Big, Old and Beautiful. - Fine Homebuilding

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Big, Old and Beautiful.

comments (2) February 24th, 2010 in Blogs
RYagid Rob Yagid , senior editor

Elkstrom Carlson Model E Straight-Line rip saw.
Now thats a monster power planer. Its made by Makita, and used to take some of the mill marks out of the massive Douglas Fir timbers. Didnt get a model number, sorry.
Chuck Wood of Yankee Barn Homes showing off the planer in the timber shop.
Mafell chain mortiser. Chisles are for wimps.
There were a few of these in the shop. All DeWalts from the 1950s, all big and slightly scary. Ive heard many horror stories that involved radial arm saws.
 This was on another radial arm saw. Do you have any info on the company?
5,000lb hydraulic radial arm saw. Set up as a dado saw to cut notches and tenons in the big timbers. It was orginally made for the U.S. Navy by DeWalt.
Elkstrom Carlson Model E Straight-Line rip saw.Click To Enlarge

Elkstrom Carlson Model E Straight-Line rip saw.


I spent last weekend with the folks from Yankee Barn Homes in Grantham, NH. They invited me to stay in their model home and to take a tour of their manufacturing facility. I gladly accepted. I'm happy I did, because I was truly impressed with both the business and the timber frame homes they're producing. (more on that in another post) 

Saturday, we walked the facility, which was anything but the factory type setting I was expecting. It had more of a lumberyard feel with several outbuildings designated to the construction of each component of the home (i.e. wall assembly, roof assembly, timber shop)

While I was enthralled with their building process, I kept finding myself drifting from the small group to briefly check out all the tools within their shops. They had some beauties, like the huge Ekstrom Carlson saw. I'm pretty sure it's a model E straight-line RipSaw. If it is, its arbor is powered by a 20hp direct drive motor. We just did a review on portable table saws in the last issue, so looking at this beast in comparison was just downright humorous.

Does anyone have any information on the tools pictured here? If so, please post what you know below. 

Also, if you're a fan of old tools, check out the entries in our Jewel of a Tool photo gallery contest. If you have photos, share them, or just tell us about some other impressive tools that you've come across. They don't have to be big or old, just something you have found interesting.


posted in: Blogs, saws, tools, miter saws, tablesaws, dust collection, handheld power planers

Comments (2)

FreshEye FreshEye writes: We built our house with Yankee Barn Homes about ten years ago. Great people to work with, terrific approach of recycling old growth timbers, remilled using machines like those shown here. Threw local building inspectors for a loop: "It's like a combination of old and new--I don't know what to do." We worked it out by showing inspectors how robust the structural elements are.

System includes design (they have basic shapes and modules easy to configure to your plan), shop fabrication, then we had an experienced YBH carpenter supervise the barn raising. Just a week to raise the frame and install roof and wall panels. Terrific, chapter by chapter documentation on things like site prep, plumbing, electric, and HVAC. If building a house again, would turn to YBH in a heart beat.


Posted: 10:05 am on March 9th

MFournier MFournier writes: This is a great article But have you seen how Benson wood has progressed in their timber frames they use CNC German-built Hundegger cutting machinery.
http://www.hundeggerusa.com/
http://www.bensonwood.com/engineering/cnc.cfm
All the timbers are shaped by CNC machines.

(they still use hand work especially on some details)

Don't you just love tools.
Posted: 9:30 am on March 9th

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