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By Farmer Giles
I was looking for an AGS an AGS10 one came up at the the right price, then not long afterwards and AGS12 came up and I wanted the bigger saw, so I ended up with both.

So the AGS10 must go, I have a 10hp phase converter so I'm happy with single or 3 phase but I know that most AGS10 buyers prefer single phase. And it just so happens I have a Wadkin single phase 3hp motor so it would be silly not to convert it. Most AGS10 are 2hp, so this one will have a bit more welly :)

I bought the saw as it was the right price and it was working in a workshop right up to the previous passing it on to me. Plus it has the two small cast side tables and the pressed steel extension table. The previous owner is a fantastic chap, he did an excellent job of putting it onto the pallet.

Here it is in its previous job


So first job was to test the donor motor, I have tested it a couple of years ago but it would be embarrassing if I assembled it all then nothing happened. However it worked lovely so bought the correct diameter triple pulley and taper bush to fit the new motor shaft.


I would have fitted them but couldn't find my 8mm x 7mm key steel so had to order some, I have some somewhere...

Next take the motor carriage off so you can get to the 5/8" BSW bolts that hold the top on. Also measure the relative position of the pulley on the motor carriage so the new motor can be easily aligned .


Take the blade off and wind down the arbor so that you can get easier access to the bolts that hold the top on. Fortunately a neighbour dropped by so he gave me a hand to take the top off. I've put it on the pallet truck so I can move it around as it does tend to get in the way.


Next job is to give it a check over and make sure it all rises and tilt as it should. The bearings feel fine but before I put the top back on I will mount the motor and test it.


Not sure whether to paint it or not. I have the correct hammered paint and I will be spraying my BZW bandsaw soon so it wouldn't take much more effort to take off all the plates, rub it down, mask it up and give it a spray while I have the spray-gun out. But the missus wants a kitchen so not sure if I have the luxury of time. The extension table would definitely benefit from it.


More when I get the motor fitted, the key steel is on it's way.

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By Farmer Giles
Last night while the missus was at the pub quiz, I nipped out and mounted the new motor onto the motor plate. This morning I bolted it onto the saw.


I put the two belts that came with it on and checked pulley alignment, looks good. I also checked that the motor and it start/run capacitors did not catch on the casting in any combination of rise/fall and tilt.


It fires up nicely, then I checked the motor turned in the right direction :lol:

Now I can order an extra belt and get the DOL starter sorted while I refresh the paint. The motor bracket will get a coat too so the motor will have to come off again, when I put it back on I'll use nyloc nuts, you don't want the motor shaking loose at 2800rpm :shock:

I'm looking to get the Wadkin 20" BZB up into the workshop this weekend so I can give that a coat at the same time given its the same colour but I have to show progress to SWMBO on the new kitchen so I am sailing very close to the wind....

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By Farmer Giles
I got up early and set about stripping the saw down for painting. The cast feet and all the labels are off. Next I'll move it downstairs into the barn for sanding and spraying although I have done some sanding already.


It's all the little bits that take time, the fence, legs on the extension table etc. The crown guard has a brass strip held on by two rivets, is this some kind of rudimentary handle? Or maybe it sticks out to warn you that you are getting close to the blade? I've seen them on other crown guards, always wondered what their purpose is.


I drilled the pop rivets out, I can replace them later. Now all paint removed and a coat of acid etch primer applied as it is aluminium and without it the paint will just peel off. I use Upol acid etch as I have had good results with it on other machines, no reaction with a variety of top coats including toluene based hammered paints.


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By Farmer Giles
I had a bit of a nightmare with compressors breaking down and the wrong type of thinners turning the paint to snot, but once I sorted that out painting went very well. Hammerite uses toluene based thinners, but they don't sell the Wadkin colour, but Bitec do. The instructions are useless, it says use "industrial thinners". I assumed the same as hammerite, but its not, its synthetic thinners.

Here's the crown guard, it's come out well I think.



I'll leave the paint to harden for a few days so looks like I shall get it all back together next weekend, I have the DOL starter sorted and another belt on order. so with look it should be finished next weekend.

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By Gremmy
Evening Andy,

You're doing exactly what I'm probably going to attempt with my newly purchased AGS 10. (I'm pretty sure mine is 1961 model from serial number identification.)

I've been trawling this forum for a few days before a "fleabay?" purchase and a few days after delivery just to get some tips and theres a wealth of info but glad to know someone else is doing this at the same time!

I've never done anything like this and I'm new to older woodworking equipment, just a young whipper snapper - my AGS is nearly double my age.

I've a quick question (fully aware other people have mentioned in older posts, but as it's fresh in your mind)
Did you bother changing the bearings in the saw spindle? I've got a pile of metal at the moment and haven't yet attempted (should I need to) to disassemble the arbour and spindle yet.
It seems to rotate smoothly with no concerning or obvious noises. I've trawled the web and can't seem to find any replacement bearings or close to that correspond to the parts dimensions given in parts list G.88503 (S.K.F.) so thinking just leave as is?
Although part of me wants to strip it fully down and replace everything... however I need to be realistic as I do want the saw in use fairly soon.
I'd be thankful to hear your thoughts considering your AGS seems a similar age and what you encountered while examining your saw + seeing other older pieces of machinery with similar engineering and age.

Kind regards


P.S. Apologies for hijacking your thread!

Put some snaps up if/when you get her finished.
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By Trevanion
Gremmy wrote: G.88503 (S.K.F.)

6203FF or 88503 bearing, the inner raceway protrudes out of both sides of the bearing.
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By Farmer Giles
Hi Sam

I did look up the bearings a couple of weeks ago in case they were needed and they aren't expensive as machinery goes, about 12 quid each from memory. The bearings on my Colchester lathe are £300+ if you can find them independently and about £600 from the manufacturers :shock:

So a pair sets you back about 24 quid. Trevanion has listed the more usual part number for you but if you do think they need replacement I would take them out and check the numbers on the bearings before buying as there is often small changes that are not reflected in parts lists. They are probably the ones in the parts list but for the sake of a couple of days waiting for delivery I would check them.

Given that access to the bearings is quite easy, just take 4 bolts off and the blade and your looking at them, unless you think they are worn I would leave them alone. I haven't tried taking the spindle apart so can't comment on how to do that but I did see some instructions on line somewhere, it may have been an AGS12, probably similar process even if the bearings are bigger.

I fired mine up on the new motor and they seemed quiet. I'm selling this one when finished as I have an AGS12 now, but even if I was keeping it I would only change them if necessary.

If you are converting yours, it's relatively simple. Only tips I can offer is to measure the position of the existing pulley in relation to the end of the motor plate so you can mount the new motor in a similar position. I had to mark and drill the motor plate as the new motor has a different foot. You can move the pulley up and down the shaft a bit to get alignment spot on but it needs to be somewhere near on the plate..

Secondly, the DoL starter switch, check to see if it will also work on single phase, the one I have does and it gives the wiring diagram inside the box, but I believe that some makes of contactor in the DoL don't. I was expecting to pod out £30 quid plus, so this was a pleasant surprise.

My 10 year old daughter was helping me bolt the various bits back together after painting last weekend, I am hoping to finish it this weekend and get it on the forum for sale section. I've nearly got enough room now to get the holey parf dog table thingy set up.

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By Farmer Giles
Given I now have an AGS12 and two Wadkin PKs, I really need to get this moved on as I need the space. However it is proving troublesome. The riving knife that came with it was definitely a Wadkin, but the machine seemed to only have one mounting slot and the rviing knife seemed too big, but the crown guard seemed to be the right one.

So, having put my specs on and I took a closer look, I solved the issues one by one, I hope!

First, the single slot was because the casting was broken, I can't understand why I didn't notice this to begin with, obvious now. New ones are over 300 quid including VAT and second hand spares are few and far between and usually means buying a donor machine and I'm trying to make space, not buy more stuff! Looking at the casting, it was a relatively minor break so decided to repair. The red lines are where I cut the casting square with the grinder. The bolt is where the top slot should be to hold the riving knife in place.

P1080293 repair.jpg

The slots don't need to be that long so I stole a bit of that length so I could get two M4 bolts in either end. The repair piece is a bit of 10mm mild steel bar I had in my offcut box. I may have to counter sink the bolts, if so I will do that when I fit the top, but I didn't have 40mm countersunk M4 bolts at the time.


So now the casting is sorted, the next thing is to confirm the crown guard is the right one. There are many different pattern crown guards, but the give-away was the modification that had been made. The riving knife that came with the saw fits my AGS12 nicely, that is good as the knife that came with had been cut down for sled work so you couldn't mount a guard on it. Here's the slot that somebody had added to the guard to fit the wrong riving knife. The slot is virtually straight, no radius so the blade didn't fit the guard too well.


So what I needed was a new riving knife. These are £85 + VAT, and the two bolts are about £23 + VAT each, so this would cost around 160 quid. Alternatively, find some stiff 2.5mm plate and get busy with the plasma cutter.

First make a template, printed and glued onto cardboard and offered up to the machine


then cut out one in 9mm ply


Making sure it is a bit smaller to take into account the radius of the plasma cutter tip


Cut out two riving knife blanks, a friend on another forum wanted one and I just had enough plate. The plate needs to be wider than the thickness of the saw blade, but narrower than the kerf of the blade. After making a few measurements and looking at various forums, 2.5mm is the closest size that fits the bill and is available off the shelf.


Then drill and angle grind slots and holes. My crown guard pivoted on the back and clamped at the front, so to match the larger riving knife, I needed notch in the back, and a spacer at the front that bolts to the front of the knife. I found this in the scrap bin, almost perfect size, already tapped 10mm for the bolt on the knife, I just drilled out the front and tapped it M8 for the clamp.


Check the spacer is the right depth, it may be a tad too long, maybe 0.5mm, but I will adjust that when I assemble the saw.


So here it is so far, the plate is stainless steel, mild steel is too bendy and I couldn't find a suitable piece of stiff plate but stainless is much stiffer than mild so it had to do. The problem is that it work hardens and can be a pig to file, so it is angle grinder work meaning not easy to get a nice even finish to the slots and knife edge but cost about 15 quid for the pair including bolts. The bolts are just M10 coach bolts with a bit of weld under the head to enlarge the square shank so they don't turn in the slots when you are using nyloc nuts. You can't have a normal full bolt head as it catches on the chassis.


Next job is to finish off the motor installation, just wiring to do, then reassembly as all the bits are now painted.

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By Farmer Giles
Before finishing the conversion, here's the knife being fitted, first the bolts, as you can see there's not much head room. The bolts from AMS et al are about 30 quid including VAT each, and you need two, so coach bolts and a bit of weld to stop them turning in the slots are a good budget alternative.


Here's a temporary spacer being fitted to find the centre of the blade. Ideally the main spacer should be slightly on the shy side, or just enough to centre on the thinnest blade likely to be used so that shims can be added to centre on a fatter blade. In reality I doubt if anybody does that :) Anyway, 5mm seems to centre the knife on the existing blade so I'll find a bit of 5mm steel and cut a slot in it


Here's the knife fitted, looks OK, next test is to see if the blade rises and falls ok


Doh!, knife too long and hits the washer of the bolt below. No big deal, it can be shortened


Which leads me to think the riving knife pattern is wrong, at least for the AGS of this age, there are quite a few versions knocking about. The one sold by AMS is the same pattern, and 85 quid. So if you bought the knife for 85 quid plus VAT, and the bolts for 29 + VAT each and the washers at 10 quid plus VAT, you would be parting with 195 quid and still be short of the nuts and would have to modify the knife :)

I'll finish off the knife by making a spacer and cropping it to miss the washer, give it a bit of a file then move on to the DOL starter. Although it has single and three phase options, in moving from three phase to single, it's not working, could be something to do with a different current profile on start up, I shall investigate.

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By Gremmy
Hey Andy,

That’s a really nice job you’ve done there. My apologies I never thanked you for your previous advice, certainly drilling the new motor holes was fiddly as single phase motor has bigger footprint with the capacitor box, but followed your tips to a tee!

I got my saw up and running, put a single phase Brook Compton motor on it, new pulley, belts etc..
I did change the arbour bearings for some JAP ones and she’s buttery smooth now.
Went a bit OTT on the paint job and did a few coats.

The only thing these machines don’t seem to be designed for is removing dust... really wouldn’t have wanted to be around back in the 60’s! :roll:

So built an overhead guard which covers the whole finger plate and collects the fine dust and used the original deflector plate inside and added some plate steel to make a collection scoop that surrounds the blade and pop riveted it with silicone sealant around the joints. 100mm extraction hose connected and it collects most the big bits.

I’m very envious that your saw came with a riving knife bracket, mine didn’t as the previous owner said he’d never used the riving knife and had taken it out years ago... :shock:

Lovely work with your repair job, seamless! :D

I managed to find a template for a period splitter on the forum here that someone (sorry forgotten your name) had kindly scanned so cut it out.
Had to make a splitter because as you’ve probably seen it’s £300 for a riving knife bracket + the rest.

The dol starter looks harsh to the eye and is bothering me. Didn’t want to fork out loads, will probably move the innards to the original dol case and put a big Mushroom/kick switch on.

Good luck with selling your machine, I can testify they are solid units! Had mine running for 25 mins the other days batch cutting 1 inch oak.


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By Farmer Giles
Lovely job there Sam!

I think I have located an original AGS12 crown guard for reasonable money that fits on the riving knife, if that falls through then I will probably make a similar guard to yours for the AGS12. Although I really like the saw, I have two Wadkin PKs to renovate, one of which I will keep so the AGS12 will probably go at some point. It may be a while though, and in the mean time I have already starting painting bits of it.

Depending whether I get the DOL working this weekend, I'm hoping to get the AGS10 on the market very soon as I'm running out of space to buy more machinery! I nearly bought a large pedestal grinder a couple of days ago, with the intent of converting it to a polishing machine. Fortunately common sense kicked in and I passed. I can put a polishing mop onto a bench grinder, or one of the lathes for the small amount of polishing I need.

By SammyQ
I have an AGS 10"....and I need a proper blade guard for it, like the nice one FG photographed above. Anybody got one they'd sell please?