[The following is text copied from a Disston publication:
The Saw, How to Choose it and How to Keep it in Order ©1890.]



All goods bearing the name Henry Disston & Sons are fully warranted, and we guarantee a better article at the same price than any other house in the world.



How to Choose it and
How to Keep it in Order.

Being a series of Practical Hints to Mechanics



The writer of these pages spent over forty years in the earnest endeavor to improve that useful, nay indispensable tool, the Saw. The vigorous and almost fabulous growth of his reputation, and the brilliant success which has ultimately crowned his efforts, sufficiently attest the intrinsic value of his manufactures, and also the estimation in which they are held by a discerning and appreciative public. A man who has made a reputation for his goods, knows its value as well as its con, and will always guard, defend and maintain it under all and every circumstance.

In selecting a saw, it is best to get one with a name on it, which has some reputation. If a man desires to purchase a first-class watch, he selects a maker who has attained a reputation. This remark applies with equal force in the choice of a saw, or any other tool.

The first point to be observed in the selection of a saw, is to see that it "hangs" right. Grasp it by the handle and hold it in position for working. Then try if the handle fits the hand properly. These are points of great importance for comfort and utility. A handle should be symmetrical, and the lines as perfect as any drawing. Many handles are made of green wood; they soon shrink and become loose, the screws standing above the wood. We season our handle wood three years before using. An unseasoned handle is liable to warp and throw the saw out of shape. The next thing in order is to try the blade by springing it. Then see that it bends regularly and evenly from point to butt in proportion as the width and gauge of the saw varies. If the blade is too heavy in comparison to the teeth, the saw will never give satisfaction, because it will require more labor to use it. The thinner you can get a stiff saw the better. It makes less kerf, and takes less muscle to drive it. This principle applies to the well-ground saw. There is less friction on a narrow true saw than on a wide one. You will get a smaller portion of blade, but you will save much unnecessary labor at a very little loss of the width of the blade.

See that it is well set and sharpened, and has a good crowning breast; place it at a distance from you and get a proper light to strike on it; you can then see if there is any imperfection in grinding or hammering. "We should invariably make a cut before purchasing a saw, even if we had to carry a board to the hardware store." We set our saws on a stake or small anvil with one blow of a hammer. A highly tempered saw takes three or four blows of a hammer, as it is apt to break by attempting to set it with only one blow. This is a severe test, and no tooth ought to break afterwards in setting, nor will it if the mechanic adopts the proper method. The saw that is easily filed and set is easily made dull. We have frequent complaints about hard saws, but they are not as hard as we would make them if we dared; but we shall never be able to introduce a harder saw until the mechanic is educated to a more correct method of setting it. As a rule saws are set more than is necessary, and if more attention was paid to keeping points of the teeth well sharpened, any well-made saw would run with very little set, and there would be fewer broken ones. The principal point is that too many try to get part of the set out of the body of the plate, when the whole of the set should be on the tooth. Setting below the root of the tooth distorts and strains the saw-plate. This may cause a full-tempered cast-steel blade to crack, and eventually break at this spot; but it is always an injury even if it does not crack or break.


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