Makeready / Printer’s saw restoration…

and ‘bonjour’ to all…
I’m in the process of resuscitating a older Nelson Cost Cutter saw, model B (from the 1920’s is my guess: s/n 1526). It’s pretty much all there, and in fairly decent shape… so its not as a difficult task as the Paragon cutter in the background (circa 1880, with bolt threads from a “different planet” !!). My question is about the drive motor and pulley, as those are not, i suspect, period correct (original) . The machine was acquired with a 1/2 hp, 1725 rpm motor, with a 6” sheave/pulley. Is this the right combination for this saw (seems underpowered, under RPMed, and too large a pulley for the final rim speed of the circular blade (blades are 6” dia, and driven pulley is 3”). Any kind souls out there in paradise (Briar press) have any opinions ?? Also; is there someone who my have a parts machine and might be willing to sell a piece or two ??

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Try it out on type metal and see. It is designed to cut soft metal, not wood or steel. What condition is your blade in?

thanks for the comment Dan…. The pulley that is there is somewhat warped… and before buying another one (cast iron this time) i’d would like to know what size it should be. The saw’s manual (got it online) says that wood cutting blades were available for this machine (and i’d like to use it to make furniture..). The actual pulley would give me about half the Surface-Board-Feet speed required…. but then again; probably the saw was optimized for cutting metal (which is slower). !? The blade on it seems to be for metal… and its old, but seemingly sharp. I’m also looking for spare blades….
Does anyone knows about the SBF requirement for cutting type metal ( i could calculate it if i knew, from a working Hammond saw for example; 1) dim of both sheaves, 2) dim of blade, and 3) RPM of motor )
again; thx…

A half-horsepower is generally the standard size for a composing room saw. The motor pulley is usually at least twice the diameter of the arbor pulley, so 1725 RPM becomes 3450 RPM. Slower speeds tend to “cog” in the work and may actually tear it out of the clamp (don’t stand in the way!) The motor on this machine is quite a modern one, maybe even the third. Many saws of this era started out with flat belts and crown pulleys; some of these were rebuilt (perhaps by dealers) and consequently have single V-belt drives.
The blade may or may not be satisfactory for cutting type metal; the only way to be sure is to actually clamp several picas worth and GENTLY push the gauge through the cut zone. Do this without jerking the work; jerking jams it into the blade, which might toss it out.
This is from the guy with five saws! Been doing this for about fifty-five years.

One thing on metal saws is to cut wood low (teeth just clearing the piece), but cut metal high so the teeth have the shortest path through the metal. If your saw is equipped with “trimmers” (additional cutters located near the blade hub) the blade needs to be high up so these cutters can provide a finish face milling of the cut. Metal saws tend to have no set in the teeth (each tooth alternately bent from the cut centerline to clear material). Also printers metal saw blades were generally designed to have a 6 pt cut perf, modern blades tend to be wider.

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yer right Frank…. the motor itself might be from the 50’s or 60’s.. as it still runs with bronze bushings/sleeves. I’ll thus order a 6” cast iron sheave… along with a b42 belt. Mike; the saw did come with an older blade with 2 (out of 3) trimmers/face cutters. I’ve read on an older post that Forrest will custom modify their blades to fit any peculiar situation…. is that still the case (?)… and is that an OK solution? I want a reasonably close “period” machine that i can use to cut furniture, and also do small fine wood projects. There was so much lead incrusted all over the machine when i got it…. surely it must have been an insane (not healthy) job…. and i’m so not inclined to follow the poor chaps that breathed close to that saw.

Once you have the saw figured out and have used it for a while, if you determine that you need a new blade, they can be ordered from this site, I found them very helpful: