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Monday, August 20, 2012

Another Oldie But Goodie

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.

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