December 16, 2013

The Stand-All Saw Sharpener

Recently I learned of another mass-produced hand saw sharpener, the Stand-All, and here is what I have learned so far. If you have owned a Stand-All or know more about it, please contact me. 

Stanley Elias Matias Standal (1901-1958) was a Spokane, Washington inventor who patented a variety of items, primarily for industrial woodworking. Standal was a naturalized US citizen born in South Africa, and most of his patents were received in the early 1950s. His executrix, Elizabeth V. Standal, continued to apply for and receive patents for his inventions into the 1960s. For example, one patent was for an “inserted saw tooth with chip deflecting lip”.

A patent application gives Standal’s home address as 1302 15th St. (Ave.?) in Spokane, and his business was at 902 Normandie St., Spokane, a former industrial area near the Spokane River which is now office buildings and parking lots.

Stanley Standal filed for a patent November 5, 1951 for a “saw tooth forming and sharpening machine”, and patent number 2,675,717 was awarded April 20, 1954.
Link to Google Patents

Moon's Saw Shop, selling through Amazon, carries the 7" X 1/8" grinding wheels for the Model 7 Stand-All.

Here are photos from an October 2013 Craigslist ad for a Stand-All for sale in Oct. 2013:

Stand-All on

Stand-All Model 6 Operating & Maintenance Manual

September 6, 2013

Movies of Disston saw manufacturing

I just located 5 movies from 49 seconds to 2 minutes 2 seconds taken inside the Disston plant in 1920.  They show a number of steps in the manufacturing of hand and circular saws, from rolling the plate and tempering to cutting the wheat design and drilling handles. Viewing the video and still photos is free and copies are for sale from $4 and up.  I bought the $4 downloads and am happy with them.      

Disston movies at

January 21, 2013

Foley-Belsaw Manuals

My links for Foley-Belsaw manuals go to Vintage Machinery and the company's web site* where they are for sale.  If I have an old manual that Foley-Belsaw does not, I will scan it and it will be available free at Vintage Machinery

If you have an old manual not listed on this site, please email me about making it available here.   

Incidentally, later Model 61s are identified as Model 361 on the serial number plate, but there are only minor differences between these filers.  Model 361 serial numbers in are in sequence with Model 61s.  I have a Model 61 no. 42301 and a Model 361 no. 44097. If you have a Model 361, use the Model 61 manual.

*Note - as of about April, 2017, Foley-Belsaw's sharpening business was sold to Sharpening Supplies. My links now go to Sharpening Supplies.

January 13, 2013

Black Diamond band saw filer

I recently aquired this band saw filer called "The Only" made from Ambler's patent by Black Diamond Saw & Machine Works, Natick, MA.

Black Diamond saw Filer on YouTube

January 7, 2013

Another source for Foley-Belsaw saw filers

Just found this - the Sharpeners Report magazine has on-line classified ads that are available for anyone to read without a subscription or signup:

Classified Ads 

January 6, 2013

Foley-Belsaw Model 387 versus Foley Model 61 saw filer

 If you are looking for a saw filer and have wondered what the difference between them is, here is a brief comparision.  There are the Model 61 and other older ones, the 387 and SF-1000, and the Model 200 which is rare and about which I know next to nothing.

My experience is with the Model 61, but yesterday I set up a Model 387 to get it ready for a new home soon.  I thought the filer had had a little use, but when I plugged it in the motor ran in reverse, so apparently it had not been used at all.  After lubrication, making the adjustments, reversing the motor leads, and smoothing a few of the wearing parts that were not broken in, I pulled a few hand saw blades out of the scrap bucket and filed away.  Here is what I learned:

Models 387 and SF-1000 will give fast results with saws that are in good condition, meaning regularly spaced teeth that have previously been competantly filed by hand or machine.  If you plan to sharpen for others or otherwise need a quick turnaround, this is the machine.  If a saw has been poorly filed and is run through a 387, it will look worse fast.  The 387 will file broken teeth as long as the feed pawl can catch something, but otherwise a retoothing is necessary.  The 387 or SF-1000 are probably easiest to learn on, and you probably won't break anything on the machine.  If you are filing top of the line saws with high carbon steel, the 387 should give faster results.        

Model 61 and earlier are best for saws with any degree of irregularity.  With patience and a good file, many saws can be redeemed on a Model 61 without retoothing.  The reason is that because of design and wear, there is some side movement in the Model 61's file arm.  This allows it to file a tooth that's too large without breaking it.  The 387 has zero side play in the file arm so when it lands on a large tooth it will wipe it out.  If points per inch are off from one end to the other, the Model 61 will allow you to gradually file the small ones larger and the big ones smaller, as hand filing would.  The Model 387 requires lots of care to avoid reducing the odd teeth to stubs.  The Model 61 has a weak part, the rocker arm, that will break if the machine jams or the vise is tightened too hard.                                  

History of Foley-Belsaw

Over Christmas I wrote and submitted the article below (plus footnotes) to Wikipedia, but it was just turned down for lack of demonstrated significance.

Foley-Belsaw was a family-owned group of companies that designed, manufactured, and distributed a broad line of sharpening and locksmithing equipment, and sold home study courses for outdoor power equipment repair, locksmithing, and gunsmithing. Company headquarters and primary manufacturing operations were in River Falls, Wisconsin, with additional facilities in Kansas City, Missouri. The companies and divisions included Foley-Belsaw Company, Foley United, Foley United Industrial, and Neary Technologies. Foley Belsaw was a leading United States sharpening equipment manufacturer.

Foley history

Foley’s history began with Hugh B. Foley (1870-1926), an English citizen living in Seattle, Washington who invented a saw filing machine, US Patent number 837,922, issued December 11, 1906. Foley began manufacturing The Foley Saw Filing Machine after applying for the patent January 24, 1906, according to the name plate on an early machine. Foley formed Foley Saw Tool Company to manufacture the saw filing machine. By 1916 Hugh B. Foley was a US citizen living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and he was granted US Patent number 1,224,293 in 1917 for an improved saw filing machine. Foley continued to invent and patent saw filing and saw setting equipment, with his last patent issued posthumously in 1928.

Walter Ringer purchased Foley Saw Tool Co. in 1926 and continued to develop and manufacture automatic saw filers and related saw setting and retoothing equipment in Minneapolis. In 1929, Ringer changed the name to Foley Manufacturing Co. The product line grew to include machines for sharpening everything from ice skates to carbide saw blades, plus key duplication machines. Foley developed training materials to broaden the market for the sharpening machines. Foley also made a line of household kitchen utensils including the Foley food mill, a rolling pin with ball bearings, a rolling cookie and biscuit cutter, and flour sifters. During the post-World War II manufacturing boom Foley briefly produced a small table saw and gasoline powered reel lawn mower. Many of Foley’s machines were the best selling of their type, particularly the automatic saw filer.

Belsaw history

Belsaw Machinery Co. started in 1928 according to their logo, and they were located in Kansas City, Missouri. Belsaw’s best known machines were the portable sawmill and planer-molder, and they originated the Sharp-All multipurpose grinder and sharpener. Although Belsaw’s product line was smaller than Foley’s, they developed saw sharpening and setting machines that competed with Foley’s equipment.

Combined company history

Foley and Belsaw merged around 1982 under the Ringer family ownership, now in its third generation. The combined firm eliminated some duplicate products, but continued to manufacture machines developed by both Foley and Belsaw under the new name. Until 2017, its Foley Belsaw division in Kansas City marketed the Foley-Belsaw line of machines for key duplication, scissor sharpening, carbide grinding, knife sharpening, lawnmower sharpening, tool sharpening, chain saw grinding, drill and end mill grinding, honing, and skate grinding. Foley United made sharpening equipment for golf and turf markets. Foley United Industrial made sharpening equipment for industrial woodworking tools. Neary Technologies was founded in the late 1970s by a former Foley employee and purchased by Foley Belsaw in 1998. Neary sold a separate line of sharpening equipment for the golf and turf markets.

Recent history

As of April, 2017, what was called "Foley Belsaw Sharpening" was purchased from the Ringer family by Wingra Direct LLC, trading as Sharpening Supplies. As of June, 2019, all Foley-Belsaw sharpening machines have been discontinued except for the Model 310-16 carbide saw grinder. Sharpening Supplies sells machinery and supplies from other vendors and some supplies for Foley-Belsaw machines. What was Foley United is now called Foley Company, LLC, with partial Ringer family ownership. Neary Technologies is still also operating as of 2019.

Foley Co. LLC website 2019