24/6/9 Merrill & Barnwell In the Nov/Dec
1982 issue of GEM, questions were asked about the small two-cycle
engine called the Little Woodsman that was built at Eureka,
California. Two brothers, Douglas and Cliff Merrill, plus a
partner, Abraham Barnwell made and sold this drag saw. Barnwell
made all the patterns. He passed away many years ago, but at this
writing the Merrill brothers are both alive and well. The following
is from an interview I had with Doug Merrill:
This overhead view illustrates one of the very first Woodsman
Power Saws. Only about 100 of these were made. It had a babbitted
outboard bearing, but was later changed to a ball bearing. Note the
slanted cooling fins as referred to in the interview.
A closeup of the engine used on the Woodsman Featherweight saws.
This later style used straight fins in the flywheel and straight
fins on the cylinder. Although difficult to read from this angle
the casting opposite the flywheel reads, ‘Little Woodsman,
Only about six of these gas-powered winches were made, and
several were used to pull up shake bolts in the woods.
Cliff Merrill is on the left, and brother Doug Merrill is on the
right in this 1946 photograph. The large crate was being shipped to
French Equatorial Africa, and contained ten of our Woodsman Power
Saws. The official company name was Woodsman Power Saw Company,
Third & L Streets, Eureka, California.
This Model 15 Samson truck is of 1920-21 vintage, and belonged
to our next door neighbor. The 71/2 HP engine
on the truck powered the saw. Two screw jacks were lowered when
sawing to stabilize the unit. It could cut up to 40 cords per day.
Photo courtesy of Harley Crawford.
Here is Cliff Merrill beside the first prototype saw that was
made while he was still working for the woolen mills. The mill let
him use their machine shop when he wasn’t busy at the mill.
Q. Whose idea was it to develop the Little
Woodsman drag saw?
A. This was the total idea of my brother
Q. When did you first make and sell the Little
A. It was developed just before World War Two,
but due to the material priority, we couldn’t start production
Q. How many people worked in your plant?
A. Up to 8 people, plus my brother and I when
we reached full production.
Q. What type of work were you doing here before
you developed the saw?
A. My brother Cliff worked as a master mechanic
in a woolen mill and I worked in the woods.
Q. How many saws did you build?
A. A total of 3000.
Q. Were there any design changes during
A. The only changes were in the cylinder head
and the flywheel (to improve) cooling efficiency. The first cooling
fins were on a slant and the later heads had the fins straight
across. The early flywheels had moveable fins and the later wheels
had the fins cast solid. With this change we gained about 2
horsepower. From beginning to end, every part was
Q. What length saws were used, and who made
A. The blades were made by Simonds Saw Company
of Fitchburg, MA. The blades were thick at the teeth and thin at
the back. These were developed to cut the very large redwood logs
and keep from getting the blades pinched. These were a very fast
cutting blade and with the saw in prime condition, and at a speed
of 220 strokes per minute, we could keep up with a chainsaw. The
blades came in lengths from 3? to 14 feet, and a few were welded up
to 20 feet in length.
Q. What did the saws weigh?
A. In working form and heavy wood service they
weighed 250 pounds-the L-W (lightweight) weighed 90 pounds. Both
used the same engine.
Q. Where were the castings made?
A. Various foundries around Oakland,
California. I (Doug Merrill) did the machining on every machine
that was built.
Q. Were most of the saws sold locally?
A. We had dealers around the world. Most units
were sold on the West Coast from Santa Cruz to Washington state, or
wherever there was large timber. Some were shipped to Malaya,
Singapore, and French Equatorial Africa, among other places.
Q. What was the price of your saws?
A. The Farmer’s Model sold for $250 and the
Professional Model was $270. They were basically the same except
for the wood in the frame.
Q. When did you end production?
A. Production finished in 1952. The chain saw
made our machine obsolete.
A special thanks to Harley B. Crawford, 5070 Algiers Drive,
Santa Rosa, CA 95405 for sending this material, and for taking the
time to interview Mr. Merrill. A number of photographs are also
included, and their accompanying captions make them
24/6/10 McCormick-Deering Q. Can you tell us
the year built, new price, and other information on the 15-30
McCormick-Deering tractor shown in the photo? Kermit H. Wilson
& Company, 1108 Riverwood, Burnsville, MN 55337.
A. Without the serial number we can tell you
very little about this tractor, probably nothing that you don’t
already know. The serial number plate should be on the firewall,
just above the belt pulley. If it is missing, the number will be
stamped on the tractor frame. Given this information, we may be
able to pass along specific information.
24/6/11 Mogul and Famous Q. I have an IHC Mogul
Jr. engine and a Famous 1 HP model. What are the proper colors?
Vernon Jackson, Hunt, NY 14846.
A. The Mogul should be comparable to DuPont
Dulux 93-29609-H green and the Famous 1 HP should be IHC red.
24/6/12 IHC ‘M’ and FBM ‘Z’ Q.
What is the year built for a 3 HP International engine, s/n W
19818, and the proper color? What is the proper color for a FBM
‘Z’, s/n 174545, and what is its age? Also need some parts
for these engines, and wonder where I might inquire for same.
Paul Kauffman, 1426 College Parkway, Lewisville, TX
A. Your ‘M’ engine should be a 1920
model. A comparable finish is DuPont 7498D Green. The FBM is of
1916 vintage. It is finished comparable to DuPont 93-72001 Green.
Parts for both should be available from several of the GEM
advertisers, as well as at the numerous swap meets around the
24/6/13 Oliver ’99’ I have an Oliver 99
on factory rubber, but would like to find a set of steel wheels for
it. Are there any other steel wheels that will interchange, such as
IHC etc.? Any help will be appreciated. Marvin L. Proctor, 1326
East Third, Pratt, KS 67124.
24/6/14 FBM ‘Z’ Q. What is the year
built of a Fairbanks-Morse 3 HP ‘ZC’ engine, s/n 780286?
Also the proper color. Earl D. Smith, 404 Forest Hills Dr.,
Greenville, TN 37743.
A. Your engine was built in 1934. For color,
see 24/6/12 above.
24/6/15 Titan 1 HP Q. Is the IHC Titan 1 HP
engine all red, or is it painted like the larger Titan models?
Andrew Richley, 1456 Rt. 354, RFD 1, Attica, NY 14011.
A. We’ve run across them both ways, and in
fact, it appears that they may have come from the factory with an
all-red coat, or with a red body and the olive green flywheels.
However, the majority seem to be completely red.
24/6/16 Cletrac track rails Edwin H.
Bredemeier, Rt 1, Box 13, Steinauer, NE 68441 would like to know
where new rails can be obtained for the Cletrac tractors.
24/6/17 Associated engine Q. What is the proper
color for an Associated 1? HP engine? Fred Steinkamp, 1622 No.
15 St., Beatrice, NE 68310.
A. Our records show DuPont 93-2622-H red as a
24/6/17 Model T Mower Q. I have purchased a
self-propelled mowing machine conversion with a McCormick-Deering
mower powered by a Model T. Has anyone heard of such a conversion?
The ‘T’ frame was cut behind the front seat and the drive
shaft shortened to about 10 inches. The differential sits over the
mower axle, and the two are bolted together. The axle shafts are
cut off and fitted with pinion gears that mesh with larger bull
gears bolted to the spokes of the mower wheels. The steering shaft,
throttle shaft, etc. are all extended so that the operator sits in
the mower seat in its usual location. Any information would be
appreciated. Tony Friga, Rt 3, Box 200, Willow Springs, MO
A. It’s quite possible that this was a
conversion unit offered specifically for the purpose, but it is
also possible that some enterprising individual built this machine,
using parts from other conversion units or farm machines to achieve
the finished product. A photograph of this unit would be very
helpful to anyone attempting an identification of the machine. If
we can be of help, let us know.
24/6/18 Stuck Pistons The adjacent photo shows
a method I use to successfully remove a stuck piston from the
Lauson engine shown here. This particular 5-ton hydraulic jack can
work in a horizontal position. A ? inch thick piece of steel was
placed between the piston head and the hydraulic ram. Rod couplings
and threaded rods were used to extend the head bolts. (The steel
buffer plate between piston head and hydraulic ram should be a
loose fit in the cylinder so that pressure is placed on the outer
periphery of the piston, rather than on the rather fragile piston
head). Arlie and Judy Levy, 1206 N. Fremont, Janesville, WI
24/6/19 Sieverkropp engine Q. I recently
acquired a Sieverkropp engine made in Racine, Wisconsin. It was
patented in December, 1910. Any information on this engine will
be greatly appreciated. Weldon Zimmer, RR 1, Armington, IL
A. Beyond the information on page 465 of
American Gas Engines, we have no other data on Sieverkropp.
24/6/20 Bovaird & Seyfang I have a Bovaird
& Seyfang Model K engine with a 5? x 8 inch bore and stroke,
s/n 1299. Any information regarding this engine will be much
appreciated. Bill Mort, PO Box 23, Salisbury, PA 15558.
24/6/21 Page Garden Tractor Any information
regarding a Page Model ZA10FS, 4 HP garden tractor will be much
appreciated. It was built by Pioneer Mfg. Co., Milwaukee,
Wisconsin. Specifically I need information on the transmission
parts. Karl Pendleton, 320 Forest Home Dr., Ithaca, NY
24/6/22 Ospraymo Engine Recently, an Elmira,
N.Y. built, Leader ‘Ospraymo’ spray rig came into my
possession. It is in good working order. It has a 4 HP Elmira
Leader open crank, hit & miss gasoline engine complimented with
a 3 cyl hi-pressure back-geared pump. The unit has two
41/2 ft. spoke type steel wheels attached to
the channel iron frame. A 250 gallon wooden tank is situated
transversely therein. This whole unit was made in Elmira, N.Y. by
Field Force Pump Co. Just how many units Field built like this and
how many different sizes would be great to know.
The governor on this engine works backwards from standard
practice- instead of using governor force to engage the pickblade
on the push rod, it works this way:
The governor pick blade is fastened in ‘teeter-totter’
fashion on the cam arbor. It hooks up on to the pushrod detent from
the underside. The governor is a single weight mounted to a spoke
on the flywheel. It works in normal fashion except the governing
part extends around to the opposite side of the crankshaft. When
centrifugal force is exerted on the weight, it pulls away from the
shaft. Meanwhile, the arm on the opposite side pulls in toward the
crankshaft. The other end of the ‘teeter-totter’ arm drops
toward the crankshaft in sympathy with the governor arm. There is a
heavy spring hooked onto the detent end of the ‘teeter-totter-
arm. This spring pulls the arm up into the push rod detent. So, in
short, this engine governs by spring force instead of mechanical
leverage force as most hit & miss engines do. This system works
good until said spring goes bye-bye. Failure results in a
disastrous runaway of the engine. Some other features of this
engine are: Essex generator valve (carburetor), 5 x 5.125 inch bore
and stroke, very heavy construction, very heavy flywheels, Wico EK
magneto, water-cooled head.
Information on this engine or the company will be much
appreciated. All letters will be answered. Brian M. Lynch, RD
2, Box 134, Genesee, PA 16923.