Monday, December 14, 2015

We used to make things in this country. #220: Disston Canada, Halton Hills, Ontario






According to The Disstonian Institute, Henry Disston & Sons, Ltd. made saws in Canada from 1910 until the 1950's, allowing the company to avoid a tariff on saws sold in the British Commonwealth.  Their main factory was in Toronto.  According to another source, their first factory was on Adelaide Street East in 1905, and then a larger premises at 2-20 Fraser Avenue in 1909 where the company produced the same saws and machine knives as its parent Philadelphia plant.

However, the saw above gives Halton Hills (Acton) as a factory location.  As Halton Hills was not established until 1974 through the amalgamation of the former Towns of Georgetown and Acton, it would appear that Disston's presence in Canada continued for several decades after the 1950's.  

Disston was purchased by H.K. Porter in 1955, and the coping saw package below demonstrates that Disston had a facility in Acton at least that far back.



Below, a Disston Canada No. 388 hacksaw:






2 comments:

Nicholas Vaters said...

looking for parts for one of these with a black finish my grandfathers old hacsaw, I jacked it up I wanna fix my screwup. I'm in NL canada, any ideas were i could find them. namely i need the front bolt or wtvr it's called and wing nut. are these things universal or what? looks to me one for craftsman or Stanley would work too. I'd prefer the more solid one if possible. I just don't wanna pay some ridiculous price for it. I'm dirt poor.

The Duke said...

The front attachment gets lost all of the time from hacksaws. Without a blade in place, it's not captive so it falls out. I've posted a pic above of the one on my Disston hacksaw. One from another hacksaw might fit. The crucial part is the size of the square section of the bolt that fits through the squared hole in the frame. On mine, it's 5/16". Too small, and it won't hold the blade secure and steady in the frame. You could also make one from a piece of 5/16" square mild steel. You'll need it 2-1/4" long. Round off the edges for a length of 7/8" on one end so that you can thread it with a 3/8-16 die. When that's done, just use a wing nut of that size. The other end needs to be shaped with a file to the profile shown above. The pin should be made from 1/8" drill rod. If you make this 1/2" long, you'll have about 1/4" protruding to hold the hacksaw blade. Hope that helps.