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Crescent Machine Co.
Wood Working Machinery
36" angle saw
Date of Manufacturer:
(View SN Registry Entry)
7/21/2007 12:20:49 AM
I told myself a couple months ago that I need to stop acquiring machines and get some of those I already own restored. Then while minding my own business I got an email advertising an online auction for the old Alcoa Aluminum plant in Vancouver, WA. I looked figuring I was safe because what would they have that would possibly interest me? The answer was in a listing for a 36" Crescent band saw. Well, what's a fellow to do. I looked at the one picture provided and right away noticed that it was not just an ordinary Crescent saw but an angle saw. I knew that the last thing I needed was another big band saw but I thought that I ought to just put in a little bid so that the "other guy" didn't get it too cheap. This time the other guy turned out to be me.
After being notified that I "won" the saw I quickly enlisted the help of my number one OWWM friend and enabler T.J. Forrester of band saw skylight fame. T.J. was, of course, not only willing but anxious to make the trip to Vancouver to pick the Crescent up.
When we arrived at the Alcoa plant and first spied the saw I started grinning. The saw was in better condition that I had ever hoped. Under the layer of gray Aluminum oxide dust that covered the whole plant was a really clean 60 year old saw. It even has the original fence. I noticed that the motor was sitting on the original cast iron motor mount and T.J. noticed that what I thought was a standard gear motor was actually a reeves drive variable speed unit. My grin just kept getting bigger. I started unbolting things getting ready to load and soon a young man driving a forklift arrived to help us load. I feel that the safest way to move a band saw is from a strap around the C-frame and lifting from above but in this case the forklift had a short 2-stage mast and could not quite get enough lift to get it up on the trailer. While we were contemplating what to do an older Alcoa employee came over and said "why don't you just drive it over to shop 44 and we'll use the crane"? So 15 minutes later we had the band saw and trailer in shop 44 and the 50 ton crane was setting the crescent gently onto the trailer for the ride home.
The Alcoa plant was started in Sept of 1940 with several additions over the years. At one time they employed 1500 people. Many Aluminum plants were in the Northwest because of the cheap electric power from the Bonneville Power Authority. When the long term contracts for cheap power ended these plants have mostly been shut down. This one closed in 2000. It really is depressing seeing these plants scrapped but I guess that is "progress".
In looking at Keith's registry for Crescent this saw was most likely built in late 1945 and the Crescent literature states the angle saw was discontinued about that time so it is probably one of the last angle saws Crescent made. I'm sure it has been at Alcoa since it was new. I was pleased to find that inside the saw was nothing but wood dust so it was being used as a wood cutter. The lower doors are cast iron, the wheels are heavy cast spoked wheels. The upper door is Aluminum but the wheel housing is cast iron. It appears that all of the mechanism for tilting the table is complete and in good condition. The only down side is that the auction picture showed what appeared to be the original hand crank for the tilt mechanism but it was nowhere to be found in the shop. Th motor will give this saw variable speeds from just under 700 fpm up to just under 7000 fpm. A pretty good range. I'm anxious to give it a try.
Crescent 36" Angle saw
angle guage TJ's better side in background
Serial tag, Portland Machinery tag, and Alcoa shop tag
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