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American Sawmill Machinery Engine

Andrew Mackey

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
05/14/2017
Hi Folks,
Does any one have information on The American Sawmill Machinery Co., of Hackettstown NJ? :confused: The engine is a 5 HP, appears to be based on a Hercules frame, but is really overbuilt. Basic layout looks like Herc 6 HP, although flywheels are about 1/3 heavier, piston has 6 rings, 2 oil holes for wrist pin oiling, oiler is outside hopper, crank has grease cups, all other areas oil holes. The engine has the typical Herc engine governer and speed control, but engine is rated at 275 RPM Hopper is differently shaped from any Hercules I have seen, mounted to base with 6 bolts. S/N 132 Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
Andrew :D
 

Andrew Walker

Subscriber
Age
50
Last Subscription Date
08/29/2019
Hi Andrew. Sounds like a Plessisville to me. That's a 6hp on the back of the trailer in the attached pic. I'm sure American Sawmill Machinery Engine Co. sold re-tagged P'villes. Glenn Karch would know better than I as I'm sure there's a mention of this engine relationship in a Gem magazine within the last couple of years. Glenn is also working on a 2hp P'ville that's being mentioned in the current Gem's, known as the Niagara engine. Hope this helps a little.

Andrew..... :D
 

Attachments

Dick Hamilton

Registered
Age
90
:) I have an American 5hp which was made by Herc. Glenn told me he had a catalog of American Saw. Mine has a 27" belt pulley and was used in a contractors work shop. It was belted to a floor lineshaft and ran a large table saw, a planer, and a jointer. This contractor, who passed away some 60 years ago, made all of his own trim work, door frames, etc. This was in the days before Home Depot, Lowes, Chase-Pitkins, etc. I acquired the engine from the son 2 years ago. Dick in the beautiful, but cool, Finger Lake Region of NY.
 

Gasengn

In Memory Of
Age
90
Last Subscription Date
03/01/2009
The Amercian Sawmill Company used Hercules built engines on some of their saws. They sometimes had smaller heavier flywheels than normal and had the oiler behind the hopper so it wouldn't interfer under the saw table.

When Hercules ceased production of the model S engines in 1929, the Sawmill Co used some of the Canadian made Hercules look alikes that were made at Plessisville, Quebec. Plessisville engine production ceased in 1946.

Glenn
 

Andrew Mackey

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
05/14/2017
With the 3 digit S/N, I believe the engine is an early bird. The president of our engine club just recovered this engine last week! It hadn't run for over 50 years. The new owner used to hear the engine run when he was a boy. The engine was still where it was last run, in a hollow at the back of the original owner's property, burried to the top of the flywheels with dirt and debris. :eek: Around 50 years ago, the exhaust rocker was broken, and the cam assembly was removed and re-installed. The cam timing was altered, and the engine never ran again. My friend found it, mostly burried, and inquired about it. It took 3 days to dig up and recover, another 2 or 3 days to free up the stuck cam and rocker. Believe it or not, the piston was still free! There is some rust damage to the base of the bore, but it won't affect compression. I received a call Saturday, about the engine, he said all it would was pop. I took a ride over, and saw immediatelyy that the timing was off. 15 minutes later we had it running! :D The engine is in good condition, with still about 80% original green paint, the major damage being the pitted bore, some heavy rust on the flywheel rims, The original Webster Tri Polar has the inner magnet (of 3) cracked, and the fuel tank was removed long before the engine was taken out of service. The 5 gallon galvanized fuel can was still attached to the carb ( although nearly completely rotted away) by the copper fuel line.
Andrew :D

P/S, Thank you all for responding, and thank you Harry for your great site! :D
 

Gasengn

In Memory Of
Age
90
Last Subscription Date
03/01/2009
Hercules nor Plessisville engines have ever used a 3 digit serial # on the tag. Where is that serial # and what else is on the tag?
 

Andrew Mackey

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
05/14/2017
The brass tag is on the hopper, in the same location as the Hercules would be. The tag is slightly larger than the regular hercules tag (2 1/2" x 4"), and reads as follows:
American Sawmill Machinery Company
HP 5 RPM 425, Ser.No. 132,
Hackettstown, NJ USA
I took the information directly off the tag myself.
The engine looks to be a 6 HP size, block and base. The piston looks to be much heavier than my 1917 Herc. 5 HP, and it has 2 holes in top for oiling the wrist pin. The oiler is 3/8 base, mounted on the cylender after the hopper, The mounting piping drilled at a 45 degree angle. The oiler is larger than the one on my hercules.The hopper opening has a raised lip, squared off but rounded corners, the opening being larger than the Hercules-Economy 5 HP I used to own. I could not see the igniter #. The engine uses a Webster Tripolar with 3 magnets, and has what appears to be a brass case. The governer appears to be of Herc. design, as well as the mixer. The trip mechanism is the same as the hercules type. The exhaust appears to be 2 1/2" diameter, and man does it bark! It comes off the bottom of the head, Flywheels appear to be a smaller outside smaller than my 5 HP herc., but are much heavier - they look like a 2 3/4" face! The engine looks like it had a crank guard at one tome, but it is now missing. This engine does not move at all when it fires! It weighs a lot more than my 5 HP hercules too!
The engine has about 80% of its original green paint still on it!
Thanks for the replies, and thanks Harry! :D
 
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Andrew Mackey

Moderator
Last Subscription Date
05/14/2017
The American Saw Mill engine is at home in Hopatcong, about 15 miles from where it was built/sold (Hacketstown), and about 500 yards from where it was used so many years ago. Runs great. A fuel tank from a 5 HP Hercules model E fit perfectly (Thanks Lee Pederson).
 
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