, Adria, Wenzloff and Sons, Bad Axe Toolworks, etc... and use it for a little while before you undertake this project.  Doing so will give you a very good idea about standards of performance.
Since the discussion mentioned the "Antiques Market", it reminded me to mention that for the first time ever, the CW conference ( 1st session) commences during the annual tool show held by the Richmond Antique Tool Society,(RATS) on Jan 21,22. This is one of the best tool shows for buying user tools so if travel plans permit, its essential to attend. There are better shows for high end collectibles. I'm sure similar saws in this posting and everything on Jeff's list in the related posting could be purchased, except his lovely bench.

I would expect the saws would be in the $20-40 range, if they are marked Disston and Son's but more if earlier vintage. Saturday has a greater selection but deals are better on Sunday. I will post more details mid January.

Even though I don't like to tell anyone what to do with their tools, I wouldn't convert that sweet saw to 10 TPI. You got these so cheap you should help the economy and buy an expensive 10 TPI saw!

John Davis
I wouldn't consider myself a collector, but I do seem to have a large collection of tools. And if I could get $100 for one of those saws, I would do that and buy a new one. Does anyone know of a link or what to look for to check their value. The way I see it I would just be saving time by doing that, and probably getting a better end product.

You can get a pretty good idea of market value of saws from Ebay.  Search on completed items.  You could probably also find yourself the carcase saw you want, with the PPI you want for less than $75 on Ebay.  If you paid attention for two to three weeks, the saw you want will come up.  

Retoothing a saw is a lot of work and time.  To test whether you want to go through with it, take a cabinet scraper, card type or a scrap of saw steel and file three to four inches worth of teeth into it.  This will tell you what you want to know, and you'll have a small saw, with no set if you like, that can be a useful tool.

And while you're looking at saws on Ebay, look what some folks are paying for reconditioned saws by a guy called Azmica90405.  His sharpening blurb is long, detailed, and very interesting.

Tim - My comment about the last saw pictured has to do with its age.  Because the tote was hand-shaped and based on the form and shape of the maker's mark, it's likely pre 1917.  These go for about $100 on retail tool seller's lists, assuming the tote has no damage, the saw plate is straight, and it's not been heavily pitted. 

What you can get for a saw on e-bay very heavily depends on what time of year you're selling it (summer's the worst, generally), how clear the photographs are, and how well described the saw is.  These factors tend to establish value range for a given age, type and maker.  Obviously, if your Disston is an early saw, it will go for a bit more than an 1896-1917 saw.  The ones that are typically the most valuable are the so-called "eagle" mark disstons, that have an image of an eagle cast into the medallion rather than the keystone shape.  You can date the saw based on the form and the medallion in the handle - check out The Disstonian Institute.
Thanks for the tips, espcially the distton institute, I didn't know what I had or what to look for, so I didn't know how to compare the prices. So I did a little research (on ebay) and based on the condition of the saws and thier age and condition I think I could get about $100 for all 3. So I'll go that route since it would only be a little more for a new one.

I have been watching ebay for awhile, but when I see a decent saw in the configuration I want they seem to go for about the price of a new saw. I am more interested in making things, rather than collecting tools. So for $150 I'd rather buy a new saw.