My most recent of restorations, a vintage blue label Skil 77 7-1/4” worm drive saw, era 1942~1948. Everything says that the saw is 1942, however, the guard lever was generally not found until the end of the blue label series / beginning of the first generation black & orange label saws (1950’s). It is likely that the guard is not original to the saw because of this.
When I got the saw, it was in pretty rough shape.
I let all of the screws, bolts and other fasteners soak in solvent overnight to get the HEAVY grease off and then took all of the fastener heads to the wire wheel a bit to shine them up. Those fasteners that were badly damaged were replaced with period fasteners.
Upon getting the saw, there was a fair amount of excess noise coming from the motor. Upon disassembling the saw, I found that both the front and back armature bearings were HEAVILY worn to the point that when I attempted to remove them, most of the ball bearings just fell out. The front armature bearing had actually eaten the retention ring and was partially seized, but despite all of this, the worm gear and brass drive gear were unphased and seemed virtually brand new.
front armature bearing
front armature bearing
prepping for paint. I thoroughly cleaned the parts with solvent and a toothbrush inside and out, then took them to the wire wheel and stripped off all of the oil paint and exterior grime and then went over them again with solvent to pull any oil out of them.
2 coats of primer, 2 coats of paint and a coat of clear coat later
I replaced the bearings and brushes on the saw, cleaned the seals up and added a very LIGHT coat of rtv gasket maker, put everything back together and filled it up with oil. The brushes needed a bit of adjustment, but outside of that, everything worked wonderfully.
I generally put a standard 4’ 6” cord on all of my tools because I always have an extension cord whether I go out on a project or am working around the shop and hate tons of extra cord when trying to store tools. Because I was restoring the saw for a friend as a gift for his birthday, I put an extra long 12’ cord on it.
Cleaned up the case, put on 2 coats of primer, 6 coats of paint and 2 coats of clear coat.
A photo from a happy friend.
-- Just a girl with way too many tools.