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Author Topic: What is a "piston chainsaw"  (Read 3463 times)

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Offline DonT

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What is a "piston chainsaw"
« on: June 24, 2002, 10:41:17 AM »
Good Day All, I was reading the local paper checking out some of the upcoming auctions and came across a term that puzzled me and was hoping someone could help.The item in question was described as a Mercury"piston type chainsaw"I have never heard of this and was wondering if someone could describe one for me and maybe tell me what they would be used for.      Thanks DonT

Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: What is a "piston chainsaw"
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2002, 11:20:18 AM »
Mercury-Diston was an early producer of chainsaws.  My grandad and his brother Amos were sawmilling in New Mexico in the early 40's.  Uncle Amos was in charge of the loggers and decided they could get out a lot more logs if the used these new fangled outfits rather that the 2- man crosscuts ( simons and diston were common makers of these).  He bought 2 of them (I still have one of these --- it's a two man affair and the engine swivils depending on if you are bucking or felling, 2 cylinder, must weigh 60-80#)and sent them up the mountainside with the loggers.  The next day they left the chainsaws in favor of their "misery whips".  It took a while to get used to the weight and maintaining the chain.  A few people here collect old saws but they don't sell very high.
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Offline DonT

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Re: What is a "piston chainsaw"
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2002, 02:42:49 PM »
Thanks Noble, What is the usual selling price for this type of saw.  DonT

Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: What is a "piston chainsaw"
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2002, 06:57:32 PM »
Don,

Assuming the saw in the ad is what I think,  It would be absolutely worthless to use.  As a collectors itim it depends on how crazy the persons involved are.  At an auction, it depends on how many crazy people are there and the extent of their craziness.  My guess would be between $10 and $50 but I live in a low income area.  A much larger amount wouldn't surprise me.

I used to mess with antique tractors some.  I saw an IH model I-14 on a lot one time (like a F-12 or F-14 but industrial model, looked like a small scale 10-20 )  It was in good shape except the fenders were beat to pieces and would be expensive to be replicated so I didn't shell out the $175 for it.

Soon after that I was in a machinery junk yard and saw a pair of fenders that looked like they would fit.  They were off of the orchard version of the F-12 .  I wasn't positive they would fit and didn't want to blow  $25 so I made a sketch and took measurements.  Went back to the dealer who had the I-14 and measured it.  It fit so I bought it.  Went back to the junk place and pulled out my $25.  He said he decided they were worth $50.  I told him I was the only stupid SOB who would give him a nickle for them.  He said that was probably true but he was the only dirty SOB that had any.  

Supply and Demand.
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Offline DonT

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Re: What is a "piston chainsaw"
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2002, 11:02:58 AM »
Just a follow up I did go to the auction I had mentioned the saw in question sold for $150(cdn)I believe alot of this type of stuff is bought by restaurants and bars to be displayed on there walls   DonT

Offline Corley5

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Re: What is a "piston chainsaw"
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2002, 11:10:10 AM »
So did you buy the fenders and the tractor?  Those I-14 are a nifty little tractor and you don't many around.
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Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: What is a "piston chainsaw"
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2002, 02:49:13 PM »
Corley,

Yes I bought both and they restored really nice.  Used it to rake hay just for fun-----until some guy driving by just had to have it.  Got a good price for it , it being the only one around and all.

I expected the I-14 to be geared real slow like the F-12 & F-14, but it was really fast for an old tractor.  Being an industrial model, it didn't have a governor.  It was a real HOT ROD for a tractor.

Don_T,

Hope to have pictures of  Uncle Amos's old Mercury Diston soon.

Noble
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Offline Bro. Noble

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Re: What is a "piston chainsaw"
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2002, 07:18:42 PM »
Here is one of the Mercury-distons that my Great Uncle Amos used in New Mexico in the 40's.  It really is a 2 man saw.  I don't think one person could even carry it from tree to tree because of the weight and bulk.  The blade swivils for felling  so that the engine stays upright.  

Noble




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Offline Jeff

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Re: What is a "piston chainsaw"
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2002, 08:23:44 PM »
New Mexico eh. So its really a glorified Hedge trimmer. ;)
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Offline KiwiCharlie

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Re: What is a "piston chainsaw"
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2002, 10:51:38 PM »
G'day Noble,

With the advance of technology, as always, they improved on that idea with other saws - such as the Clintons, and made the blade fixed, and put a lever on them, so you could flip the carb on its side so you could cut horizontal!!!  :D :D
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Offline DonT

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Re: What is a "piston chainsaw"
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2002, 11:45:13 AM »
Noble, That looks very similiar to the one I saw sold.I am glad I do not have to haul one of those around all day.  DonT

Offline D._Frederick

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Re: What is a "piston chainsaw"
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2002, 12:03:56 PM »
Thinking back some fifty two years ago when I was much younger, a neighbor needed help  felling some fir trees that were about 5 ft on the stump. They had gotten hold of saw that had a twin piston engine from WWII surplus. As I recall it was a Mercury Marine engine designed by Kiehaffer (sp) who was the founder of Mercury Marine built by Brunswick today. It was a powerful saw that two men could force as much as they wanted. It was governed and it was almost impossible to stop the chain.
The first chainsaw I saw in are  area was a saw made in Canada,it was called a WoodBoss if I remember correctly. It had a snap action clutch with turn handle on top and on the left side. The carb. swivelled for falling and it had a wire rope on the recoil starter. It was hard starting, low power, and heavy. They came out with a much better saw later , It was called the Red Head (I think) , It had a swivel blade and a centrifugal clutch, and crank shaft was inline with the bar. Some body bought them out,  Does  anyone know what became of them?


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