Rough & Tumble's FRICK Sawmill

| March/April 1995

  • Frick 60 HP steam engine

    Jack C. Norbeck
  • Frick Sawmill
    Rough & Tumble's belt driven Frick Sawmill uses a 53'' Disston saw blade.
  • R & T Frick sawmill

  • Frick 60 HP steam engine
  • Frick Sawmill
  • R & T Frick sawmill

117 Ruch Street Coplay, Pennsylvania 18037

Frick 60 HP built in 1926 hitched to wagons loaded with logs at Rough & Tumble, Kinzers, Pa. Photo taken at R & T by Jack C. Norbeck, author of Encyclopedia of American Steam Traction Engines.

One hard working steam traction engine and mill can cut about 5,000 feet or more of lumber per day. The portable sawmill was often moved to various sites to shorten the log haul. They operated economically where timber resources were thinner and more scattered. The steam traction engine could be moved with the sawmill to new cutting sites very easily.

The sawmills vary widely in the efficiency with which they cut up logs into lumber. Some sawdust is inevitable. Slabs, edgings, trim wastes vary widely in quantity, however depending on logs being sawed and the extent of the salvage operations.

The more efficient mills cut lumber accurately to size and reducing waste. With large logs the proportion of slab and edging off is reduced. At some mills this slab material was cut into a great variety of secondary products and sold.

Rough and Tumble Engineers Historical Association demonstrates steam power and log sawing with a Frick saw mill. This mill is a number #01 belt feed mill donated to R & T by Percy Beck.


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