The Disston MashUp — No. 76 “Centennial”

The Disston No. 76 “Centennial” handsaw was introduced in 1876. Although it isn’t super rare, I’ve only come across one in my travels, hitting a good deal of markets and barns alike.

So what’s the deal with this mash-up? As you might imagine, it was released to celebrate the Centennial and rather than a new design, Henry took some features from the current line to create a one-off limited run.

The tell-tale skewed backplate is from the D8 or the short lived No. 80 Choice. The handle is from the larger 28” No. 7 cut from apple rather than beechwood. The larger 28” No. 7’s used a rounded top hook along with a larger recessed handle that accommodated a two-handed grip for rip cuts. The lower placement of the label screw is borrowed from the new No. 16.

I was interested to see if it would feel more like a 7 or 8 when cutting and agree with Disstonian. The plate shape is much like the D8; however the hand position is farther behind the cutting edge like the No. 7’s. This made it feel more like a No. 7 than a D8. I’m 5’8” so a 28” saw is a bit more then I would tempt to use but it tracked well and I was very happy with it. Most of the references I could find were for rip saws and I think it was only offered in the larger sized handle.

The one I sharpened and sold was early in the run before the Glover patent was used. The No. 76 was produced till the 1920s and like most Disston saws the later model handles may have switched wood and made the hand shape slightly boxier.

That’s it for now. Have a good Holiday and please check out my ebay site for other interesting saws. I try not to push sales here but Papi’s got bills!

Joe Federici
Purveyor of saw goodness