THE WONDERFUL OTTAWA DRAG SAW

Maury Moses
July/August 1978
Add to My MSN


Content Tools

Related Content

COMING CONVENTION

The show began in 1950 at Mt. Pleasant with a small group of farmers

Know Anything About Friend Sprayer?

Frank Warren is looking for some help with restoring a Friend Sprayer that was used to spray apple t...

Crazy Contraption: What Is It?

We’re stumped about this contraption. What is it?

“John Bean” Fruit Tree Sprayer and the O-4 McCormick Orchard Tractor

O-4 McCormick orchard tractor and John Bean fruit tree sprayer hold special place in collection.

P.O. Box 148, 30 Military Drive, Chatham, Virginia 24531

It's me again, Maury Moses, the hill-billy gas nut with the grasshopper mind and the crack-pot ideas down here in the hills of southern Virginia. It's been some time now since I contacted the G.E.M. readers with one of my literary gems (July-August 1976), so I thought I'd drop a few lines to renew old acquaintances and say Happy New Year and so forth to everybody and tell about my favorite antique possession, the wonderful Ottawa drag saw.

I'm still enjoying the Gas Engine Magazine because it's about machines and I've always admired machines because they are the clever inventions of bright minds. I always wished I'd had a bright mind and could invent things like smart people do, but the Good Lord just didn't see fit to make everybody equal, in spite of what the Supreme Court said, so I just have to be contented with my lot.

Come to think about it, though, I did invent something one time -a perpetual motion machine-and it was a good machine, too. I took a lot of time and patience in thinking it out and building it, and so forth and used the very best materials. I believe I could have gotten a patent on it too, but it had just one little flaw. It wouldn't stay in motion. It was habitually stopping after I'd give it a start. So I finally renamed it the 'Perpetually Motionless Machine.' It's one of the best of its kind here in Pittsylvania County and I am real proud of it. I got it setting over here in the corner where I can see it every day and it really lives up to its new name. All I've got to do now is find a use for it!

Speaking of perpetual motion, the only really successful machine of this type down here in this neck of the woods belongs to a woman in the village. But she didn't invent it, she was born with it. It's her mouth. Her husband says it is really and truly perpetual too; says she talks in her sleep also. She's a woman's libber and she keeps her perpetch machine pretty busy promoting that subject-the times she's not doing her shift on the cocoanut wireless. They say perpetual motion is the dream of every inventor, but take my word for it, some perpetual things have definitely got their drawbacks?

Well for the main subjects of my little discussion here, I've got two things on my mind I'd like to gas about a little bit. One is the wonderful Ottawa Log & Tree Saw and the other is a subject which has caused me some concern here lately; but in case I run out of time and money before I get both items covered, I'll take up the pleasant subject first, the Ottawa. To make my story come out right, I'll have to go back and give a little historical background.

After jack-legging on Uncle Sam's Army Air Force fighter planes for four years in Big Dispute No. II, and the Japs had decided they didn't care for another taste of the Atrocious Bomb, the Army decided to get me off the taxpayer's back, gave me a fairly honorable discharge and told me I was free to go. They didn't specify that they particularly cared where. So after riding the waves back from the South Pacific, sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge (it never looked so beautiful before) and pounding the rails across the nation to southern Virginia, I headed for the old family homestead in the hills to care for my dear widowed mother. Besides, 1 had no other place to go and I needed a little caring for myself.

Also it was going to be good to see all the kindly neighbors again. I recalled the nice things they had said about me the day I left to show my patriotic enthusiasm by accepting President Roosevelt's invitation to join our nation's armed forces. Sweet remarks such as: 'Well, maybe the Army will straighten that boy out. His Ma never could do nothing' with him.' - - and - - 'Yep, the Army will make him toe the mark.' Old Jake Moorefield was the most comforting of all. His comment was: 'Huh! That boy's liable to be a drawback to the Army.'

Well, I wasn't one to hold a grudge. The fighting was over; those Army fighter planes were often able to fly in spite of my monkeying with 'em; we had won the war after all, and I was just plain glad to be back home. Besides I was tired of drinking battery acid lemonade and eating powdered eggs and dog meat. I hankered for some of mom's good old country cookin';.....and to be real honest about it, mom had had a lot of patience with me trying to raise me right, and had put up with many a one of my youthful tantrums. She had been a school teacher and she believed in discipline and obedience. She used to say that if all her school children had been like me, she would have quit teaching her first year. She also used to say; 'Lord help a poor widow woman with a bunch of unruly boys to raise.' Although the neighbors suggested Reform School, mom stuck by me, bless her heart, even if she was stuck with me, and she did a pretty good job, after all, of getting me over fool's hill, and I owed her a whole lot.

Well, to make a short story long, the old homestead was one of those large ante-bellum (pre-Civil War, that is) houses with big rooms, high ceilings, and huge open fireplaces which were absolutely hawgish in their appetites for firewood; and although the rural electric line had finally come to our neck of the woods, no amount of persuasion could induce mom to part with her old Majestic wood cook stove which, besides being majestic, queenly and all that, was also perfectly piggish about stove wood. What it all added up to was that there was a constant year-round demand for firewood at the old homestead. In the earlier days before the War (II), the only tools we boys knew anything about, in cutting trees for firewood, were the old muscle powered cross-cut saw and the hand axe. Not that we minded work or anything like that, but there were so many other more important things to think about like girls, cars, fishing, ball games, girls, and so forth.

Well, all my brothers were out and gone now; living away from home on their own. They had all had ambition and gotten out in the world and made something of themselves. I was the only one left at home now; the only male member of the family, that is. Our father had died when I was only four. Of course, there was Sanders, the hired man. Sanders had been a real stout man in his day, but he had seen a lot of moons. He had been with the family so long that he was almost like a family member, and we were all real fond of him. I could always feel at ease with Sanders, bless his heart. After all, he was a whole lot like me. Had the best intentions in the world; but hadn't been blessed with a real brilliant mind; and besides, he wasn't always after me to have ambition and amount to something like mom was. Sanders and I could sit on the creek bank for hours with our fishing poles and chawin' tobacco, and be at perfect peace with the world. What greater ambition could you possibly want?

What it all boiled down to was, it was going to be my responsibility along with Sanders' help, to keep the old homestead supplied with firewood and plenty of it. Aunt Mary Sue had come to live with us now and her blood was a little thin, and mom wasn't as young as she used to be, and I was going to start some early chickens in the basement, and so forth, and all this called for extra heat and extra wood in cold weather.

Well, while I was meditating about my firewood responsibility, I happened to pick up the Progressive Farmer (or it might have been the Ambitious Agriculturist) and began thumbing through the pages. There on one of the back pages was a real interesting ad which captured my attention. It read: 'Put an end to sore muscles and aching back. Cut your trees and saw your wood with gasoline power. Get an Ottawa Log & Tree Saw. The 5 HP engine does all the work. Saws many cords of wood per day. One man can do the job of ten. Send for free information book and price list. Ottawa Manufacturing Company, Ottawa, Kansas.' Included in the ad was a picture of the machine attached to a large log sawing away on it with the sawdust flying. To say that this advertisement set me on fire is putting it mildly. It was as if a fierce fever had gripped my whole body. I knew immediately that I had to have one of these contraptions, so I lost no time in getting a request for the free information book in the mail. Understand that this was before the advent of the chain saw. If it had been invented, it hadn't made its debut in our neck of the woods. I had tinkered with numerous one cylinder gas engines, but never before had I heard of one which could saw a tree down and then saw it up into logs. This Ottawa thing would certainly be the answer to my firewood prayer. Surely the Good Fairy had prompted me to pick up that magazine and see that ad.

I had a little Army mustering out pay (they had bribed me to get out), so I approached mom and Aunt Mary Sue with the proposition of us three going a third each and ordering one of these Ottawa saw machines. The descriptive book which the manufacturer sent had the most fascinating and enticing pictures and verbal descriptions in it. This wonderful machine would make it so much easier for Sanders and I to keep up the household wood supply, you see, and we'd have more time for other necessary chores and so forth {and other pastimes too.) The women folks, bless'em, allowed as to how my appeal sounded plausible, and they agreed to pay a third each on the cost. (I always did love Aunt Mary Sue. She used to take up for me when I was a kid and mom was trying to get me motivated with a yard stick.) Incidentally, the price of the Ottawa ensemble was only $175.00 for the 5 HP engine, the log sawing mechanism, the 2-wheeled chassis, the tree-felling attachment, the six foot cross-cut blade and the circular 'buzz' saw attachment; and this included the freight shipping charge! Good old pre-inflation days!

Well, an order for one of these Ottawa saw machines was promptly mailed to the factory in Ottawa, Kansas. It seemed like years before they sent an acknowledgement of the order, and even more years before the thing arrived at the freight station over in town. But one day the mailman finally did bring a notice that there was a shipment for me at the Chatham rail freight depot. Sanders and I jumped in my old Model T Ford truck (bought it at an auction sale for fifty bucks) and headed for town. I had named the old truck 'Slow Motion' and it was sure living up to its name, even with the throttle gagged wide open, but we did get there.

The freight agent handed me the bill of lading and I noticed that it stated the weight of the shipment as 500 lbs.! I began to wonder how in the world could such weight as that put an end to sore muscles and aching back? In the next moment I caught sight of the engine with its beautiful coat of gleaming green paint and I decided right then that I wasn't going to worry about a mere little old 500 pounds. Anyhow, the whole outfit didn't have to be lifted and handled at one time. The engine was on a 2-wheeled chassis with handles at one end with which to roll and maneuver it around. Of course, weight lifter's muscles would be handy all right, but where there's a will, there's a way, even with ordinary muscles. I definitely had a will regarding this Ottawa saw machine, so we got it loaded on the truck and headed back home. We pulled into the back yard and unloaded the rig on to the ground. I was very eager to see and hear the engine run, and could hardly wait to get it prepared for cranking. After checking the grease cups and using the squirt oil can in the right places, I filled the hopper tank with water, the fuel tank with gasoline, the drip lubricator resevoir with cylinder oil, opened the fuel needle valve, retarded the ignition timing, advanced the throttle, pushed the clutch lever into neutral, choked the carburetor intake a few strokes, and pulled the flywheel over against compression. The engine started Immediately. Advancing the spark control and adjusting the fuel needle valve and throttle produced a smooth, steady, rythmic bang, bang, bang of medium r.p.m. I have heard some beautiful music in my life, but none any prettier than that coming from the exhaust pipe of that lovely 5 HP Ottawa engine.

The long 6' saw blade was not yet attached to the machine, so I took hold of the clutch lever and put the saw drive mechanism in gear. It was fascinating to see the crankshaft pinion gear driving the large bull gear, and the bull gear carrying its crank arm and the pitman rod through their beautiful wide circular sweep to drive the cross-head (to which blade attaches) back and forth on its slide rods with a long 17' stroke each way. It was like looking at a hay baler, an oil drilling rig, and a locomotive steam drive all rolled up in one! What mechanical nut wouldn't have been thrilled?

The best part was yet to come, however-getting this thing into the woods and see it do some actual tree sawing. Some food first would be advisable, as muscle power would be required to move and place this machine. So Sanders and I ate a good dinner and returned to the adventure. As I said, we weren't worrying about the weight of the Ottawa, but we did have to face it. A machine of this weight is not easy to even roll for any distance by hand, so we hitched it behind the truck and towed it to the woods. Once among the trees, it really wasn't any trouble to maneuver and place the Ottawa by hand for tree felling and log sawing. One man of medium build can do it okay, but it is easier with two men.

We selected a good sized oak tree, fastened the felling attachment to it, and the engine to that, and cranked her up. It was amazing how well the saw blade cut into the tree trunk, even in a horizontal position. In a very reasonably short time the crosscut blade was ? way through the tree trunk. Tapping a wedge into the cut behind the blade started the tree falling, so I cut the engine off. The large oak fell with a crash and I thought of all the strenuous muscle work it would have taken, down on our knees, to cut that tree with the old hand cross-cut saw. Remounting the blade, with its crank drive, back on the engine base in a vertical position made the machine ready to desired. This it did superbly well with the greatest of ease while we just stood and watched the action. Here truly was a classic example of victory of brains over brawn.

The beauty of a drag-type power saw such as the Ottawa is that after you get it fastened to a standing tree or a log and start the engine driving the blade, you don't have to hold anything with your hands as with a chain saw. You can just stand by (or sit down) and watch the machine do the work. Occasionally it is necessary to tap a wedge into the cut behind the saw blade to prevent the blade being pinched. Never had to run the engine at more than medium idle speed for good steady log sawing or tree felling. Some manual work with the axe and muscle saw was required to limb up the tree, but after that, and after we had finished cutting up the main body of the tree with the log saw, we attached the buzz saw to the chassis, belted the engine to it, and sawed up the limbs and branches into fire wood. This one tree produced a large amount of stove and fireplace wood and the Ottawa made the work a pleasure.

Right side of engine. The Ottawa has only one flywheel. Counter-balance weights on crankshaft serve as second flywheel.

There were two main attractions about this Ottawa drag saw. The fact that it made the job of wood cutting much easier, and the fascination of the machine itself. The rythmic pop, pop of the engine exhaust, the whirling flywheel, the lovely geometric sweep of the pitman crank arm and rod, and the steady, uniform reciprocating strokes of the long 6' saw blade were something to see and hear! It was definitely love at first sight. To say that I loved this mechanical contraption is putting it mildly. I worshiped it. If someone had walked up at that time and offered me a free ticket to Paradise, it is very doubtful that I would have accepted it. As far as I was concerned, Paradise had come to me-on a freight train-from Ottawa, Kansas!

At this point I will give some mechanical information and specifications on the Ottawa engine and sawing attachments for the benefit of the GEM readers who have never seen, or are not familiar with the Ottawa, or any type of draw saw.

To begin with, The Ottawa log and tree saw belongs to a class of power wood saws commonly known as drag saws. The long, heavy gauge cross-cut blade is dragged across the log (also pushed across) by a crank arm and pitman rod powered by a gasoline engine. There were a number of other makes of drag-type saws manufactured in the pre-chain saw era, but the Ottawa was one of the best, if not the best. My machine was the Ottawa Manufacturing Company's model A-1, the latest and most improved model they made before they went out of business. My engine was the 5 HP water-cooled type; however, the Ottawa Company did put a 6 HP air-cooled engine on some of their machines (which they called their model B-1). The only difference in the models, however, was in the engine.

The Ottawa 5 HP log saw engine was of the company's own manufacture and was of excellent mechanical design. It was a one cylinder, four cycle, hopper-cooled, throttle governed, magneto sparked gasoline engine having a top speed of 550 r.p.m. It had a 4 ?' bore, a 5' stroke and a compression ratio of about 6 to 1. The piston was equipped with 4 rings. Cylinder lubrication was by the conventional sight feed drip oiler. Crankshaft and con rod bearings were lubricated by screw-cap hard-oil cups. The two main crankshaft bearings were set at a 45 degree angle so that the force of the power stroke would be against solid metal surface. Both the intake and the exhaust valve were fully mechanically operated by push rods and rocker arms. This was quite an innovation for single cylinder water-cooled engines of that day. Most all the farm type one-lungers had the conventional snorter or suction operated intake valve. Ottawa's ignition was by the dependable Wico, type EK high tension magneto which fired a screw-in spark plug. The magneto had a manually operated spark timing control. The carburetor had a flexible spring action venture which helped to better atomize the fuel mixture. This also was an innovation, Ottawa had a patent on it. In addition to automatic throttle governing, there was also a manually operated speed changer.

The crankshaft had counterbalanced weights opposite the throw. This resulted in much smoother operation and less vibration at all speeds. This also was another outstanding Ottawa feature. It was not to be found on hardly any of the other makes of old time 1-cylinder open crank engines. The 5 HP engine on the Ottawa model A-1 drag saw had only one flywheel (6 spokes) which was on the right side facing the rear of the engine. The flywheel was 18?' in diameter and its rim was 23/8' wide. The left end of the crankshaft (the end opposite the flywheel) had a manually operated clutch and a 3' pinion gear. The pinion gear was put in and out of rotation by the clutch which was the spring-loaded cone type with ball thrust bearings, and was cam operated by a hand lever. The 3' pinion gear drove a 12' bull gear to which was attached the counterbalanced pitman crank arm and the rear ends of the cross-head slide rods.

The bull gear, crank arm, slide rods assembly was mounted on the left side of the engine base. The drive ratio of the pinion to bull gear was 4 to 1. The end of the pitman crank arm rotated through a 17' diameter circle and had a 17' swing, two per revolution. This 17' swing was transmitted through a pitman rod to a cross-head which slid back and forth on a pair of parellel steel slide rods. In operation, the circular swings of the crank arm was transformed to linear motion in each direction, forward and backward, of the cross-head. The rear end of the 6' cross-cut blade was attached to the cross-head, therefore, the blade moved back and forth with a 17' stroke each way.

A remarkable feature of the Ottawa drag saw was its 'human action' of the saw blade performance. This was accomplished by having the rear ends of the cross-head slide rods fastened to a strap in the center of which rotated an eccentric (off center) section of the pitman crank arm hub. This gave the slide rods and cross-head, and consequently the saw blade, an up and down rocking motion just as two men would naturally do in using a hand powered cross-cut saw. Each end of the saw blade alternately rocked up and down as it stroked back and forth through a log. This double action, compound motion of the power driven blade greatly increased its cutting speed and efficiency. The Ottawa Company called this feature power force feed. This was an outstanding point of mechanical superiority of the Ottawa drag saw. It worked to particularly good advantage when felling a tree as the blade would be lying on its side and wouldn't have the help of its own weight pressing into the cut. The actual sawing speed could be varied from 200 to 350 strokes per minute by varying the speed of the engine.

The engine sat on the wheeled end of a 2-wheel chassis composed of an axle with two 16' iron wheels, and two 610' long wooden beams. The ends of the beams opposite the engine were narrowed down to form hand-grip handles with which to move and maneuver the machine around. The two iron wheels could be swiveled from a position parallel to the chassis for rolling or towing, to a position at right angles to the chassis to make the machine stand steady for sawing.

Another very interesting and useful fact about the Ottawa drag saw was that it could cut through a log or tree trunk practically as thick as the saw blade was long. For instance, the 6' blade could saw through a log or standing tree about 6' in diameter just so at least one saw tooth could break through the surface on each side. Obviously the Ottawa type saw was best suited for larger trees and saw mill size logs. No drag saw would be practical for small pulp-wood size trees.

When sawing a log, the handles end of the chassis was placed on top of the log and the two iron wheels were turned at right angles to the chassis. There were four spikes on the bottom side of the ends of the wood beams to grip the log, and a winch with chain and hook to bind the end of the chassis tightly to the log while sawing.

The tree felling operation was a real curiosity. The felling attachment consisted of a narrow 8' wooden frame which was fastened to the tree trunk by means of 2 log hooks with chains and hand-wheel screw tighteners. A flat platform on top of the frame supported the saw blade lying horizontally on its side. The saw cranking mechanism was dismounted from its vertical position on the side of the engine, and laid horizontally on the tree-felling frame with the bull gear meshing into the pinion-bevel gear drive which was a part of the felling attachment. The bevel gear drive had a universal joint, the outer yoke extension of which had a 1' square recess in its end. Another similar universal joint fitted on the clutch end of the engine crankshaft. Connection between tree feller and engine was then made by placing a 30' long, 1' square drive shaft in the square hollow ends of the universal joints. The U joints permitted operation at odd angles or awkward positions which might be caused by rough or uneven ground. Once the sawing action was started to cut a tree down, the blade sawed into the tree surprisingly well, even though the blade was in a horizontal position and without the aid of its own weight pressing its teeth against the wood. The secret of this was the compound motion of the blade which the designers of the Ottawa called 'power force feed.'

The 20' circular 'buzz' saw was another very useful attachment of the Ottawa rig. This fastened to the wheeled end of the chassis and was powered by the 5 Hp engine. The late model Ottawa that I had used grooved pulleys and V-belt. A detachable V-belt pulley bolted to the clutch housing on the end of the engine crankshaft and thus received benefit of clutching action. The 11?' driving pulley drove the 5' saw mandrel pulley at 2.3 times the engine speed. The buzz saw made short work of cutting up the limbs and branches into firewood and could handle pieces up to 8' thick without turning.

The Ottawa drag saw was a very versatile machine. Besides felling trees and cutting up logs with its cross-cut saw, and sawing up limbs and branches with its buzz saw, the engine, on its 2-wheeled chassis with handles, was a portable power unit ready for any belt work wherever 5 HP was sufficient. Both V-belts and flat belt pulleys were available in various sizes to meet all needs. The engine could be used to pull water pumps, feed choppers, grist mills, cider mills, emery wheels, conveyors, compressors, churns, blowers, generators, elevators, separators, washing machines, milking machines, cement mixers, cane crushers, garden dusters, wood busters, sausage grinders and chicken pickers, machine shops and merry-go-rounds.....or what have you? It was ready for any extracurricular activity within its power capacity and it could be connected to its work by either belt or direct shaft drive. Imagine trying to accomplish these things with a chain saw!

I used my engine a lot to pull a grist mill to grind corn and wheat for making cow, pig, and chicken feed. Besides keeping the old homestead bountifully supplied with firewood, I did some custom log sawing with my Ottawa. Also sawed logs for lumber to build myself a house, and to build and repair farm buildings. I recall on one occasion putting the dragster to work on a big old oak tree fully 5' thick at its base. It was near the highway and people driving by would stop their cars and get out to watch this mechanical beaver do its thing. Among the comments were: 'That's the gol-derndest contraption I ever seen.'......and......'Now if I'd of just had that thing when I was a boy!'

Well, I had my Ottawa and used it and enjoyed it for a number of glorious years before tragedy finally struck. Had it stored in this outbuilding and was burning some trash in a nearby field one breezy day in March. A spark must have blown up under the building and set it on fire. I was at some distance when I noticed that the storage house was burning. When I got to it, it was a roaring inferno. Thus ended my beloved Ottawa drag saw. To say that I was broken hearted is putting it mildly. I wanted to buy a new one, but by this time the noisy, stinky, temperamental, impudent little chain saw had put the Ottawa Company and all other drag saw manufacturers, out of business. It was a sad day. I eventually bought a chain saw, but more out of necessity, than love. I just couldn't get romantic with a screeching, howling, unrythmic little jitterbug like a chain saw. There would never be another lovely honeymoon like I had with my Ottawa.

As time went on, however, I began to have hope that there might be a possibility of finding a second-hand Ottawa drag saw somewhere like the one I had. It would have to be exactly like my original one, mind you, or no deal. Well, over the years theard of a number of them, wrote numerous letters, made numerous phone calls, and made a number of fairly distant trips to look at used Ottawas, but in every case the owner had either already sold, didn't want to sell, or asked too high a collector's item price.....or the machine was in such poor and/or damaged, unrestorable condition that I didn't want it. This went on for numerous years until one day East year my dream finally came true. I discovered an Ottawa rig exactly identical to the one I lost in the fire.....complete with every attachment and accessory very little used. Where in this great big United States of America do you suppose I found it? Just five miles up the road from my home! And it had been sitting there in a barn for the past thirty some years just resting and relaxing. I could hardly believe it. After making all those calls, inquiries, and trips in search of an Ottawa drag saw like my original, here was one right under my nose, and had been there all the time. Just shows to go you that a fellow never knows what treasure might be right outside his own doorstep.

This machine belonged to a widow lady whose deceased husband had been the original purchaser. This lady wasn't hard to deal with but she was no fool either. She said yes, she would sell the saw outfit, but said she figured I was offering only about half what it was worth, so she would take double that amount for it. Well, I figured she was about right in the way she was figuring, and that it would be a bargain at that, considering its perfect condition, its completeness, and how badly I wanted it. Here undoubtedly was a woman with woman's intuition, extra-sensory perception, or something, and you just can't argue with that sort of thing. I did say something about splitting the difference with her, but she held her ground. Said her price was double my first offer, take it or leave it, and besides her son might be interested in keeping it in the family. Well, now here was clearly a case of where surrender on my part would be the better part of valor. After all, where in the world would you find another sweet reasonable soul with an Ottawa drag saw in perfect condition to sell, and asking only twice the price you first offered? No where, that's where! So I pulled out my check book and started writing. I handed her the check and told her that with it went a whole lot of love, and may the Lord bless her. She said she appreciated that and she trusted the Lord might eventually see some hope for me too.

Left side of engine. Here is seen the clutch, pinion gear, counterbalanced pitman crank arm, pitman rod, slide rods, and cross-head. The blade is 6' long.

Well, I winched the chassis and engine up on my trailer, put the attachments in the pick-up body, and started rolling home with a happy heart. Gave the engine a steam cleaning job, lubricated all the bearings with new grease, and gave it a new coat of bright green paint. It runs and operates perfectly. You couldn't tell it from a brand new one. Its serial number is even dose to that of my original Have sawed up a lot of winter firewood with it. I'm having an Ottawa honeymoon all over again. I can't say that I ever actually believed in reincarnation, but in this case it realty did seem like my beloved original Ottawa, after being destroyed by fire, had, like the miraculous Phoenix bird, arisen from its own ashes to become its new, strong, beautiful self again!

I took it down to a road-front lot Highway 57 to saw up some logs for a fellow. The engine had reached good running temperature and the hopper water was boiling vigorously, sending up a cloud of steam vapor in the frosty air. People began stopping and getting out to look. A kid said: 'Hey Dad, look at that steam engine' His dad said: 'That ain't no steam engine son, that's one of them new-fangled stump pullers.' The Ottawa paid no attention. It just kept on sawing.

Weil, they say progress will have its way and you can't hold it back, and I guess they're right. There is no denying that the modern chain saw is smaller, lighter, faster, and more maneuverable; and it is undoubtedly responsible for the demise of the dragsters; but to this antique lover, the chain saw will never be as fascinating-and speaking of drag saws, there were numerous other makes manufactured, but to this gas nut, the Ottawa was king of them all!


Previous | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | Next






Post a comment below.

 








SUBSCRIBE TO GAS ENGINE MAGAZINE TODAY!
First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Every month Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

Be sure to take advantage of the Square Deal Subscription Program.

  • No Missed Issues.

  • No Renewal Notices.

  • No Additional Cost.

The Square Deal Subscription Program is designed as a paperless transaction with automatic renewals at a preferred low rate.   With advanced electronic notification, a 100% satisfaction guarantee and an easy opt-out plan, the Square Deal Subscription Program is the best value, risk free, eco-friendliest way to subscribe.