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Forum topic by LyallAndSons posted 03-11-2014 02:45 AM 4964 views 0 times favorited 29 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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66 posts in 3520 days

03-11-2014 02:45 AM

Just wondering how many of us use old school equipment thruout the shop? I have a new drill press and several new hand tools but my big equipment is from the days of heavy cast iron and big Made In USA metal plates.

My jointer is the oldest piece and (I think) it’s a Fay-Egan from between 1900-1910. If anyone has any info on it (pic below) I’d love to hear. I use a Unisaw marked Rockwell instead of Delta. My Delta bandsaw is from the 80’s and also American made. I use a turret style Delta radial arm and that beast is bullet proof compared to the newer stuff out there. The newest piece of vintage equipment I own is a 38 inch Woodmaster drum sander. While not a lot of cast iron involved with that machine, still made in the USA.

I make a living with this stuff and I’ve found old tools just stand the test of time. If my Uni every dies I’ll replace it with a SawStop just for the safety factor and lower comp premiums but that’s the only new machine I see myself using.

This is my jointer during clean up when I put it into service

The oldest son at Lyall and Sons turning some table legs and enjoying the sunshine on my Mid 50s King Sealy (Craftsman branded) lathe. And YES, you better believe I “ate his lunch” for him for turning without at least glasses!

I’m away from the shop but I’ll add a few more pics as soon as I get home. Lets see your old iron!

-- Lyall & Sons Woodsmiths...Custom handcrafted woodwork since 1989

29 replies so far

View Matt Rogers's profile

Matt Rogers

112 posts in 2893 days

#1 posted 03-11-2014 03:31 AM

Gloat, no pictures though.

Just two days ago I fired up my new old 1950’s Crescent Rockwell 24” planer for the first time after finally getting the rotary phase converter hooked up. Still getting it all polished up from the rust caused by dew this winter in storage, nothing bad, just surface stuff.

Also started the old J A Fay and Egan 36” bandsaw for the first time. Need to either grind the worn steel bandsaw guide blocks down flat or make up some lignum vitae blocks for it from a huge piece of lignum that I scored from a woodworker moving to Germany and liquidating his stock of wood. Anyone grind their steel bandsaw guide blocks flat again? These have about a 1/32” of wear going back 1/4” from the front caused by blade teeth being set back too far over the years, or maybe even just from the wear of the blades over 70 years!.

Still have to check to see if I should scrape the bearings of the old 16” American Jointer. Not sure of its age, but thinking ‘20s.

I also checked out the used Aget dust collector I just bought and found that it had some erosion of its impeller from abrasive dust at the aluminum foundry it was used at and the company said that it was made in 1960’s and has seen its fair share of use. Although 1960’s is not that old.

Old Delta drill press too and a huge 12’ bed 20” swing lathe of unknown manufacture.

Old but good stuff, however they do take some work to have working perfectly. Worth the effort however.

-- Matt Rogers, and

View bigblockyeti's profile


6843 posts in 2644 days

#2 posted 03-11-2014 03:43 AM

I’ve ground steel guide blocks flat, works well to hone them as smooth as possible too. I’ve seen them wear pretty bad just over a couple of years with the gullets set just ahead of the blocks. I don’t doubt the back of the blade even when set correctly could have caused the kind of wear you mentioned.

-- "Lack of effort will result in failure with amazing predictability" - Me

View rustfever's profile


797 posts in 4233 days

#3 posted 03-11-2014 04:01 AM

I use a Yates American 36 band saw, ca 1939, a Powermatic 20” planer ca 1960, and a Ritter horizontal belt sander from the ‘60s also. I also have a German made 30’ stroke sander that appears to be from the 1950.

All of these tools are simple to set up and they retain their accuracy almost indefinitely. Other than new tires on the Yates BS, everything is original and in great used condition.

-- Rustfever, Central California

View Aj2's profile


3509 posts in 2721 days

#4 posted 03-11-2014 04:17 AM

Here’s a 166bd oliver I bought last year,Really just getting to know her,9 ft long almost 2000# 12 inch knives.Really smooth when it’s running.The tables and fence are super flat and a small adjustment can make a big difference.Maybe someday I can set up the table with a longer straight edge.
My next quest is for 8 inch jointer.
Here’s the pic when I brought it to the shop and after I painted .

-- Aj

View LyallAndSons's profile


66 posts in 3520 days

#5 posted 03-11-2014 04:33 AM

I knew I wasn’t the only one! LOL! I sold my late 60s or early 70s Powermatic 20 inch planer and model 60 8 inch jointer and set up a Delta 15 inch (a 450 pound machine so you KNOW it was made back in the day!) and the 12 inch jointer. Kind of a trade off to make room for the big jointer.

We will be building a new shop this summer and I’ll have some room again. I have my eye on a 36 Cressent bandsaw myself. Do I NEED it, well, no. Will I buy it anyway? Yep, as soon as I’m under roof!

I use a small power feeder on the jointer and, while the Grizzly I have works just fine, I’d love to find an old USA made replacement. Any ideas? Same with the drill press. I have a new Porter Cable from Lowe’s that actually does a very good job bt I’d love to have the 60’s era Delta from which it’s cloned.

-- Lyall & Sons Woodsmiths...Custom handcrafted woodwork since 1989

View LyallAndSons's profile


66 posts in 3520 days

#6 posted 03-11-2014 04:36 AM

Looks great A2J. I’m not sure how long the bed is on my big jointer but I know it weighs in at about 1600 without the IR motor.

-- Lyall & Sons Woodsmiths...Custom handcrafted woodwork since 1989

View Loren's profile


10808 posts in 4571 days

#7 posted 03-11-2014 04:50 AM

How do you figure that’s a Fay & Egan?

I’ve never seen a pic of a Fay & Egan pedestal jointer that
looked at all like that.

...looks similar to a 1930s era Teichert & Sohn 16” jointer I have,
made in Germany.

View LyallAndSons's profile


66 posts in 3520 days

#8 posted 03-11-2014 05:14 AM

Loren, As I said, I’m not sure it is. I was told that was the maker and I can find no markings at all. I have also talked to and seen pictures of several like mine online. It uses the square cutterhead like other F&E I have seen right down to the bold pattern and the table locks are the same as other F&E’s. If its manufactured by someone else, I’d love to know for sure. The base does have the same shape as yours but the casting isn’t the same. I may never know for sure but it looks like we both have nice machines.

-- Lyall & Sons Woodsmiths...Custom handcrafted woodwork since 1989

View Loren's profile


10808 posts in 4571 days

#9 posted 03-11-2014 05:27 AM is the source for info on old N. American machines.

My machine was imported by a Los Angeles dealer and outfitted
with a motor they badged. I’ve seen their badge before and
I think they were in St. Louis too so they were selling imported
machines all over the country pre-ww2. This was a golden
age of big American iron so my guess is, considering the
basic fence of my jointer, that the imports must have
been delivering more machine for the money in some way.

If you crawl under the tables you may find part number
markings there from the foundry. Fay & Egan had a complex
history but was consolidated at some point and better
documented after that.

You might acquire the Dana Batory book that covers Fay
& Egan… or send the guy a picture and ask him what
he thinks.

View LyallAndSons's profile


66 posts in 3520 days

#10 posted 03-11-2014 05:32 AM

Here’s the info I was going on. I knew I had it somewhere! LOL!

Time frame is from 1889- 1916, but looks to be a model from 1900-1910.

The company was the Greaves & Klusman Co. The manufacturing facility was located at 65 & 67 Plum Street. Cincinnati, OH. In 1889 William Greeves left his partner Herman Klusman and went to start a new company Acme-Greaves Machine tool Co. A few months later he left to form a new company with his 3 sons and renamed the company Greaves Machine Tool Co. The company was later acquired by J.A. Fay & Egan Co. the year in which that happened is not stated in the archives. Some of the records kept were not diligent and depended on the manufacturer as well.

Greaves & Klusman jointer’s are not a common machine found in the OWWM industry today. They were modest in scope but were quality machines.

They made a 12/16/20/24 & 30”. The bearings on the cutter head are of Babbitt design, Ball bearing/sleeve did not come out until the 1920’s. it is a forged 4 slot square cutter head and could be used to install 2 shaper blades as well for moldings with out removing the 2 straight blades.

The tables on both sides are a ribbed construction and the rear table is slotted for rabbiting. the weight on the jointer is 1600lbs +/- a few and when it initially came off the production line they were powered off a main ceiling mounted line jack shaft . The motor that is with my jointer is of vintage era GE The date is hard to say but I think around 1920-30’s.

The only other info I’ve found reads as F&E acquired the company around 1900 so I think that’s the maker. Who knows? LOL!

Also, notice the motor mount swing arm. Mine has the hole in the base (both sides) but the arm is long gone

-- Lyall & Sons Woodsmiths...Custom handcrafted woodwork since 1989

View LyallAndSons's profile


66 posts in 3520 days

#11 posted 03-11-2014 05:35 AM

Thanks Loren. I’ll give that a shot. I love the machine but would really like to know the history behind it as well

-- Lyall & Sons Woodsmiths...Custom handcrafted woodwork since 1989

View Loren's profile


10808 posts in 4571 days

#12 posted 03-11-2014 05:37 AM

That’s interesting.

Either a lot of stuff got scrapped or it was possible in the
old days to make machines in small quantities.

View LyallAndSons's profile


66 posts in 3520 days

#13 posted 03-11-2014 05:44 AM

I didn’t notice any part numbers under the tables but you have me wondering if I just missed them? I think I can slide them back and check without throwing everything off too much. I’ll give it a shot tomorrow. Thanks for the info!

-- Lyall & Sons Woodsmiths...Custom handcrafted woodwork since 1989

View unbob's profile


810 posts in 2826 days

#14 posted 03-11-2014 05:51 AM

One of the oldest machines I have, 1959 Powermatic 160 planer out of a Montana school.
Very little use, original unrestored time machine. Oddly came with the single phase motor installed, but the original 3phase motor came with it also.

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 2472 days

#15 posted 03-11-2014 06:26 AM

Here’s a few. Cresent Hollow Chisel Mortiser. 1930-40’s, not sure. Electrical upgrade. Runs like a champ. It is still setting on a pallet. I need to build a picking device to set it and then paint. Around 950 lbs. I believe.

1949 Dewalt 12” Radial Arm Saw, GP Motor completely rebuilt, new electrical, ways and paint. Saw hasn’t been fired up yet. I need to finish the table and run wiring to it.

1974 Delta Unisaw, Brand new 3 hp., 1 ph. Leeson motor. New spindle bearings and paint. 54” Bies fence.

I’ll post some more when I get time.

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