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  1. #1
    maynah is offline Hot Rolled
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    Default Crescent band saw

    Just picked this Crescent saw up a couple days ago and thought some might like to see it and I have a few questions. There is a post over in general about using wood bandsaws for metal, and how to slow them down. The guy I got this from said his father added the gearbox to this saw to use for metal or wood. It's pretty clever. The gear box is from Western Mfg. Co. and has 4 speeds. They are:
    High-direct drive
    3rd- 2:1
    2nd- 3:1
    Low- 4:1
    It has an 'H' gear pattern just like a car transmission with neutral in the middle.




    The motor is 1750 rpm, 1 1/2 hp. I haven't figured out the speeds yet but it slows things down pretty well. It could stand to be a little slower but I haven't cut anything with it yet.

    When I got it, it had sheet metal guards all over everything. It was hard to tell it was even a saw. It looked like a scrap pile at a ductwork shop. Kind of like Pam Anderson with face cream and a bath robe. Ahh... but under that robe the true beauty emerges. A big part of why I have old machines is simply because I like the way they look. This saw has a lot of beautiful curves. I'm going to have to think over how many guards to leave on it.
    How many sizes of these saws are there? I've read John Oder talk about his 36" Crescent saw. Are they measured like a modern saw from the blade to the frame? My saw is 20" measured like that with 20" wheels. Can anyone date this saw? There is a number, 1243, cast into the frame on the side opposite the Crescent name. Thanks for any information.

  2. #2
    Jon_Spear is offline Hot Rolled
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    Quote Originally Posted by maynah View Post
    ... A big part of why I have old machines is simply because I like the way they look. This saw has a lot of beautiful curves. I'm going to have to think over how many guards to leave on it.
    How many sizes of these saws are there? I've read John Oder talk about his 36" Crescent saw. Are they measured like a modern saw from the blade to the frame? My saw is 20" measured like that with 20" wheels. Can anyone date this saw? There is a number, 1243, cast into the frame on the side opposite the Crescent name. Thanks for any information.
    I agree with you about the way old machines look. I prefer the design of older open frame bandsaws to the ones that have rectangular enclosures.

    I particularly like the way that bandsaws looked when they made them without any blade guards over the wheels. I read somewhere that this looks more dangerous than it actually is. The reasoning is that, if the blade comes off of the wheel, it no longer will be driven, so it just stops automatically before causing any havoc. [Disclaimer: I am not advocating the removal of safety guards, nor am I officially qualified to write about safety. So please don't sue me if you cut yourself. ]

    I think the brand name "Crescent" is appropriate, because the main frame that holds the two wheel axes is shaped much like a crescent.

    Regarding bandsaw sizes, I think it is typical to specify the wheel diameter, at least in the case of a 2-wheel saw like yours. So a 20-inch saw will have a little bit less than 20 inch clearance. For the 3 or 4 wheel saws, I guess they specify the clearance.

  3. #3
    handsome devil is offline Hot Rolled
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    Nice saw. Never gave it much thought but I too do not like all the guards that were retro fitted too old machines because I like the look. Safety is important, staying unhooked and out of harms way is more important. When I was 18 I was drilling a hole in thick bar stock making a lifting device for a steam locomotive project I was on. I was getting impatient {the story of my life} and tried to look down the drilled hole to see how far I had gotten. The drill press wasn't even that old, but it was a body grabber. It took my hat off and wound my long hair tight up against the spindle. Lucky for me it was a belt drive that slipped and I was able to reach around shut the machine off and unscrew myself. Lost a lot of hair on that side of my head. Hurt good too. Sure my scalp was bleeding but I couldn't see it. I was alone and nobody saw what happened. Didn't tell anybody either because it was my own stupidity not the machine who got the best of me. Play huggie kissie with a drill press and you won't want to do it twice. Sometimes you just can't fix stupid, but sometimes you can change it, like live and learn. Hopefully you get a second chance. Some mistakes cost more than others.

    Not into saws myself, but I agree with the pleasing lines under the sheet metal. Would look good in any shop, not to mention being handy to have around. Looks heavy. Where do you get belts like that anymore? My old Ohio shaper had those on it too, with after market transmission as well. Cheers, John.

  4. #4
    Eric LaVelle is offline Cast Iron
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    That's a nice old saw. If you want it to really look sharp, give it a good cleanup and repaint. One thing to really watch when cutting metal is not to let the swarf get into the bearings. Make sure and keep covers on them. When I got my old 36" J. A. Fay, it had been in a machine shop where they had let shavings get down in the babbitt bearings which ruined both shafts and bearings. Here is mine after ripping a 14" cherry log:



    Show us more pics as you make progress and run it.

    Eric

  5. #5
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    johnoder is online now Diamond
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    I'll have to scan a photo of the 36 which has 36" wheels. It had a tranny added at one time, but was long gone when I bought it in 1980. Mine is old enough to have shop made guards added, but new enough to have ball bearings on the wheel shafts.

    It had flat block (Black Diamond?) guides when I got it, which always wore out. So bought new Carter guides which are basically die cast POS.

    I think its for sale. Tired of the champion dust maker being here.

    John

    On edit, here are the scans:

    http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v3...36%20Crescent/
    Last edited by johnoder; 07-04-2008 at 02:37 PM. Reason: add link to photo scans

  6. #6
    Jon_Spear is offline Hot Rolled
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    Default John's saw

    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    For future reference, if you go to a photobucket site, you can click on the lowest line underneath a photo (it has an IMG code), then paste that line into your post. For example, here is a photo of johnoder's saw, which looks nice:




    Jon S.

  7. #7
    johnoder's Avatar
    johnoder is online now Diamond
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    Yes Jon S. I know that - have done it numerous times. Stopped doing it since I stopped worrying about size, and some if posted, would require scrolling across, which I really dislike.

    John Oder

  8. #8
    northernsinger is offline Titanium
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    I have a 20" Crescent saw. Here's a photograph:



    The serial number, as I recall, is stamped in the back side of the arm that holds the guide, where the wing screw is in the photograph. Serial # on mine is 29244, circa 1910-1915. This was a very good selling saw for that company.

  9. #9
    Luke's Avatar
    Luke is offline Hot Rolled
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    Maynah, That gearbox set-up is pretty nifty -nice lookin little saw to boot.


    John, I really like those guards! What did you use for the SFM calculation? My Crescent is a 32" with a 10:1 reduction, but I need to drop the speed just a bit.

    Luke

  10. #10
    tiptop is offline Aluminum
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    I have a 36" Clements from 1883. I don't know about the rest of you folks, but until you witness a bandsaw blade running at between 4500 and 5000 feet per minute break, You will then understand what guards are for. I have had 6' long peices stuck 1.5" into my rafters. Believe me if it goes that far in fir that is dry, it will go clean through most of your body parts. The best gaurds in my opinion are the ones that are open on the top and bottom at the two o'clock and eight o'clock position. This just gives the blade direction when it breaks and unloads, as it eventually will. Have fun with your saw and respect it. Jay

  11. #11
    johnoder's Avatar
    johnoder is online now Diamond
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    What did you use for the SFM calculation?
    A 36" wheel is 9.42 feet around. It needs to turn 318.31 RPM to make 3000 feet per minute blade speed (a good wood cutting number). Faster is just more noise and vibration. Ever been around a DoAll friction saw running 15,000 FPM? - not pleasant to say the least.

    Mine will cut aluminum at that speed (3000) just fine, but even bimetal blades take a hit in life running that fast.

    John Oder

  12. #12
    MwTech Inc is offline Stainless
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    "Ever been around a DoAll friction saw running 15,000 FPM? - not pleasant to say the least"

    It's not that bad John. I'll admit the first time I stood in front of mine and started to push some 1/8 stainless towards the blade............ well i just didn't know what to expect.
    After a few inches of cutting, you couldn't get this machine out of the shop now.

  13. #13
    surplusjohn is online now Diamond
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    I could try to make a joke with the association between Pam Anderson and the Tranny, but I won't

  14. #14
    ahall is offline Stainless
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    OWWM.com is a good place to look for information on woodworking equiptment.
    Some of the sight is not working correctly, but most of the tool documentation and older submissions are working correctly.

    Good chance you can find quite a bit of information on Crecent saws there.

    Photos of other vintage saws may give you some ideas on how to create an effective set of blade guards that does not comprimise the style of the saw, should you wish to use it.

    The old saws have two issues, lack of guards and babbit bearings.

    The need to oil the babbit bearings is less than diserable in a wood shop, and may limit the top end speed you want to spin the wheels at. This is one of the reasons large wheels were more common on old saws. It was an effective way to get blade speed up while keeping the RPM down.

    Set the old girl up, get her tracking right and moving smoothly then spend a little time and care making her safe enough for you. Personaly, I dont like open blades, gears or belts. Especialy if you have kids who could wander into the shop. They provide aditional protection when your sense of self awarenes or self preservation is temporarly comprimised.

  15. #15
    surplusjohn is online now Diamond
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    comment on guards. THere seems to be an attitude that the old guys did not need guards because they had more common sense to keep their body parts out of the way. When I got my first industrial job 25 years ago in a paper mill, it seems that everyone there was missing something. There was a joke that everyone in GLoversville NY was missing at least one finger, and that was pretty much true, not a few missing arms also.

  16. #16
    maynah is offline Hot Rolled
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    I would guess my saw weighs around 400 lbs. The serial number was on the blade guide and is 32139. Does anyone know the size ranges of Crescent band saws?

  17. #17
    northernsinger is offline Titanium
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    I'm sure that Crescent band saws were offered for many years at 20, 26, 32 and 36 inch sizes. A bevel band saw was offered at 40 inches for part of that time. I have an idea that the 20's and the 36 inch sizes were the most common. I think Crescent, with its early production of the 20 inch size, was the leader in what were thought to be small saws.

  18. #18
    northernsinger is offline Titanium
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    I think that the OWWM facts would put your serial number at about 1916 or so.

  19. #19
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    Cool

    Here is a link to Cresent info. The company is right up the road from me...Bob
    http://www.owwm.com/mfgindex/detail.aspx?id=224
    Bob Wright Metal Master Fab
    Salem, Ohio Birthplace of the Silver and Deming Drill, all others are copies.

  20. #20
    William462 is offline Cast Iron
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    Default Crescent 36 inch bandsaw

    I also have a 36 inch Crescent bandsaw. I bought it from an old boatyard about 3 years ago. It had sat , uncovered and outside, for about a decade or more, but the damage was mostly cosmetic, (except for all the mechanisms that used to move, but are now frozen.) It has a 3 hp. electric motor ( 220/440 volt, 3 phase) , and the lower wheel mounts directly onto the motor shaft. That makes changing motors a bit more complicated. The bandsaw is early 1940s vintage, and still has a " Defense Plant Corporation" tag on it. That was an arrangement the Federal Government had during WWII to loan machinery to key industries . The weight of this monster must be around 2000 lbs. or so, and it stands 8 feet tall. I plan to use it to resaw some wide planks of hardwoods I cut on a sawmill project a couple of years ago, since it has a 16 inch resaw capacity.
    Sadly, I fear the saw is so large that is simply doesn't fit into any available shop space, and it will have to remain outside my shop in a separate shed.
    I can well recall the first time I saw this machine. My lady friend and I were out for a Sunday drive, and we cruised down by the river front. There, sitting about 15 feet off of the road next to some boat docks was this rusty monster of a bandsaw. I knew I had to have it ! Fortunately, there were some guys at the dock that knew who owned the saw, and within a week I had the saw home. We loaded it onto a construction equipment trailer with a front loader on a tractor, towed it home behind a dump truck, and unloaded it with another tractor with a front loader. I paid $200 for the saw, plus some beer money for a couple of friends.

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