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"Back From The Archives" :OldManSmiley:

Originally titled "Throw Back Thursday 6-9-14 Patriot Picking".


This week's pick takes us to a nice vintage tool that is a bit larger than a hand plane. Last weekend I received a call from one of my picker friends who ran across this very nice woodworking machine and called me to see if I was interested. I know I have started with that line before and it seems they all know what I am out looking for and they have started helping me, well sorta, since I buy it from them, it cost me a bit more than if I located it myself on the pick. However we are all friends doing the same thing and usually works out to get me a good deal


Okay so I will get on with this weeks pick.


A W.F. & J. Barnes Mortising machine, foot powered.



W.F. and John Barnes made a formal partnership in 1869 and became incorporated in 1872 in Rockford, Illinois.They operated in Rockford until 1964 when they were bought by Babcock-Wilcox. Pedal powered equipment was their main focus but in 1881 they were beginning to make some powered machines. They were making what was considered to be lightweight foot powered machines but this mortise machine weighs in at 130 lbs. Seneca Falls and Barnes were the only two at this time making professional grade machines. Their tools were intended for the serious workshop. They were man-size and robust


They were known well for their foot powered Scroll Saw. They were also specializing in drill presses and that line really took off with the acquisition of the Thomas Farmer friction plate drill press patent.


John S. Barnes, son of the founder John, took over the company in 1920. He started taking the company more toward the lucrative automobile machinery trade. Assembly line tools became the main focus.


By 1937 the line of foot powered tools had practically ceased however even today they are remembered for the line of high quality foot powered machinery.


This Mortising machine is complete and working except that it didn't have any chisels.


On the back of the machine the name is cast on one side.



And Rockford, Ill on the other side.



It has three awesome claw feet.



There are two on the front and one in the back.




This is a type 4 machine and was the last one they produced. It was made between 1892 and 1936. The early machine had a wooden spring that looked somewhat like a wagon bench seat spring.


The first one was produced in 1877 and it went through a few changes, most notable was the change in the spring. Until the Type 4, they maintained the brackets for the wood spring. A Type 3 was only produced in 1892. That was when the tilting table was added.



The Type 2 added a wooden table top on the cast iron table. It has been removed from the one I got, but the holes are there for the piece of wood to be attached.


There are also adjustable hold downs brackets on the front.



An adjustment on the back allows the table to be moved up and down depending on the size of wood you are putting a mortise.



The head moves in and out to set the mortise where you need it.



The handle on the top front will rotate to turn the chisel so you can clean up each side of the chisel.


The cover of the 1907 Barnes catalog.



The mortise machine as pictured in the 1896 catalog.



Yes that is right, $20.00 for the machine. I did pay more than 20.00.


Here is the machine listed in the 1927 Catalog.


So like it sits I could make mortises but I really need to locate some chisels. They weren't that expensive back in the day.



I am hoping that someone out there may have some or know of someone that has them. If not, then I may have to find a machine shop that can make me a few.


This is the only number that I have been able to locate on it so far.



I am excited to add this piece to my shop and one more of my manual operated machines. As soon as I can move it outside I will give it a good cleaning and see what I will need to do as far as any restoration.


I love the way the old machines were made with so much character and detail just like in the legs and feet. You just don't see that on anything made today. I may even put it in the house it looks so neat. I am going to put a nice piece of cherry on the table.


Back to Patriot Picking.....


Edited by Larry Buskirk

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A great find by your buddy. Glad you were able to get it. Nice to have friends like that.


Man, those chisels would need to be really sharp, and the operator would need strong thigh muscles. Or maybe you just nibble it?


At any rate, it's a neat piece of "old arn".




Edited by Larry Buskirk

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Should be some good therapy for someone's new knees?

My knees couldn't take it.  I stick with the old mallet and chisel routine.....


The store that goes along with Underhill's School just MIGHT know where you could get a few chisels for it.  Might give them a call?


PS: Got my picking the other day, with a Penny Jack Plane.....

Edited by Larry Buskirk

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Well John,


I don't think you're ready for this but,

Complete set of 10 used chisels 1/4", 5/16", 3/8", 7/16", 1/2", 9/16". 5/8", 3/4", 7/8", & 1".

$1000.00 U.S plus shipping from Canada.

My contact is not the seller, he's looking for a cheaper set himself. He has a 3/8" that came with his.

He stated the seller will not break up the set.

Edited by Larry Buskirk

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These machines use a different type chisel than the mortising machines that use a drill bit with the chisel.

It's a solid 3 sided chisel with a tapered shank where it fits into the machine. ( As described to me)


Woodworkers Tool Works might be a source.

Edited by Larry Buskirk

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I've gotten into a group of "Pickers" that find all kinds of neat old things.

Monday I'll be going to Milwaukee with them, we'll be clearing out a warehouse full of stuff.

There is already a 53' semi trailer parked to load everything into, I've been told it all won't fit.

We'll have to bring everything down a freight elevator, the stuffs stored on the second floor of the building.

From what I've been told the stuff is from a 45+ year collection, and includes a bit of everything you could imagine.


I'll find out Monday!


:ChinScratch:Milwaukee.....,Maybe I'll hit the Delta motherload! ning-twothumbsup-1534-44.gif

Edited by Larry Buskirk

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