Disston 99

Discussion in 'Saw Pictures and Measurements' started by Dusty Shed Dweller, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. Dusty Shed Dweller

    Dusty Shed Dweller Most Valued Member

    Outlined here are the details of a Disston 99 Hand saw that completed recently.

    These are very rare and were supposedly Disston's super-premium model. The question that gets asked is "why" and hopefully this note will answer this question.

    It is one of the three-medallion models from the 1890's. It has lost an 1 1/2" along the journey and was in sad shape before a full resto to something akin to the original appearance.

    The plate is average in thickness (about 35 thou along the toothline) but is super hard. I've filed a lot of Disstons and this was exceeding tough to file, way harder than an ACME. Is the steel special ("extra refined warranted Disston London Spring") ?... there is a X under the handle which normally denotes such but without metallurgical analysis it is impossible to tell if is different to the usual offerings. The filed surfaces are very bright silver/white (akin to an Atkins) suggesting a very fine grained, high grade steel but the hardness of the plate, the degree of temper and tension and the very hard surface glaze (mirror polish) are certainly consistent with the specially selected and prepared blades mentioned in the catalogues. The tension is so high that hammering warps from the blade was only partially successfully.

    The handle is very comfortable but smaller than average for full-sized saw, but it is well balanced. The fasteners are a poor design as the bolt holes in the plate are very close to the edges. The handle received something like 7 repairs to return it to the current condition.

    It test cut wonderfully with practically no set and if you're looking for an equivalent straight-backed saw with a high grade plate and a let-in style handle then a Disston 16 is a close equivalent and much cheaper. Still, I won't be moving this one on in the foreseeable future.

    Attached Files:

  2. Scott M.

    Scott M. Active Member

    Hi Dusty,
    I'm new here and just came across your post. Nice saw! And a great job on the restoration. Looks good. I'm a bit jealous I've been looking for a 99 to add to my collection for quite a while now.