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  • Writer's pictureChuck Hess just another sponge in the sea of knowledge

Oliver 1955 38" Model #115-RD Band Saw

Updated: Oct 15, 2023

Oliver 1955 38" Model #115-RD Band Saw in our Texas Shop!

Hey All, I was doing some re-sawing couple of days ago and thought I would share a story about this rare saw. This is one of my favorite machines, and I'm sure it will be yours too. We got this saw back in 2009 when the previous owner of 20 years looked on the internet, and found us, saying he was downsizing his operation and wanted to sell his saw. He was the second owner of the saw and it has never been in a high production situation. We quickly made a deal, we became the third owners, and my sons and our friend Matt and I headed out on the 1500 mile round trip to fetch her. The saw was/is in stellar condition except for the paint which is peeling off. This is the classic case of being midway through a restoration, having to put the saw into service to do a job, and not getting back to finish the paint job yet. I seem to be the king of half done restorations right now. Anyway this has been our main resaw replacing the Y36 snowflake that that had been holding that position. Here's a pic of the "snowflake",

Yates American Y-35 "Snowflake" Band Saw

That was a super cool Y-36 but it can't hold a candle to the Oliver. Due to limited shop space, that saw had to go to Detroit camp. The Oliver is a 10 HP direct drive, 570 RPM motor, all bearings running in oil baths. That makes a blade Surface Feet per Minute of about 5668. It comes with a 2 speed feed motor; 10 and 20 feet per minute. Our friend Dave Kumm gave us the VFD which I installed on the feed motor. I like to resaw slow and that was a good hack.

Feed Motor VFD from Dave Kumm

Having both sides of the feeder powered and supporting the full height of the cut, is the best! Here is some pics of her in the new Texas shop;

So these saws are rare but we must be livin' right because there was a time we had 4 of these on our property at the same time!

Life is short, Enjoy your projects!

Thanks for looking!

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