New life for an old set

Every good Saw-Monger knows the key to a good set is not just the tool or the settings, but rather it’s the consistency of pressure applied to each tooth.  A big part of that I’ve found is the tension created by the two springs inside.  Weak springs require a death grip and that may work for the first few teeth but by the return trip back your pressure will be half what it was.

If the set has little use, you’re fine, but keep in mind the Stanley 42X was produced between1929 to 1950 and to this day remains the most popular set made.  So even if you got the last one to roll off the assembly line, you’re still looking at 60+ years old.  Now take into consideration that most have seen many years of service and still hold a high value to this day due to their popularity, you can see where I’m going; fixing rather than replacing is the wise choice.
This seems simple enough.  One of the selling points is the ability to remove the anvil die.  Once apart, the springs are right there; so all you need to do is to replace with a new set.  I’ll save you a lot of time, as I drove to about a dozen hardware stores and searched Google to death before deciding to bite the bullet and contact a local (US) spring manufacturer, Murphy & Read Spring Manufacturing Co about making replacement springs, based on measurements taken from a good 42X’s plus a little to compensate for age.  Murphy & Read Spring Manufacturing Co. was established by Alexander Murphy and John Read in 1917 and located in Philadelphia, PA.  Read was trained as a locksmith in England but was unable to find work in his native country.  He immigrated to America as an indentured servant to a butcher.  He later met Murphy, also a locksmith, and they started a small service company specializing in locks, keys, and springs.  In talking to them, it’s quite possible with their proximity to Disston, they may have produced springs for them and Stanley in Connecticut.

The production time was about 3 weeks and, although I’m no expert on springs, the consistency and finish seem excellent to me.  I’ve been working with them for about a month now and can happily report they are working perfectly.  For someone like me who potentially can be setting 5 or 8 saws a week, it’s a lifesaver, or maybe in this case, a hand saver.  Plus, considering the cost of a replacement vintage 42x, the springs are way cheaper.  If interested in getting a set, I have them for sale on both my site, and ebay.

a few pics of the finish springs.

Joe Federici
Saw Advocate

4 thoughts on “New life for an old set

    • Hey Alan good point!

      They work very well, but it will vary depending on the springs currently in the set. I’ve fixed about 5 or 6 sets 2 were in great shape other then the springs and it was night and day. The others it improved consistency which is helpful when using more then one set, for smaller teeth.


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