A Cut Above

150-year-old Hero drag saw passes the test of time

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Above: Promotional materials for the Hero drag saw.

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Using a 150-year-old drag saw, Ted Weaver cuts a wide swath at shows and fairs near his home in Lewiston, Idaho. A retired mechanic, Ted has restored a Hero Friction-Feed Drag Saw manufactured by the Appleton Manufacturing Co., Batavia, Ill.

Ted inherited the saw from his father in 1973. His father bought the saw from a Bovill, Idaho, family in 1935. For the next 10 years, he cut 100 cords of firewood each year for Kendrick, Idaho, businesses and residences. Prior to that, the saw was used for years to cut firewood for use in cook stoves and heating stoves at 10 or 12 Potlatch Lumber Co. logging camps.

The unit, which weighs about 1,140 pounds, originally sold for $98 in the mid-1850s. For another $140, the company offered a Modern Hero 4 horse down power. "Two to four horse power will run the outfit to very good advantage," a sales brochure noted, "or more power may be profitably used." Instead of horses, a mechanical source powers the Hero today: Ted uses a 4 hp IGECO engine as a power source.

Ted has displayed the saw at Brooks, Ore. (where it received a first place trophy), Asotin, Wash., and at fairs in Moscow and Lewiston, Idaho. He is a founding member and past president of the Lewis-Clark Antique Power Club, Lewiston, Idaho.

- For more information: Ted Weaver, 208 23rd St., Lewiston, ID 83501; (208) 743-7893.