Barnes Combined Machine Table Saw and Winter Update

Welcome back. I have recently purchased an item I’ve wanted for the shop for a long time, a Barnes Combined Machine as well as a few other items at an auction. The saw was quite dirty when I purchased it, all that I wanted to do was clean it and get it running again. The base was greasy with a hundred plus years of dirt caked on. 

BeforeBase cleaned

So I started disassembling the machine by taking off the top, belt and treadle pedal from the base. The belt is very old and in need of replacement. These machines have quite a large flywheel on them, I removed the whole shaft and flywheel together. Everything was scrubbed down with just soap and water. I didn’t want to use any solvents that would ruin the original finish, as a previous owner did (I have still yet find a cleaner that can be trusted other than soap to not ruin an antique paint).

 After cleaning, the base was re-assembled and the top was next to require attention. There was a small hole in the top near the pulley that could have caused a problem. I made a small patch and mixed up some stain to match the top. After a coat of linseed oil was applied and then waxed. The wood was quite dry and the oil and wax gave it a nice feel as well as a nice work surface. The only thing that still requires attention is the babbitt bearing on the small pin wheel pulley needs to be replaced, which I will do in spring or summer when the weather is nicer. I am using a bronze bushing temporary till then. The belt and new blade were installed and the saw is ready to use. 


How does it operate? Quite well actually, as with most treadle tools you can’t force the wood through, just take your time and apply gentle pressure as you put it through. This particular model was only offered with a fence, which is good as I intend on using it only for rip cuts at this time. I may make a sled for it to allow for accurate cross cuts if required. After some research I was able to date this saw from around the mid 1880’s to early 1890’s based of images in old catalogs I found online and some other sources. 


I am presently working on an electric guitar, and have completed the drill press project pages and will soon be accepting commissions for work. There is also some other items I bought at auction that I will be cleaning up which will be in a future blog posting.

© Shane Larson 2018