5420 White Creek Road Marlette, Michigan 48453
on page 23 of The March 1995 issue of GEM is an article titled 'Killer Saw.' My response to Mr. Harland's letter is on page 21 of the September 1995 issue. At that time, I didn't know the name of the saw that I had operated. On page 51 of the December 1997 GEM, a David Bradley bush cutter is advertised. It appears identical to the saw that I had operated except that it has a wooden shield attached to the frame between the wheels, instead of a steel guard around the blade and attached to the arbor housing.
In the spring of 1998 a self-propelled Ottawa Buzz Master was donated to the St. Clair County Farm Museum. I picked it up and took it home to clean it and see if it would run. With the saw boom level and the block just clear of the floor, the handlebars were shoulder high. The pulley clutch would not release and the drive pinions would barely lift clear of the tires. I would have to move to the front of the machine to start, stop, or change the engine speed. I couldn't believe that Ottawa had built such a machine, and I surely wasn't going to try to operate it. I thought 'This is a real killer!'
A friend stopped in and I showed it to him. He left and soon returned with an Ottawa catalog and we saw that the handlebars were badly bent. I straightened them and that also cured the clutch and drive pinion problems. Then I cobbled up a speed control lever that I can operate with my left thumb while holding onto the handlebars. This done, a good oiling and I was ready to try it out, but my wife wouldn't let me mow the lilac bushes or cut down the shade tree. Eventually I found some limb wood to cut up. This machine is big, heavy, and hard to handle. The saw blade runs so that it throws sawdust, dirt, stones or anything else toward the operator. You had better wear a good face shield on this job! The machine is balanced so that when released the blade rises and the machine rests on a stand under the handlebars. The stand is ? inch rod U-shaped and hinged on a bar between the handlebars. If the machine rolls forward the stand swings up letting the handlebars fall to the ground. I found the machine in a shed with the saw and boom completely removed leaving nothing to counterbalance the engine and gearing behind the axle, and so the bent handlebars. The saw is now in working order and can be seen at the museum.
By comparison, the David Bradley was light enough so that self-propelled was not needed. The blade throws everything away from the operator, and is balanced so that if released, the blade goes into the ground and stops. I loaded it alone by running the boom up onto the trailer bed, crouching down under the handlebars, and boosting the whole machine up onto the trailer.
The family who donated the Ottawa saw also donated a Barco gasoline jack-hammer. The upper part is a two-stroke cycle gas engine with the piston striking the anvil on its down stroke.
Hope you enjoy the pictures of the Ottawa saw and the Barco jackhammer.