Wellsaw 58B Restoration

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A good friend pointed out an advertisement on Craig's list for a well used Wellsaw 58B horizontal band saw.  Well used didn't really describe it well, it sat in a barn for 10-20 years and accumulated what I fondly remember from my antique John Deere restoration days as "Tractor Crud"  That hardened crust made by letting dirt and dust accumulate on top of grease and then age it for a decade or two.  The motor was supposedly bad, we plugged it in and it worked fine (no belt installed) and then a minute later it started to smoke.  Yeh, they were right, it's bad, though I think they determined this without plugging it in...

The hydraulic damper, for lowering it slowly, works like a champ and all the bolts and adjustments are not seized though it looks like they should be. The blade wheels spin freely and quietly and all the adjustments work fine.  The blade guide bearings (all 6) are all shot and I would have replaced them anyways.   The gear box seemed stiff in a strange way and we removed it to find the internal ring gear on the blade wheel was full of (you guessed it) "tractor crud"  :o)

The manual was available on the Wellsaw website


I took it apart this morning and not a single screw or bolt broke off, was stripped or required anything beyond the normal effort to remove.  Hardly any Kroil was needed!  It looks like the only missing parts are the auxiliary coolant apron, the coolant tank and the stop for cutting multiples of the same length, but then I have never seen the stop with any other saw I have used either.

During the course of the day I scraped, ZEP Purple'd and wire brushed the chip pan, legs and the main base and tilting frame.  A wipe down with denatured and a couple coats of Rustoleum Dk Machinery Grey (legs and Chip Pan), Light Machinery Grey (base and tilting frame) and it now looks like a respectable piece of equipment!  Into the glass beader will go the guards and other small fixtures.  I will be ordering parts on Monday and maybe it can be reassembled next weekend...

Click on any photo to see a larger version


Progress update, the main pieces have been bolted back together and the small parts have been sandblasted! 


I painted the small parts this afternoon after getting home from work.  Also the parts from Wellsaw arrived, including decals!  The bearings for the blade guides arrived from USA Bearings and Belts, 6 bearings shipped for $16


I glass beaded and painted the blade guide parts and got most of the saw assembled.  Need to make a run to the hardware store in the am for a bag of bolts....


I got the saw put together, rebuilt the damper and  only need to adjust the wheel alignment, it wants to walk the blade and then adjust the guide rollers.

Copyright 1997-2011 by Bill VanOrden