"Famous" No. 1
32" Band Saw

Manufacturer: Sidney Tool Co.
Sidney Ohio
Model: "Famous" No. 1
Year: 1905 - 1915
Dealer: William H. Field Co. Boston, MA
Wheel Diameter: 32"
Wheel Type: Wooden Rim
Bearings: Babbett
Table Size: 30" x 30"
Throat Depth = 30"
Max. Thickness of Cut: 14"
Table Tilt: 45o left, 5o right
Overall Height: 91"

This 32" Famous No. 1 band saw was built by the Sidney Tool Co. of Sidney Ohio. The Sidney Tool Co. was formed in 1905. In 1916, they began using ball bearings on their machines however it was still possible to order machines with babetted bearings. Sidney Tool Co. machines shown in later advertisements appear to have a wider base and use a hand wheel to adjust the table tilt. Even later they enclosed the lower wheel portion of the saw. This has the narrower base typical of the early versions, uses babbetted bearings and does not have the table tilt hand wheel. Most likely this saw was built sometime around 1910.

The saw was sold through the William H. Field Co. of 323 - 329 Dorchester Ave, Boston Ma. The William H. Field Co. was a tool dealer specializing in wood working tools. It appears they did OEM machinery, advertising them as their "Field Built" brand. The Field badge on this machine has a small "re" between the "Field" and "Built" which may indicate that Field may have obtained the saw used and rebuilt it before reselling it.

History of This Saw

The early history of the saw is somewhat confusing. It was reported by a previous owner that it spent its first 50 years in a saw mill in West Rindge NH. The building which housed the saw mill is still standing and is currently occupied by Lilly's on the Pond restaurant at 377 Rt 202, Rindge NH. According to the history as presented by Lilly's on the Pond, in the late 1800's the building was owned by Calvin Allen and used as a shingle mill. It was purchased around the turn of the century by Marcus Cleaves who turned the building into a blacksmith shop. It was turned back into a saw mill following the 1938 hurricane and 1939 flood. It continued to be used as a saw mill until 1952 when it was converted to a restaurant.

Since the building was being used as a blacksmith shop during the time that the saw was built, it it unlikely that the saw was located here originally. The most likely scenero was that the saw was originally located elsewhere and was acquired used by the William H. Field Co. The saw was rebuilt by Field at which time they probably replaced the original blade guides. The saw currently has a "Newell" guide with a Feb. 3, 1914 patent date on it for the lower guide, while the upper guide appears to be a Wright #O. When the mill was converted to a saw mill in 1939, the saw was purchased used from Field and moved to the mill.

Original Saw Mill in West Rindge NH - Now Lilly's on the Pond

After the saw mill closed in 1952, the saw was moved around the corner to West Rindge Baskets at 99 West Main St. Rindge, NH. This basket shop was founded in 1925 and continued making baskets until 2009. Possibly at this time the saw was also converted from belt power to electric with the addition of a 2 hp 220vac motor bolted to a nailed together wooden framework. At some point the saw was no longer used, probably because the upper bearing became worn and the blade would no longer track and kept falling off. Instead of repairing the saw, it was replaced with a smaller more modern band saw. The saw sat unused until the basket shop ceased operations in 2009.

West Rindge Baskets in West Rindge NH. The saw was located in the rear portion of the building at the extreem right.

On January 12, 2010 the saw was purchased by T-Parts and moved to Sterling MA. Plans are to overhaul it to return it to working condition. Once operational it will be used in manufacturing reproduction floor boards for Model T Fords.

As found in the basket shop. Stripped down ready to be moved. "Famous" logo and William H. Field dealer plate.

Upper blade guide. Upper wheel bearing. Lower 32" diameter wooden rimmed wheel.

Overall the saw appears to be in very good condition. The saw has been run without the blade and the motor and lower wheel run quite with no vibration. The upper wheel bearing is worn and will need to be rebabbetted. The wooden rimmed wheels may need to be re-tired, or at least be have the existing tires re-crowned. There is a small piece of casting broken away from the boss where the handle went through the main casting to move the belt on the pulley. This has no effect on the operation of the saw. The original cast iron handle for loosening the table tilt has been broken off and a replacement will have to be located or fabricated. The original paint is in very good condition as are the original decal and dealer plates. Plans are to clean it up and leave the original paint as it is.

Restoration of This Saw

The restoration of this saw is currently underway. Click on the following links to see the details of the restoration of each component.

Lower Blade Guide
Upper Blade Guide
Upper Wheel Mount