Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hammond Glider Teardown

The Hammond is a super high quality heavyweight small sized sliding tablesaw originally designed for cutting lead type in the printing industry of yore. Its small footprint, heavy duty construction and precision make it a desirable saw for crosscutting. It is a "cult" saw in some ways, popular among the old woodworking machines crowd.

The superguru on Hammond Gliders is Crazy Pete. He runs his own forum on them, although there is a ton of info on OWWM too.

(This is not mine, but shows what they look like)

I acquired one of uncertain age (40's? 50's?) that is complete but filthy with lead and dust, and so needs a teardown followed by media blasting and repainting. A new motor is also very likely, as are some minor modifications to allow it to take a standard sized tablesaw blade.

(This is not mine, but shows how the Hammonds work)

After taking off as many of the smaller items as I could, the sliding portion of the tabletop was the first big item I tackled. The table slides on linear ball bearings, one race of 7 bearings in a carriage on each side of the sliding portion of the table. By the end of the day my first mishap had occurred.

I finally figured out how to pull the sliding table completely off, and as I did so the rather large ball bearings dropped out neatly into a well placed cardboard box. "Oh I am so clever" thought I. The last one missed, rolled out the garage, down the driveway, and was making a getaway towards the (sloped) alley. I quickly put the table down on the box and went after the little rascal. As I did I heard a crash, the table fell off the box, knocking the box over, I turned around to see the other 13 bearings rolling out of the box down the driveway and making their escape. Eventually I rounded up 13 of the 14. I'm hoping that'll still work OK, if not I will probably have to buy 14 new ones as I would expect the old ones would have worn slightly.

( Sliding table off, just resting on top)

Next was the arbor. A couple of spanner nuts proved obstinate, requiring the purchase and modification of a special (hard to find but luckily inexpensive!) tool to remove them. This was after a couple of drill bits were sacrificed in a vain effort to get the first spanner nut out.

Penetrating oil was applied generously and left to soak overnight before success was ultimately achieved. The two spanner nuts and the pulley were removed. The arbor assembly was then removed from the saw.  I'll take the assmebly into a shop to get the bearings pressed out. They will be replaced.

Notice the very thin shim that was under the arbor assembly. Factory installed to ensure that the blade is perfectly square to the table. 

Next up, taking off the beast of a motor, removal of the main table casting, and off to the media blasting shop.


  1. Great find Dan. My father use to operate a hammond glider in the basement of the Marine Building. I feel that saw in my blood and want one. Can't wait to see it done.


  2. Ha! That's a funny co-incidence, my father used to work in the Marine building as well. Probably 60's and early 70's.

    I am really looking forward to getting it working. I have heard so many good things, I hope it can live up to my expectations!

    There was a Glider for sale in Maple Ridge in May on CL. They don't come up too often here, only the 2nd one I've seen locally.

  3. that's wild, my dad worked there during the same time frame. i wonder if they ever crossed paths. I am going to do some digging on the hammond and see if anything turns up.