The Craftmans Shop > New from Old

Dominion Supreme Elliot Universal Woodworker

(1/5) > >>

Bit of a cheat really as this rebuild is done and dusted and the machine is in use. Completed November / December 2011. I was hunting around looking for a sturdy table saw and a substantial planer thicknesser. Everything that was solid enough was very silly money, and new modern ones were just too flimsy.

So resorting yet again to ebay I turned up this "Dominion Supreme Elliot Universal Woodworker" which has everything I wanted, but was obviously in a very sorry state. I worked out that I could just about fit it on my Ifor Williams trailer legally as it was just over two tons and I can tow 2.5 ton (2.5 ton load, 1 ton trailer = 3.5 ton legal behind a Landrover) Bit of a drag as it was all the way over in Oxford, but we managed  :clap:

It was great fun loading and unloading  :ddb:

The chap who had it had been buying in old oak beams, sawing and planing them, and selling them as oak floor boards. The HSE came down on him like a ton of bricks as the machine didn't meet modern safety standards. He could put the necessary guarding on quite cheaply, but the motors had to have 'DC Injection Brakes' fitted. Big motors, big price tag. About 600 each plus fitting. Net result the machine was pushed into the corner of a barn and left to rust away until muggins came on the scene.

A quick survey of the machine showed that although every movement was rusted solid, and the tables were atrocious, it was basically ok. The motors even checked out ok on a megger test after I'd kept them in a warm dry workshop for a couple of weeks.

A few missing levers and knobs, but the main issue was a broken safety cover casting for the pull over saw, and a missing left hand thread 1" whitworth nut for the table saw.

I managed to find this sales leaflet on the web

The next breakthrough was to find someone who, having failed to sell his, which was in even worse condition was scrapping it. This time it was even further away in Cornwall, but I was able to identify the bits I wanted and get them couriered.

His machine had been in more recent use than mine so the tables weren't so bad, and he had my missing left hand thread spindle nut, the replacement for my cracked casting, and a few saw blades and planer blades. Definitely a result

Trying to trace the history of the design turned up all sorts of strange machines. It seems the concept originated in Canada in the late 1890's, and went through very many revisions and improvements. I think mine is probably just pre-war and dates from the late 1930's.

It turned out that back in the early 1970's Dominion in Halifax who were still in business, were buying the machines back, refurbishing them, and reselling them. Mine is one of the 1970's refurbishments - you can tell as there are guards on the otherwise exposed belts, and a metal scoop around the table saw blade for extraction of sawdust. Also the handle design has been 'modernised'.

So what was the result? Well I was happy with the finished machine as I was able to put it to use almost imediately. If I had had the luxury of more time, I would have re-filled the castings as they originally were. But time was against me and it got painted in the 'as cast' state


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

Go to full version