Identification of a Drag Saw Engine

By Staff
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In the April/May 2016 issue, we ran photos sent in by reader Ron Sindorf of an unmarked, unidentified, single-cylinder horizontal engine sitting on skids and equipped with a spring-loaded chain gear on the outside of its single flywheel.

Reader Mike Lundquist responded in the June/July issue, suggesting the engine might be a Eureka drag saw engine built by Hansen Machine Co., San Francisco, California, or a Ward, perhaps referring to Ward Sawyer drag saw engines sold by Montgomery Ward & Co., but made by Wolf Iron Works, Portland, Oregon.

Recently, we received a phone call from reader Marvin Marquardt, Eugene, Oregon, who says it’s definitely a drag saw engine, possibly a Ward, or perhaps a Wade or a Vaughn.

Wolf, R.M. Wade & Co., and Vaughn Motor Works all operated in Portland around the same time, building engines for the lucrative timber industry. Further, their engines all followed the same basic design: water-cooled, 2-stroke, single-cylinder, horizontal engines with a single flywheel and mounted on a long, twin-spar timber frame so the unit could be rested against felled trees for sawing duty.

According to Marvin, these relatively light, compact drag saw units were once common across the Pacific Northwest. Further, Marvin tells us that EDGE & TA Branch 15 in Brooks, Oregon, has acquired the entire Wolf Iron Work’s line shaft fabrication shop and is setting it up in a replica Wolf Iron Works building at Antique Powerland in nearby Salem. The shop is now functioning and will be a central feature at this year’s Great Oregon Steam-Up at Antique Powerland July 30-31 and Aug. 6-7. 

Please send your questions and comments for Flywheel Forum to Gas Engine Magazine, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609-1265 or email

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