Walker Turner TA1180B Tilting Arbor Table Saw

This is not actually my saw, but I picked it up and restored it for a buddy of mine. I found this saw on the old woodworking machine hunter’s buddy – Craig’s List, of course.

It came from a sign-maker’s shop. He had used it for years to rip plywood and other materials to make signs. He had used it hard and put it away wet, so to speak.

It had been sloppily painted with a brush, the motor was not original, and someone had hacked the side open to create clearance for the motor to tilt, but the saw was otherwise mostly complete, with no other damage, and it came with a nice Allen-Bradley motor starter and very beefy wiring.

The top looked pretty horrible.

But under the rust, paint spatters, and crud, it actually was a pretty decent saw and ran well.

After removing the table and fence, I first cleaned up the motor and installed new bearings. It was pretty full of sawdust and also had been painted with a brush. I also cleaned the contacts on the centrifugal starting switch. I repainted with Rustoleum Hammeretone spray paint in black. When I stripped the paint off the end bells, I discovered they were cast aluminum, or some type of pot metal, and I decided to just polish and clear coat them. I think it came out looking really sharp.

I had to make a new cover plate for the the for the wiring on the back of the motor, since the original was MIA.


I attacked the cabinet next. A couple hours with the angle grinder and paint stripping pads yielded some good results.

I also cut out the ruined side panel and neatened up the opening.

A closer look revealed why the saw had been rocking a little bit on a level concrete floor. One of the rear feet was missing the bottom piece of metal.

I used the ruined side panel that I had cut out to make a replacement foot. It is pretty heavy-gauge sheet steel. I also used that same steel to make the cover plate for the motor wiring. I put a piece of threaded rod through to hold it in place.

My neighbor has a wire-feed welder, so I took it over to him and he made a few small tacks to hold it on. I figured once I ground it down and painted it, it would disappear and look pretty much like the others. Here it is after grinding.

It’s the one on the left in the picture above.

Onward to painting! Because the bottom, inside and outside, had been pretty rusty, I first treated it with rust remover and stabilizer. Stinky stuff, but it gets down into the pitting, preps the metal for paint and prevents it from rusting further. I used appliance epoxy in “biscuit” for the inside and Rustoleum hammered in dark gray for the outside.

Oh yeah, I also put it in a Jet 708118 Universal Mobile Base.

Next came some work on the top and arbor/trunnion assembly. The whole thing was pretty grungy.

I scraped, wire wheeled, cleaned and degreased everything, then painted the underside of the table and the arbor assembly with the “biscuit” appliance epoxy, and installed new bearings in the arbor.


While the paint was drying, I cleaned up and painted some miscellaneous parts, including the handwheels and the fence.


I then cleaned up and painted the box for the motor starter. I think it looks pretty sharp.

The tag from the front of the machine cleaned up really nicely also.


And so did the cast iron face plate. I was very careful with this – it’s a very thin casting and I was concerned that if I dropped it, it could crack. But it came out looking pretty good.You can see the original color underneath the angle scale tag. That tag also cleaned up pretty well.


You can find documentation for this saw at the Old Woodworking Machines site.

Walker-Turner Driver Line L540 Lathe

I paid $75 for this lathe in about 2001 or so. It came with a nice Dayton motor, a four-jaw chuck, a couple of faceplates, a spur center, cup center, tool rest, and a few dogs.

It sat under a bench in my workshop for a couple years and moved with us from NJ to VA before I finally stripped it down and did a full restoration in Summer 2005. I had acquired the stand at an estate auction in 2004 with the lathe in mind. The stand originally was for an old Delta scroll saw. It got a full strip and repaint also.

I acquired the stand at an estate auction for $5. It originally was for a Delta scroll saw, but when I saw it sitting out in the guy’s yard, I realized it would work pretty well for this lathe. I used a nice piece of douglas fir dimensional lumber, cleaned up and varnished, for the base to sit the lathe on.

I also designed and fabricated a mount for the motor that allows it to slide back and forth for changing speeds by moving the belt on the cone pulley.

I sold this lathe in 2008 because I was given a Brodhead-Garret J-Line lathe, which I perceived to be a better lathe, and I really don’t need or have the space for two lathes!

Rockwell 12/14 Table Saw

I got this beast from a GSA online auction in November 2006.  The photo above was from the auction.  It came with the fence, but not the fence rails, and no miter gauge.  But it otherwise is in excellent condition and appears to have had very little use.  It is extremely clean. And the price was low enough to make it more than worth it.

The saw was at a GSA Depot in Harrisburg, PA.  Convenient because (1) Harrisburg is only about 4-1/2 hours away and (B) my in-laws live in Harrisburg, about 15-20 minutes from where the depot is.

The pickup went much more smoothly than I had thought it was going to.  The guy in charge was very nice and he had a functioning forklift.  And he really knew how to use it.  I was afraid they might get some goon to toss the saw onto my trailer, but he sent it down just as gentle as could be and nudged it perfectly into position.

It was an absolutely gorgeous fall day for the drive home.  Wish I had taken some pictures; the fall foliage was absolutely beautiful, and it was sunny, bright and warm.

When I got it home, I had to figure out how to get it off the trailer and move it around in my garage.  The saw weighs nearly 900 lbs. and I was moving it by myself.

I used a crow bar to lever the whole pallet it was on over to the edge of the tailgate ramp, an inch at a time.

Then I carefully tilted it down onto the ramp, with a piece of plywood on the ramp.  Then I just slid the whole mess down the ramp.  At the bottom, I slid the whole assemblage – plywood, pallet and saw, onto some 3/4″ black iron pipes.

Then I made like the ancient Egyptians and very easily rolled it across the garage and tucked into the corner for storage.  I knew it would be a while before I got to doing anything with it.

In 2007, I had my workshop built.  When it was done, it was time to get my tools and machinery out of the garage so my wife could finally get her car in there.  So I bought a Jet 708119 mobile base and had to figure out how to get the saw off the pallet and into the mobile base.  To lighten it up a bit, I removed the top – first the two extension wings, then the insert, then the center section of the top.  The center section alone probably weighs as much as the entire top of my Unisaw.  Even the insert is solid cast iron and heavy.  As a fellow OWWM’er said about the 12/14, “There is nothing light about that saw.”

Once I got it open, it gave me an opportunity to have a look inside.

Looks like they used it to cut a lot of pine or something, as there was some very light sawdust inside, and some built-up pitch on the dust shield inside.  Otherwise, it appears it has seen very little use.

I managed to wrestle the saw into the mobile base without killing or maiming myself, but it was a near thing.

I then easily rolled it over into the new workshop building, and moved the top and other parts into a back corner.  Here it is talking smack to my Unisaw.

It is one of the many machines I need to get to and get it back online.

F. Wesel Printer’s Saw

I have dubbed this “The Coolest Table Saw Ever”. Here it is where and when I found it, in mid-2008.

Yeah, it looked pretty sad. Which is why I had to save it. I had no idea what it was when I bought it, but (1) it looked very old and very cool, (2) the price was right ($75) and (3) it needed rescuing from the junk emporium where it was sitting, forlorn and unloved on a broken-up pallet outdoors and exposed to the elements.

I have since learned that it is a printer’s saw, made by the F. Wesel Manufacturing Co., and was used for precisely trimming printing plates. The F. Wesel Manufacturing Co. made very high-quality machinery for the offset printing, lithography and electrotype industry, starting in the late 1800’s and well into the 20th Century.

When I discovered this saw, it prompted me to do some research into the history of the F. Wesel Manufacturing Co..

This saw was made around 1890. I found this illustration in a book on stereotyping, printed in 1892.

It might not show up too well, put lettered across the front it says “The Cabinet Saw” and it has some very nice pinstriping and details. It is identical to my saw.

Printing at that time mostly was done by letterpress either from handset type or linotype. If the printed piece contained an illustration, the printer would make a photoengraving by exposing a negative on a sensitized thin metal sheet which was etched and mounted on a block of maple about ¾” thick. This engraving had to be trimmed to size dead square to lockup accurately with the rest of the type form. This saw was used to make those dead square cuts and which is why it cannot make any beveled cuts. It originally would have had a blade that would cut both wood and metal.

That drawer on the left is the dust collection. It’s under the blade and obviously is for catching the shavings.

The crank on the right raises and lowers the table, which is hinged at front and raises and lowers at the back for adjusting the depth of cut.

Here is one of two areas of damage – a crack on the bottom cross-member, which plan on getting brazed.

Here’s the rear, showing where the flat belt originally would have come in.

Here is the other side, showing the table raising mechanism and also where someone cut a hunk out of the side to admit a modern motor (not included) and you can see the motor mount, and the other damage, where the barbarian cut the bottom cross piece to drop that board in there as a motor mount.

The fence is unbroken, amazingly, because the casting is somewhat thin and delicate.

It is adjustable to fine-tune its alignment. The first of the two parellel grooves across the table is just square in cross section; the rear one is a sliding dovetail. When the knob is tightened, it pulls the fence down and locks it in place. When I took the picture. the fence didn’t move at all due to rust. And as can be seen in the photo, someone along the way used a torch to cut a hole through the table top for who knows what reason.

I took these pictures as I first dug into the saw and discovered what, exactly, I had bought. Here’s where it starts getting really good.

It included the original, unbroken miter gauge.

And the miter gauge had on it the original sliding stop block, which surprisingly was not completely rusted to the miter gauge.

It also came with this very cool side shelf, for holding the miter gauge or other odds and ends when not in use – and which is shown in the old engraving above, so I know it’s original to the saw.

The side shelf hangs off the crank rod of the table raising mechanism on these lovely cast brackets.

So then I had a look-see under the hood. The top alone must weigh 150 lbs at least; maybe 200. It’s one massive casting. I propped it up with an old broken hammer handle.

Here’s the table raising mechanism.

A couple of very cool features – on this carriage bolt is a cast table prop and an arbor lock.

Here’s how the arbor lock works. It’s basically just a big wrench. Just flip it over 180 degrees, and it sits on a big fat hex machined into the arbor, holding it in place so you can undo the arbor nut on the far end.

The arbor itself is quite beefy and rides in large, babbitt bearings.

The table prop is missing the fitting or fixture that attaches it to the underside of the table, so I’ll have to fabricate something. But if it were there, here is how it would work – there is a little hook at the end that rests on the carriage bolt at bottom to hold the table up.

When I wrestled out the dust collection bin, I discovered several things in there. Here’s where it continues to get even better.

First thing I found in there was a spare arbor.

One arbor is 1″ diameter; the other is 5/8″.

Then I pulled out this scuffed up oak board. At first I wondered why there was this random old chunk of oak in there. But I noticed some marks on its face.

Yup! It’s the door for the front!

Then I pulled out what looks like a bunch of jigs for making specific cuts. And they show plenty of use.

Then there was this little piece that I haven’t figured out where it goes yet, if it does go with the saw. It’s clearly meant to be some sort of little fence or stop that can raise and drop out of the way.

Then I found the original arbor wrench.

There also was this nice double sheave for the motor (although there was no motor included):

And then, at the very bottom of the dust bin, in amongst the sawdust:

Yeah! The original door hardware! Whoever had this before didn’t throw away anything!

And then I also found the bit that holds the table prop onto the bottom side of the table:

It looks like it broke off, but also looks like I can either make another one or repair this one. So I should be able to get that table prop working again. But I must admit, that table prop seems a bit thin and delicate to be holding up that massive cast iron top while my head is under it.

It also came with this overarm blade guard, which I’m not so sure is original to the saw – it looks newer, and the basket is all aluminum. It also doesn’t exactly match the one shown in the engraving above.

Up until I pulled it out from under the saw, there was a trapezoidal pieceof glass in that front opening of the aluminum basket. The glass broke as I pulled the assembly out from under the saw. No biggie – I figure it’s not a good idea to have a piece of glass as a blade guard anyhow, and it will be easy enough to replace it with lexan.

A short while later, I started the cleanup and restoration.

DeWalt MotoMiterBox

So the Craig’s list ad showed a picture of this sweet little cast arn radial arm saw, with a price of $80. I mean, what was I supposed to do, not buy it? Come on, I mean, seriously.

This is one solid little machine. Very high-quality castings, nice and beefy, even though it’s only a 9″ saw.

This is the evolutionary precursor to the compound miter saw. I love the fact that it’s called the “MotoMiterBox”.

I also love the nice brass tag on the back of the column.

Heck, I like a lot about this little saw. Can’t wait to tear into it, do a full resto, clean it up and actually use it.

If you’ve got one of these and are interested in estimating its age, this thread from the Old Woodworking Machines forum explains how to figure it out, based on the machine’s serial number.  Based on the serial number, this one was manufactured in November of 1944.

Here is a two-page flyer from 1948 about the MMB.

CostCutter Printer’s Saw

I bought this just because I thought it was cool and it didn’t cost too much.

My original plan was to convert it to woodworking and use it for precision joinery work, as I have seen such conversions of Hammond Gliders.

It is surprisingly heavy for how small and compact it is. Extremely well-built and very beefy castings all over. I think it probably would come close to weighing as much as a Unisaw. Not quite, but it’s easily 300 lbs of cast arn. This is machinery from the golden age of American-made machinery. The machining and precision is excellent. The arbor-raising crank has almost zero backlash and is capable of very fine adjustment. Just quality all around.

After fooling around with it for a little while, I finally decided it was just taking up too much space in my shop and it was very unlikely I would ever get around to doing much with it. Besides, at the time I had seven other table saws in my shop. So I sold it and away it did go!

Still a very cool machine.

Walker Turner 16 inch Bandsaw

Happiness is an estate auction with old tools and little competition.

If you found this page because you’re looking for information about your Walker-Turner bandsaw, please read my Walker-Turner Bandsaw FAQ page.  I get at least one or two e-mails every week from someone how has one of these saws and found this page from a Google search.  Chances are my Walker-Turner Bandsaw FAQ page will get you the information you’re looking for, or at least pointed in the right direction.

On with the story of my particular W-T bandsaw:

I obtained this marvelous piece of `murican arn in the summer of 1999 for the princely sum of $100 U.S.  Almost got three hernias getting it home – it’s nearly 500 pounds, all told, and back then I didn’t have any real experience in moving heavy machinery.  I just used my hand truck and brute force.

It’s really a nice machine and very solidly built.  Everything is cast iron; there’s no sheet metal here.   The base and wheel covers are all cast iron.  And it was all original, including the original Driver Line motor.  Perfect candidate for restoration.  I believe it is a BN1135, based on the old W-T catalogs and paper I’ve seen.

This was my first piece of really old arn (I’m estimating it’s from late 1930s/early 1940s) and ended up being my first whole-hog woodworking machine restoration.  It (ahem) aged in the garage for about a year and a half while I maintained good intentions regarding its full dismantling and restoration.  Then in the late summer of 2001, I wrestled it into the basement so it would be out of the way and not taking up space in the garage.  To get it in the basement, I had to lighten the load, so I took off the doors and removed the motor.  This got me going, so a couple weeks after I had it inside the basement, I decided to dismantle it completely.

I spent many hours de-rusting all the smaller bits and pieces with a wire wheel chucked in the drill press, steel wool, and silicon carbide paper.

I purchased a sandblasting attachment for the small Karcher electric pressure washer I had at the time and spent a few hours messing up my driveway.  It ultimately wasn’t worth the hassle.  It used a lot of sand and left a huge mess to clean up. The nozzle on the sandblasting attachment wore out before I finished all the parts. Nevertheless, the results actually were pretty good.

Then in July 2002, we moved from New Jersey to Virginia, and I had to pack up my whole shop for the move.  The fact that the bandsaw was completely disassembled actually made it much easier to move.

In July 2004, I finally re-started the restoration.  I started with the base castings, since I figured it would make sense to rebuild from the ground up.  I hit everything with a wire wheel and wire brush, then wiped everything down with paint bonding solvent, then primed and painted.  I’ve had several e-mails asking about “paint bonding solvent” – it’s simply a blend of organic solvents (xylene, acetone, and maybe one or two others) used to remove surface dirt, oil, grease, whatever, and soften up any paint already there, to improve adhesion of the new paint.  I’ve seen it sold under the name “Paint Bonding Solvent” and also “Liquid Deglosser.” It’s designed to remove any grease or sticky stuff and leave a clean, fresh surface ready for paint.  If you’ve already got a painted surface, it also cleans up and slightly softens the existing paint, which helps the new stuff stick a little better.  You can find it in the paint section in Lowe’s, Home Depot, etc.

For the new paint, I used Rustoleum Hammered spray paint in light blue.  There’s a whole story in the saga of the paint – suffice to say that the stuff was hard to find in that color, but I liked it and managed to secure enough to finish the job and then some.

For mobility, I bought an HTC2000 mobile base.  It’s rated for only 400 pounds. As I reassembled the band saw, I weighed all the parts and the total assembled weight is very close to 500 pounds, so I’ve actually exceeded the rating of the mobile base.  I’ve now had the saw on it for a few years and it works o.k. But if I were to do it again, I would get the Jet 708118 Universal Mobile Base.  Not only is it rated for 600 lbs., it’s surprisingly inexpensive, if you shop around on the web for the best price, and it actually is quite well made and snaps together with no tools in about 3 minutes.  And it rolls very easily and smoothly.  I have one under my Delta 15″ planer, and I have the bigger version, the Jet 708119, rated for 1200 lbs., under my Rockwell-Delta 12/14 table saw.

As you can see from the photos, I added a dust panel in between the main casting and the base to keep sawdust from falling down onto the motor.  It’s just a piece of 1/4″ luan plywood that I finished with linseed oil and varnish.

I also polished all the bolt and screw heads and gave them a shot of clear lacquer to try to stave off surface rust.  Plus they just look nice that way.  The handwheels and a few miscellaneous pieces are finished in black Rustoleum Hammered paint.

Here’s the table tilting mechanism all cleaned up and pretty.  The trunnions are quite often broken or missing on these machines, but I was lucky enough to get a machine that was completely intact and original.

It’s one of those things that you put together, bolt onto the saw, then take back off and completely disassemble to re-insert the part that you just realized you had forgotten the first time,then reassemble and put back on the saw.  Which is how one really gets to know a machine intimately anyhow.

And here’s the top wheel adjusting mechanism.  For some reason, this assembly appeals to me.  It’s a nice beefy construction – all cast iron and machined steel.  Another thing that took two and a half tries to get reassembled correctly – but now it’s all in there, working great and looking fine.

On the right in the picture you can see the steel rod that the top blade guides hang off of.  One thing I can say about that steel rod is that if you’re bending over to look at the table tilt mechanism and have your head under that rod and then stand up, the bottom end of that steel guide rod won’t move out of your way.  Instead, it will make a kind of a dull “thunk” sound as it contacts your skull and you’ll say some bad words.  I mean, maybe, that might happen, if you were stupid enough to do something like that.  Not that I would know or anything.

January, 2005.  The bearings are in, the wheels, covers and doors are on.  It’s starting to look like a bandsaw!

I then completely disassembled the motor, and stripped and repainted the motor castings and other miscellaneous bits.  I also installed new bearings in the motor.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of the cleaned up and repainted motor.  It really came out looking sharp.

One little design feature I like on this bandsaw is the nice knurled steel knobs that hold the doors closed and hold the blade guides in.  There were a couple missing, however.  I was lucky enough to have connections via the internet with people who have some metalworking machinery and ability.  In this case, it was a certain mysterious dude known as the “Wrecking Crew Chief”, a/k/a/ Mr. Michael Haynes, somewhere out on the left coast of the U.S.  I sent him some drawings of what I needed and he proceeded to fab up some first-class replicas of the existing knobs.  Which is the old one and which is new?Answer: the one on the left is original; the one on the right is the reproduction.  Pretty damn good, no?

In this picture, you can see two of the new knobs – the larger one on the right, and the one in the far background that locks the table tilt mechanism:

Just for the hell of it, here’s the upper guide assembly, just because it looks so nice:

After this restoration, I installed polyurethane tires.  I can offer one simple word regarding that choice: don’t.  In 2009 I bought Carter rubber tires and threw away the polyurethane tires.  Rubber tires should be crowned, to make the blade track properly.

Welcome To The Tool Rest

Where Rust Never Sleeps

Welcome to The Tool Rest. It’s my little corner of the web, dedicated to antique woodworking tools and machinery (and some blacksmithing tools too) and some of the stuff I occasionally actually make with them – as well as any other project or thing that strikes my fancy.

Oh and – for the record – I don’t really like rust. It’s just the e-mail address my wife gave me about 15 years ago after I became seriously engaged in the habit of bringing home old, heavy, rusty metal things and piling them up in the basement, garage and wherever I could hide them. She says I need intervention. If I bring home one more big, old, crusty machine without first getting one out of my shop, she’ll probably sign the commitment papers.

In the words of the immortal Dave Barry, “There is a very fine line between ‘hobby’ and ‘mental illness’.