tools and

farm tools

and slide rules

and office

American Artifacts
Site Contentsonline articles online catalog

B. M. Root 26" Band Saw

The maker's brass plate on this machine reads "Root Woodworking Machinery, B.M. Root Co. York PA". The machine stands 76" high, with 26 3/4" wheels. The front table is 24" x 20". The depth of cut is 26 3/4" and the height of the throat is 5 1/2" in its present congfiguration. There is a great deal of adjustment for different size blades. As illustrated, the wheels are 39" between centers and take a 161" blade.

This early 20th c. woodcutting band saw has been converted to use as a metal cutting saw by fitting a worm gear speed reducer. The speed reducer is an Eberhardt - Denver Power Gear with a 1:20 speed reduction. This is powered by a 230 volt, single phase 2 speed GE motor rated at 1725 rpm, 1/2 hp, 4.1 amp and 1140 rpm, 1/6 hp, 1.9 amp. It is currently wired for the slower speed, resulting in a final 16 rpm wheel speed. This yields a blade speed of 113 sfpm, appropriate for cutting steel, but of little use for cutting wood. The motor is also reversable, although this is of no use on a band saw.

The unusual blade guides on this saw were patented in 1914 (No. 1086074) by Atwood and Edgar Newell, of Irwin, Pennsylvania. The guides cause the blade to twist back toward the center line when deflected in either direction. A locking pin secured with a thumb screw locks this mechanism so that the guide functions in the conventional manner.

Since my early power hack saw fulfills most of my metal cutting needs, if I were to keep this machine, I would replace the gear reduction with a larger motor belted directly to the saw for wood cutting. But, the speed reduction is so nicely done, I've left it in place. The third leg of the motor mount is a modern I beam bolted to the frame. Originally, there must have been one, or more likely, two legs bolted to the front frame. Nothing is broken off the frame and there are two bolts threaded into the frame at the rear and center for this purpose.

A modern homemade upper blade guard with 2x6 frame and hinged hardware cloth door is included. It bolts to the frame in two places (where the gray paint is missing). The saw is in good working order, the blade tracks well, all adjustments work, and the babbit bearings are ok. The lower bearing has some play when blade tension is removed, but runs smoothly. The wheels are 1 1/2" wide, uncrowned and without tires.

the upper wheel

wide view of saw.

closer view

the upper wheel bearing brass oiler

the lower wheel bearing oiler.

closeup of lower bearing oiler

front view showing the tension and alignment hand wheels

the brass maker's plaque.

The saw guide mechanisms patented in 1914, turn the blade to return to center when it is deflected to either side by the work. This function can be locked out by a pin secured by a thumb screw.

the upper and lower blade guides.

closeup of the lower blade guide and table tilt mechanism.

The 20:1 worm gear speed reducer and 2 speed motor

rear view of top wheel

the gear reduction drive components

the wheel in motion

Price: SOLD Buyer must pick up
This item can be safely stored until your next trip to Maryland

Items reserved by email will be held 10 days and shipped upon receipt of payment. Please wait to send Paypal payment or mail your check until you receive email confirmation of your reservation.

Contact: Richard Van Vleck - Email:

© 2011, American Artifacts, Taneytown, Maryland.