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Manufactured/Badged by:
Crescent Machine Co.
Leetonia, OH

Machine Specifications
Machine Class: Wood Working Machinery
Machine Type: Band Saw
Machine Size: 32"
Submitted By: Ed Conder
Machine Specifications
Description/Model: 32" Band Saw
Date of Manufacturer: late 1936 - 1937
Serial Number: 56386 (View SN Registry Entry)
Last Updated 1/28/2007 7:03:43 PM

History of Saw:

The 32 IN band saw was probably originally purchased from Vonnegut Hardware Co. for a carpenter shop at Eli Lilly & Co in late 1936 or 1937. The saw came with an equipment file that contained the July 1936 Crescent Band Saw catalogue, and was apparently used to select a 32 IN band saw model (thanks to Keith Rucker for help with carbon dating). The saw was used by carpenter shop employees for nearly 70 years and had been maintained in good working condition. New tires, guide blocks, and shielded thrust bearings (15 mm bore, 35 mm OD, and 11 mm width (NSK 6202ZZ) for the guides had been installed on the saw within the last two years. I purchased the saw as the second owner for an extremely favorable price and have recently completed the restoration (November 2006).

Restoration of Saw:

The restoration of the saw was started by attempting to use a paint remover on the saw. There were as many as seven different colors of paint and maybe a few additional layers (companies used to have workers spruce up the place when times were slow). A few of the paint jobs had been applied to a partially disassembled saw. The best remover I could find did not work too well. I quickly discovered that a spiral wound cup brush and a 4 IN angle grinder would be my best friend for the restoration. I was determined to fully disassemble the saw and grind each piece to bare cast arn. I had the guards sent out for sand blasting, which was well worth the money given the time I had wasted on them. The protractor beneath the table had a non-structural corner that had broken, which I brazed. The parts were primed and then painted with Rustolium enamel (two quarts of Rustolium Flat Black and a pint of gloss white per Keith's recipe). I am pretty pleased with the results. I think I've read somewhere that the later Crescent machines were several shades lighter and would agree based upon the original layer of paint. If I were to do the paint again, I would probably try 1 1/4 pints of white to two quarts of black.

The saw had a total of four open radial ball bearings on the upper and lower shafts. Their size is 45 mm bore, 85 mm OD, and 19 mm width (NSK 6209). The bearings were replaced with sealed radial ball bearings (NSK 6209VV). The decision to do this was easy since oil from the bearing housing had been flung all over the upper and lower guards and since the bearings races were not smooth due to saw dust contamination. The oil cups were replaced with 10mm length M10 X 1mm pitch socket set screws to seal the bearing housings.

I purchased a single phase (yeah, Im a SPOB) 5 HP, 220V, TEFC, L3612TM Baldor Motor and reduced the drive sheave to 4 inches to make the blade speed 5100 LFPM. I reused the 12 3/4 inch (12 IN) driven sheave. The most difficult part of the restoration was the removal of the driven sheave from the shaft. The cup set screw that held the sheave to the shaft had never been properly countersunk. Hence, the start up torque had galled the set screw and gouged the shaft; basically welded the bushing for sheave in place. The cup set screw was replaced with a cone set screw and I provided the proper counter sink in the driven shaft. I purchased a NEMA 1P manual starter (609U-XAXA w/ W61 heater) from Allen-Bradley to start the 5HP motor. I cleaned the ACME thread of the tension wheel mechanism with a phosphoric acid rust remover and then coated them with Timken Synthetic Industrial Grease to ensure that tightening of the blade would be smooth.

The assembly of the saw and alignment was easier than I had expected. However, there were a few details that were fuzzy. Its a good idea to have photographs of multiple views of the saw before disassembly (or the OWWM site). I started by leveling the base of the saw (machined upper bearing holder face or bottom of the feet of the saw). Then I installed the upper bearing holder and wheel. I installed the lower bearing housing and wheel next and shimmed the housing to make the lower wheel plumb. I then established co-planar wheels with milled blocks of wood, double sided tape, and a 6-foot straight edge. The motor was aligned by clamping the straight edge to the sheaves and using clamps on the motor base plate feet to pull the motor into alignment. The blade was installed and the tilt wheel mechanism adjusted to ensure the blade tracked properly. The saw looks like new and cuts beautifully! I've already started to have my sawyer mill lumber to 8/4 and 12/4 since I'll let the wood dry a few years and get the desired dimensional lumber from my Crescent band saw.

Thanks to Erin, Mark, Steve, Tom, Eric, Bill, Wyman, and Keith for advice and help with the restoration process!

FAF: 1.1/1

Photo 1:

Comments: After Restoration
Source: My Olympus C-750
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IMG Code

Photo 2:

Comments: During Restoration
Source: My Olympus C-750
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Photo 3:

Comments: As Purchased
Source: Previous Owner
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