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Skil 127 Restoration Inquiry

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Forum topic by BreeStephany posted 06-01-2012 02:28 PM 3652 views 2 times favorited 35 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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BreeStephany

29 posts in 842 days


06-01-2012 02:28 PM

I just purchased a 1948 Skil 127 20A 12” worm drive beam saw, which I am currently in the process of stripping down and getting ready for powder coating, and then plan on doing a complete restoration on it.

The saw takes a 11 5/8” blade with a standard diamond arbor, so needless to say, its definitely not something that one can find on the shelves at ANY store, however, I was wondering if anyone might know of a source that fabricates custom sized carbide blades for a decent price ($100 – $150 / blade is a bit high in my book, but considering it might have to be fabricated, what I consider a decent price)

I was also wondering if anyone had any experience working on these saws. This is my first restoration of an older Skil saw, especially of this size, however, I’ve done quite a few vintage power tool restorations, so I have a decent idea of what I’m doing.

Given the fact that the saw is over 64 years old, I have been lucky to find replacements for most of the important parts (bearings, bearing seals, brush caps & brushes) and have been able to fabricate all the gaskets, however, I was wondering if anyone might know of a source for the worm gear (mine looks to be in amazing shape considering how VERY used the saw looked when I purchased it), or if this is something I’ll have to send to a machine shop to get fabricated. The gear doesn’t need replacement at the moment, but if replacements are non existent, its probably best to take measurements now while its still in good shape and while I’ve got it apart.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

-- Just a girl with way too many tools.


35 replies so far

View ericjo's profile

ericjo

2 posts in 840 days


#1 posted 06-03-2012 06:35 PM

I have been having the same trouble with my 127. I have been trying to find a 12 inch diamond blade. I have been cutting stone with the saw. I ended up cutting off the safety shoe ( I know that is bad). Now I can get a 12 inch blade in it. I called an American saw blade manufacturer who said they buy their blanks with the whole in place (again for a diamond blade). I just took a 12 inch blade to a machine shop who is going to cut the diamond knock out in a one inch whole. I will see how this works, since the center will be missing some metal around the whole.

How did you get the saw apart? My inner bearing is starting to make some noise and I want to get in there and replace it. I was afraid of damaging anything other than the guard. The three screws are now accessible on the blade side.

Also did you find any parts diagrams anywhere and what is your source for the parts you did get. Do you have a source for the age and serial numbers?

Good luck, I love mine and have already cut a lot of limestone with it. It is worth every penny I paid for it and I have been looking for a second one. I just found a 117 groover that I bought also.

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a1Jim

112104 posts in 2233 days


#2 posted 06-03-2012 06:44 PM

I would check with you local saw shop and if they can grind down a 12” blade and if they can’t do it check with a larger cities saw shop. Most custom blades start at about $250 you can also check out E bay and craigslist list to see if you can buy one that needs sharpening.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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Beginningwoodworker

13341 posts in 2329 days


#3 posted 06-03-2012 06:58 PM

Sounds like fun, I would like to see a picture of that one.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

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bandit571

6978 posts in 1340 days


#4 posted 06-03-2012 07:04 PM

Is it Forrest that makes custom order blades? I thought they did at one time. I think you can order different arbor sizes from them. I’d also gave freud a call/e-mail.

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

View BreeStephany's profile

BreeStephany

29 posts in 842 days


#5 posted 06-03-2012 11:30 PM

Ericjo, to take the saw apart, you first remove the brushes so you don’t damage them, then you remove the large nut at the front of the saw. This nut holds the front bearing. Once you remove the front bearing cap, you will need to remove the four large screws on the motor housing. Once you remove the screws, slowly crack the case open. This may take a bit of force to remove the bearing from the back of the motor housing. Take caution to remove the housing so as not to damage the coil or armature. Once the housing is removed, you will need to grip the armature with your hand while using a socket to remove the front bearing retention nut. Once the nut is removed, use a large bearing separator between the gear housing and the fan blade to slowly back out the shaft, at which time the front bearing should slide off. Slowly pull the shaft out until you can reach the bearing retention screws on under the fan blade. Once you remove these screws, you can slowly maneuver the bearing, shaft seal, bearing retention plate and spiral gear from out of the gear housing. Once you remove the the shaft, you can use a micro bearing puller to remove the bearing, oil seal and spiral gear.

To disassemble the blade drive shaft, remove the upper blade guard, the blade retention screw and blade washer. To remove the other side of of the blade washer, you take a micro bearing puller to remove the washer from the shaft spline. Once this is removed, you must remove the lower blade guard. To remove this, you will need to remove the three screws under the guard (I note the notch and the hole in the guard which give you access to the screws below ). Once these screws are removed, the blade guard will slide out.

Once you remove the guard, remove the threw screws on the triangular bearing cover on the other side of the gear housing. Gently pry this cover off and remove the blade shaft. Once the blade shaft is removed, you will gain access to the bearing retention plate on the guard size of the housing. After you have this disassembled, you can use a micro bearing puller to remove the bearing from the shaft.

Once you have the saw disassembled, put the gear housing in a solvent bath to remove all old oil, grease and any contamination that may be within the case. If the oil window does not come clean, remove the retention nut to remove the glass for polishing.

The bearings andcan brushes can be purchased through Eurton Electric online. The shaft seals can be purchased at most bearing supply shops. The gaskets for the most part need to be fabricated out of neoprene gasket material. Use care when working with the worm drive gears, as they are obsolete and have no replacement other than to have them fabricated at a machine shop.

If you need the parts diagram, please email me and I will send you a copy of the complete parts diagram. If you have any more questions, feel free to message me.

-- Just a girl with way too many tools.

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waho6o9

4932 posts in 1233 days


#6 posted 06-04-2012 12:36 AM

View BreeStephany's profile

BreeStephany

29 posts in 842 days


#7 posted 06-04-2012 05:37 AM

As for the blade, the Freud P412 is part of Freud’s industrial line, and thus is based off a 300mm format, rather than the true 12” format. I spoke with a local saw shop that is willing to grind the carbides on it 3/32”, dropping the blade down to a true 11 5/8”. They are also going to tack in a 1 – 5/8” reducer and grind out the diamond pattern so that it will fit the saw correctly. All of their grinding is done under fluid, so it won’t damage the carbides, and the best part, they are going to do the complete sharpening and modification for $45.00.

Granted, its still roughly a $145.00 for a blade, but as long as a person don’t use it on lumber that might contain metal or stones, the blade should last for quite some time.

Now for age. The Skil 127 was manufactured from 1943 to 1970. The original blue SkilSaw logo on the blade cover and the oval name plate are from 1943 – (1955? – 1958?). In 1959, they changed over to the black rectangular nameplate with orange Skil lettering and started painting the saw with a silver anodized finish. I also believe that in the mid 60’s, Skil started using an orange switch and orange brush holders, though the overall construction of the saw and the internal gearing stayed exactly the same.

-- Just a girl with way too many tools.

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ericjo

2 posts in 840 days


#8 posted 06-07-2012 05:07 PM

Thanks a lot Bree. I am almost done with my limestone project. I will overhaul it when I am done.

View mikemcg's profile

mikemcg

2 posts in 802 days


#9 posted 07-11-2012 01:47 AM

Thanks for the posts on the Skil 127 Bree. Having just bought one myself, I’d be very interested to hear how your restoration is proceeding.

View BreeStephany's profile

BreeStephany

29 posts in 842 days


#10 posted 07-11-2012 01:05 PM

My restoration is complete at this point. Once I got everything chemical washed, I found that the saw was in much better condition than I originally thought, and I was able to just press and bolt everything back together, fill it up with lube, adjust the brushes and go. Grounding the saw was a bit interesting, as my saw had no means of easily grounding.

-- Just a girl with way too many tools.

View sethC's profile

sethC

6 posts in 726 days


#11 posted 10-02-2012 03:55 AM

i just got a skilsaw 127 and was able to fit a true 12” 305mm blade in it with a 1” arbor. Granted the diamond arbor on the saw was modified to fit a 1” saw blade arbor hole. I beleive the previous owner had also ground down the inside of the blade guard itself to make it larger to accept a true 12” blade, rather than modifying the saw blades which could become costly over the long run.

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mikemcg

2 posts in 802 days


#12 posted 10-02-2012 01:05 PM

Can you describe how much was removed from the inside of the blade guard in order for the 12” blade to fit?

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sethC

6 posts in 726 days


#13 posted 10-03-2012 05:27 AM

It looks as if 4mm was removed from the lower blade guard by the previous owner or a machine shop. The upper blade guard has no indication that it was modified.

View davecat's profile

davecat

5 posts in 708 days


#14 posted 10-13-2012 04:44 AM

Hi, I am brand new to these forums but I got here searching for info on the Skil 127 saw that I an currently using it to build timber frame and log projects at home. I was wondering if you had any info on how high to fill the oil in the gear box? Also I have to replace the switch so if anyone has any tips for me that would be great. The switch has broken components. As for the blade situation, I just machined out the diamond with a dremel cut off wheel using a smaller blade for a template.

-- Craftmans & Collector in the making

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BreeStephany

29 posts in 842 days


#15 posted 10-14-2012 03:57 PM

Davecat, depending on the date of manufacture of your Skil 127, there will either be a sight glass or an oil fill line on the side of the gear case, fill to that line or to the center of the sight glass. Make sure to use hypoid gear oil or to use Skil worm drive gear oil to fill it, as other forms of oils can foam up, at which time they loose their effectiveness to lubricate the worm gear.

As for the switch, what parts of the switch are broken? Often, the Cutler-Hammer switches used in the 127, as well as many other Skil saws of that era, are extremely easy to rebuild and to fabricate. If the switch is completely trashed or otherwise unable to be rebuilt, you can use the switch off of any blue label Skil saw (77, 87, 107, 117, etc.). The base switch, minus the trigger, can be found in a lot of the 1940’s era Delta tools.

-- Just a girl with way too many tools.

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