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Scandinavian Hand Tools with Kim Malmberg


The 75th Anniversary Disston D115 Jubilee Saw by Kim Malmberg

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Daryl Weir's recent post of his Disston D115 Victory saw got me inspired to post my own version of this anniversary saw.

As Daryl points out, the skewback saws are the older ones, and according to Erik von Sneidern my own Diamond Jubilee version was made for a year or so, dating it to about 1915.

A couple of years ago I was probably the luckiest I have ever been during my four year long career as a prolific rust hunter. For less than 70 euro I bought a Disston no 12, a Disston no 7 and a almost unused Disston D115 Jubilee saw in the same transaction.

Love at first sight

All three saws came in the same batch and had been owned by a carpenter in Närpes in Finland. I have a strong belief that the three saws were bought in the US, at the same time and were brought to Finland either by the carpenter himself or by relatives.

The no. 12 and no. 7 have since been restored and sold, but the D115 is not a saw I am ready to part with.

I have handled hundreds of saws during the years and I have become increasingly comfortable with both the restoration process and the sharpening. But even to this day I have slightly mixed feelings regarding the Disston Jubilee saw.

It is by far the most uncommon saw I have ever owned. It is also the best preserved saw I have dealt with. And knowing it is a valuable saw still gives me a feeling of slight discomfort.

I normally treat every other saw in my shop the same way. I clean them, I set them up for various tasks and I use them. If I accidentally kink or damage them I will accept it and move on. But this one. I just fear breaking it. And knowing I could finance a lot of hand tools if I decided to sell this one, makes me extra cautious.

The Jubilee saw is not perfect. It does have scuffs on the handle and having spent a long time idling in a shed, corrosion has already marked the plate with a few spots of black rust.

But still. This saw had not been filed once when I got it. And it was still sharpish. I have a feeling that the carpenter in Närpes could have been just as much impressed by the appearance of this saw as I am.

The plate is dead straight, the polished steel is so shiny that taking photos of this saw is very difficult. No matter what light or angle it will always reflect something. So, although I don't normally struggle with realistically presenting a hand tool in photographs, this saw is best enjoyed live.

Gotcha. Yours truly being caught in the action.

But what's so special about this saw? After all it is no more than an almost exact copy of a Disston D8 with a saw plate made of higher quality steel and a wheat carved handle made of rosewood.

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