Jackson -- but not that one

Discussion in 'Forum: Saw Identification and Discussion' started by summerfi, Jul 10, 2019.

  1. summerfi

    summerfi Most Valued Member

    I seem to be on a roll lately of finding saws with Cuban mahogany handles. This Jackson 12" backsaw is the third in the last month. Jackson, of course, was a secondary brand of Disston. But the brass back and mahogany handle on this saw doesn't say "secondary brand" to me. It also appears older than the 1860 date when Disston is said to have started his Jackson line.

    Phil Baker published an article on Jackson-labeled saws in the December 2012 issue of The Gristmill. In that article, he shows a few backsaws that appear similar or identical to my saw, including the mahogany handles. He dates these saws in the 1840s and attributes them to William Jackson of Monroe, New York. That article, as well as the whole issue of who made Jackson-labeled saws, is controversial as evidenced by this backsaw.net thread from 2016.

    I may never know with certainty who made my saw, but it was a nice saw at an earlier time. It will go in the repair queue along side the two mahogany-handled Taylor Brothers saws I recently posted. With a little work next winter, perhaps it will be a nice saw again.

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  2. Scott M.

    Scott M. Member

    Hi Bob,
    Interesting saw. Did you pick that saw off eBay? There was one on there recently that looked just like yours and I almost placed a bid on because I am aware of the Jackson debate as well, and it looked early to me too. To be honest the condition kind of scared me away for I was saving my coin to place a large bid on another saw I was drooling over.
    At any rate, nice snag! I'm sure it will look great restored. It's also nice to know there are people out there still digging and researching.
    Take care and happy hunting,
  3. summerfi

    summerfi Most Valued Member

    Hi Scott,
    Yes, this is an eBay saw. I made an offer and was fortunate that it was accepted. I know what you mean about drool-worthy saws. There are very few saws available to me locally, so eBay is one of my few options. The prices have increased in recent years as more people have become interested in old saws. I let many desirable saws go because the bid prices go so high. It's nice to pick one up occasionally.

  4. Underthedirt

    Underthedirt Most Valued Member

    Wow, I've never seen a brass backed Jackson or one with a handle other than Beech, top of the secondary line huh? Nice!


  5. Dusty Shed Dweller

    Dusty Shed Dweller Most Valued Member

    I know Jackson's are a touchy subject, and early Disston's varied tremendously in style as they were individually made by hand and not mass produced to a pattern, but that looks unlike anything I've seen from Disston As a notorious tighter$e I couldn't imagine Henry using anything other utilitarian hardwood - he would have eschewed anything that ate into his profit margin.
  6. summerfi

    summerfi Most Valued Member

    Mari and Dusty,
    I'm pretty sure this saw wasn't made by Disston. I lean towards believing it was made by William Jackson of Monroe, NY, but there is no way of really knowing. Perhaps at some point in the future more light will be shed on these mystery Jackson saws.

  7. David

    David Most Valued Member

    Here are a couple of 1840's Disston handles that look similar to your Jackson, although I know they're not mahogany. And also a brass backed mahogany handled triple cove Jackson. Triple coves are native to the Philadelphia makers, I believe, so it's hard for me to imagine that a maker in a small New York town was making them on his own. But then, as I guess is obvious from my comments, I'm still a believer that it was Henry Disston who made these Jackson-marked saws.
    It's an interesting discussion, but ultimately we'll need some kind of proof to settle it.

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