Restoration of a Vaughan Drag Saw

| August / September 2008

I received a 1917 4 HP Vaughan New Style drag saw from a neighbor for free because it had been sitting outdoors for almost 60 years being trampled by cows in the mud. The piston was stuck, the wood frame was almost completely rotted away, and the chain drive and other drag saw parts were almost completely rusted through. It looked to be un-salvageable because of its bad shape. Our neighbor was going to scrap it, but because he found out that I collect these things he decided to let me have it.

The recovery

Getting the drag saw out of the field was a little more difficult than I had thought it would be.

First off, since it was partially buried by other junk he had dumped onto it, I had to uncover the drag saw. This was during the winter, too, so it was sunk and frozen into the ground.

We were going to try and load it into our truck by hand, but we couldn’t get it loose from the ground, so my neighbor got his tractor and some chains. After we got the chains hooked to the drag saw and started to pick it up, the frame really started to fall apart.

But after a couple hours of working on this, we got it into the back of our truck and loaded up all the pieces that had fallen apart during our loading attempts.

The investigation

The next day after we got it home, I tore into it.