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Tools #4: Another Oldie But Goodie

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Blog entry by William posted 08-21-2012 12:52 AM 1151 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Happy Birthday To Me (Tool Gloat) Part 4 of Tools series Part 5: New Addition To The Band Saw Lineup »




A local woodworking friend we call Chips was recently cleaning up around his place and was going to haul some stuff off to the scrap yard. He thought of me when he ran across an old scroll saw though and remembered how much I drool anytime I can get my hands on them, especially when they are over twice my age. So he brought it to me.
This one didn’t require too much work to get up and running again. Basically, I just had to do some cleaning, throw on a fresh coat of paint, and adjust a mechanical part inside the gear box. Other than that, I only mounted a motor and marveled at how a sixty two year old saw could run so smoothly and cut so good.
It took some research, but based on the model number on the saw, this one was sold under the Dunlap name in 1950. As I was digging though, I also thought it was interesting reading up on the manufacturer of the saw. As some of you know, the tool name on old tools always are not the same as the tool maker. Some tool makers made tools that were sold under a variety of names. As for this particular saw, it was made by King-Seeley Corporation and the same saw was sold through the years under the names Dunlap, Companion, and Craftsman. It only has a twelve inch throat. I mounted it on one of my table mainly for a display piece. After getting it running though, I can see myself using this saw a bit. It is actually a quite nice running little saw.
The King-Seeley Corporation was located in Ann Harbor, Michigan. These saws, with the model number starting with 103, were made at the Central Specialty Division in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Central Specialty Division made their own tools from the early to mid 1930s until they were bought by King-Seeley in 1944. They kept producing though, but sold everything through King-Seeley. I found it interesting that this same producer, the Central Specialty Division, also made intake manifolds for the Hudson Motor Car Company and power steering pump bodies for Chrysler.
Everything was made under Central Specialty and King-Seeley until 1964, when it the whole operation was sold to the Emerson Electric Company of Paris, Tennessee.
I apologize for going on and on about this company that made a saw over sixty years ago. It is always fascinating to me though. You may notice, even though the patents and tooling changed hands through the years, it was all still made in the United States. I can’t help but think that this fact, and the pride in one’s work from all those years ago, is exactly why these antique saws run as good today as they did back then.

Thanks for the saw Chips.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/



16 comments so far

View Dave's profile

Dave

11177 posts in 1507 days


#1 posted 08-21-2012 01:33 AM

I love the little thing and the provenance is great as well William. That tells me you did you homework.One of the greatest things I love about the internet is the ability to look things up with great detail.
I am defiantly coming over to see the clock and give that little guy a try.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View William's profile

William

9073 posts in 1509 days


#2 posted 08-21-2012 01:41 AM

I forgot to mention that this is the first saw I’ve ran across that is this old that comes with blade clamps equipped to handle straight or pinned blades.

You’re welcome to try it out when you make a trip Dave. I haven’t used it much yet. I only took a few scrap pieces and made some test cuts. It is smooth cutting though. I also think it is the quietest scroll saw I have.
At current count, I own eight scroll saws. They are all electric though. One of these days I’m going to run across one of the real old ones that were human powered. They were factory built at different points in history with hand cranks, pedals, and treadles. The oldest powered scroll saw I’ve ever seen was a photo of a setup in France. It was from over three hundred years ago and it was a factory setting with ten saws hooked up with wooden linkage and was powered by horses or mules going round and round tied to a gear on a pole, sort of like some old style grist mills.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View Dave's profile

Dave

11177 posts in 1507 days


#3 posted 08-21-2012 01:45 AM

Now that’s cool. Real tools with real horse power.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are." http://chiselandforge.com

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10988 posts in 1357 days


#4 posted 08-21-2012 02:09 AM

That is a cool old saw and you did it proud. My father in law had a treadle powered one that his son claimed when he died :( My daughters have some toys that their grandfather sawed on it so I know it works.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Chips's profile

Chips

199 posts in 2379 days


#5 posted 08-21-2012 02:14 AM

You made that tool look good. I love the information you looked up on the saw. I hope it serves you well. John

-- Make every day the best day of your life. Chips, Mississippi

View William's profile

William

9073 posts in 1509 days


#6 posted 08-21-2012 02:26 AM

Thank you Chips. I’m glad you thought of me before this gem wound up as scrap metal.

gfadvm, I have seen plenty of photos, but have never laid eyes on one of the old treadle or peddle types in person. If I did, I’d probably give my left arm to own it.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10988 posts in 1357 days


#7 posted 08-21-2012 03:55 AM

I’ll try to get a pic for you but hang on to those body parts!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

13625 posts in 1342 days


#8 posted 08-21-2012 04:18 AM

William,
You & Chips did good. Saved a good tool & preserved some USA history!!! Well done.

Perhaps Dave will forge you a treadle table jig saw!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View William's profile

William

9073 posts in 1509 days


#9 posted 08-21-2012 11:43 AM

Thanks gfadvm. I like looking at photos of old scroll saws. There’s a guy named Rick Hutcheson who has an amazing collection. I’ll give you a link if you want to go look.

DIY, it is NOT a jig saw. I have to make that distinction for a reason.
When I first got into scrolling, I did not know yet that you pretty much have to get any scrolling supplies beyond basic crap blades off the internet. I set out looking for materials and supplies locally. I even drove to Jackson to a few places before I realized something very important. When you saw scroll saw, many people think you’re talking about a jig saw, the hand held reciprocating kind. It is extremely frustrating to drive a long ways to a store after calling, only to be led to the jig saws with a saleman who has a dumb look on his face while you’re trying to explain what you’re talking about.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View William's profile

William

9073 posts in 1509 days


#10 posted 08-21-2012 11:45 AM

Here is where you can view Rick Hutcheson’s collection. Down the left side menu, go to the fourth box down, the purple one where it says “scroll saw collection”. Click there and enjoy. The best way to enjoy them, in my opinion, is after you go to the collection page, just past the large photos of the warehouse where the links start, click the first one then keep using the next button at the bottom of each page to look through all of them.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View Roger's profile

Roger

14660 posts in 1471 days


#11 posted 08-21-2012 01:02 PM

That’s a beaut!

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1360 days


#12 posted 08-21-2012 01:28 PM

YES!!! Love it.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

13625 posts in 1342 days


#13 posted 08-21-2012 10:17 PM

Opps My bad!!!

Maybe it was my exhaustion or the beers that clouded my vocabulary!!! But you are right, it IS important to properly convey information!!!

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View William's profile

William

9073 posts in 1509 days


#14 posted 08-21-2012 11:44 PM

No harm done DIY.
Your comment just left me an opening to tell the story of how much problem it was to get local suppliers to understand the difference between jig saws and scroll saws.

-- http://wddsrfinewoodworks.blogspot.com/

View Kookaburra's profile

Kookaburra

748 posts in 891 days


#15 posted 08-22-2012 12:00 AM

I love the stories of the old tools and the companies that built them. I hope you are keeping a record of the histories you discover. Just think of how many posts we see here that start out “I don’t know much about where or when this was made . . . “

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

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