REFLECTIONS-B


| June/July 1989



Woodsman Power Saws

24/6/9E

Owen Stackhouse

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, Eureka, Cal.'

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.