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Crownsville Maryland

Back in January, I was searching through eBay and found a listing for a Fay & Egan No. 186 ReSaw. I contacted the seller after the auction ended and asked if I could come by and see the machine. As it turned out the seller was brokering the deal for a log time friend who’s health had been in decline. I made the drive from New Jersey to Crownsville the first Saturday in February. I arrived before 10 AM. It was damn cold. The seller and the owner met me in the driveway. After doing introductions, they walked me out to a large pole barn behind the owner’s shop. There in the middle of the building was one of the biggest resaws I’ve ever seen in person. This saw stands 10′ tall. I’d guess the weight to be somewhere in the realm of 7,000 LBS. The saw was in very good condition.

I looked it over closely and told the seller I’d consider it and make him an offer.

The owner then asked me if I’d like to see some other old machines he had around. I said yes, and they took me on a tour that would take the rest of the day.

We started at the sawmill. There was an old circular sawmill. It was driven by a lineshaft and powered by an old tractor PTO. There was also a Rowley Hermance four sided planer. it was also powered by PTO . This sawmill was a functional operation. Once a week, a bunch of local guys would show up and saw up whatever logs they could get donated to them.

Next stop was a lean-to shed attached to a large barn. This shed contained a completely functional shingle machine. This machine was run yearly at the local fair. The shingles produced would be branded with the name of the fair and the year. Strewn about in the shed were several partial and complete sawmill rigs. There was also a huge stock of cedar logs for producing the shingles.

In the adjacent building there were several completely rebuilt military vehicles. There was an old Army Jeep, a personnel carrier, and a motorcycle with a side car. The owner spent quite a bit of time showing me how much work he had done in the restoration process. It was very impressive. These machines were immaculate.

We headed back up to the pole barn where I had earlier seen the ReSaw. In the back of the building, behind a bunch of Ford tractors, golf carts and motorcycles, there was a 24″ H.B. Smith Jointer. This thing was massive. It’s babbit bearing. I couldn’t get close enough to see the cutterhead, but I was told that it was a four knife square head. I did find a slotted 24″ knife sitting on a old grinder that was near the machine. I assume that it was one of the knives from the jointer.

Finally, we headed back up to the “shop”. Entering through the front door, the first thing I noticed was a huge horizontal mill. It was an old line-shaft machine, but was being put to regular use. Next to that was an old Lodge & Shipley lathe. It looked to be a 18″ swing with 54″ between centers. There was also a 30″ Fay & Egan Bandsaw. It was belt drive. This machine looked to be 100% original. There were several smaller mills, drill presses, and other metal working machines and tools.
In the back room of the shop was another large lathe, an even bigger horizontal mill, an iron worker, and finally a Tannewitz Type U tablesaw.

We spent the next hour and a half talking about old machinery, politics, and anything else that might have come up. I finally begged my way out the door and headed back to New Jersey. I was pretty well frozen and was glad to be back in the truck.

I called the seller the next day and made an offer on the ReSaw and the HB Smith Jointer. He said he had to run it by the owner. We agreed to talk a week later.

A few days later, I got an e-mail message from a friend with a link to an e-bay auction. I was pretty surprised to see the F&E ReSaw listed there. I decided to wait the auction out before calling the seller. I checked eBay again a few days later and was disappointed to see that the ReSaw had been sold. The sad thing was that it was substantially less than I had offered.

I called the seller and asked if the Smith Jointer was still available. He said it was, and we made a deal on that. I never asked why they decided to put the ReSaw back up on eBay. I figured it was painful enough for them getting a third less than the deal we had on the table.

In the last week of August, the seller called me back. “Was I still interested in the saw”? It turned out that the guy who bought it was never able to get it picked up. He was on the west coast and had a bunch of personal problems that kept him from getting out east. He had asked the seller if he could contact the other interested parties and try to sell it for him. I told him I was interested, and offered the amount he had purchased it for in the eBay auction. Once again, we agreed to talk in a few days.

A week later, I got the call. We had a deal. We set the pickup date for the first Saturday in September.

The loadout was uneventful. I put the saw on my trailer and hauled it up to Newark, Delaware. I unloded it at a friend’s shop. He has the saw up and running in his operation now. He’s using it to ReSaw reclaimed timbers. By all accounts it’s a very fine machine.

Here are some of the spec’s on the saw:

No. 186 Lightning Resaw
42″ Wheels
20 HP Motor
Hydraulic infinitely variable speed feed.
The saw carries a 4″ blade
It can ReSaw up to 24″
The feed rolls are 4″, are self centering and can tilt up to 15 degrees

It’s good to see this old saw find a home where it’ll be put to good practical use.

2 Responses to “Crownsville Maryland”

  1. Dave Potts says:

    Hi Arthur,

    Did you ever find out more information on the HB Smith jointer that was down in Crownsville? Was it ever sold?


  2. A lan Alcock says:

    If you would like another resaw please email me

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