January 21, 2013

Foley-Belsaw Manuals

All of the links for Foley-Belsaw manuals go to the company's web site where they are for sale.  If I have an old manual that Foley-Belsaw does not, it will be available free on this site.  My emphasis is on saw-related items, but if I can purchase other original Foley or Belsaw sharpening or grinding machine manuals and scan them I will do so.

If you have an old manual not listed on this site, please contact me about making it available here.   Note that Foley produced a Manual No. 200 which covered the Model 61 filer.  The Model 200 Saw Filer was produced for a few years, probably in the 1960s, and replaced the Model 61. 

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.

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.                                  

Foley-Belsaw on Wikipedia - not yet

Over Christmas I wrote and submitted the article below (plus footnotes) to Wikipedia, but it was just turned down for lack of demonstrated significance.  So I will do more searching for articles available on the internet.

Foley-Belsaw is a family-owned group of companies that designs, manufactures, and distributes a broad line of sharpening and locksmithing equipment, and sells home study courses for outdoor power equipment repair, locksmithing, and gunsmithing. Company headquarters and primary manufacturing operations are in River Falls, Wisconsin, with additional facilities in Kansas City, Missouri. The companies and divisions include Foley-Belsaw Company, Foley United, Foley United Industrial, and Neary Technologies. Foley Belsaw is 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 Manufacturing Company in 1926 and continued to develop and manufacture automatic saw filers and related saw setting and retoothing equipment in Minneapolis. 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 cooking products 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.

Current company

Foley and Belsaw merged in 1983 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. Today, its Foley Belsaw division in Kansas City markets 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 makes sharpening equipment for golf and turf markets. Foley United Industrial makes 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 sells a separate line of sharpening equipment for the golf and turf markets.