Chris Schwarz's Blog

Barnes Treadle Saw in Action – Again!

Today as we finished up my three-day class on “Handplane Essentials” at The
Woodwright’s School
, we spent some time at Roy Underhill’s Barnes 1874 combination machine – a treadle-powered table saw that kicked my keister during my first visit to the school.

This time, I did a little better job ripping lumber on the Barnes with only a few stalls. But I shot this short video showing one of the students ripping one of the legs for the English square we were building during the class.

While we didn’t test the saw with human flesh or Southern-fried chicken, Roy assures me that one of the marvels of this 19th-century machine is that it automatically stops when it contacts human flesh.

Check it out.

— Christopher Schwarz

13 thoughts on “Barnes Treadle Saw in Action – Again!

  1. Jeff Burks

    Roy knows all about safety. Go search YouTube for the video titled – "Roy Underhill feeds southern fried chicken into a SawStop"

  2. Christopher Schwarz

    The feed rate is slow because you can stop the blade by pinching it with your fingers or feeding the stock into the blade at slightly faster than a snail’s pace.

    This is not a motorized table saw.

    So I’m going to kindly ask that only members of the safety police who have their "treadle saw merit badge" post safety comments.


  3. Tom Holloway

    Two things strange about this clip:

    1) Roy without his cap.

    2) No push sticks, even at the end. If someone’s finger had slipped while pushing forward, there would have been a lot of blood on the table, foot-powered or no.

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