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tripod 59

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Hiya Everybody, hav'nt posted for a while, but have just brought a hobbies suffolk which is about 99% complete,has anybody got any pictures of this fretsaw
 

AES

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Sorry mate, I haven't personally even heard of this machine but if you go to the Hobbies web site (they still exist, new owners though) and look at the books section you'll find various Hobbies catalogues plus a book of the company history.

Link: www. always hobbies dot com.

Also there's a member here, "scrimper" who knows a lot about Hobbies and fret/scroll saw history. I suggest you send him a PM.

HTH

AES
 

tripod 59

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Many thanks for that,i have quite a bit of imformation about the fret saw,but i am short of any pictures of the machine especially the rear of the machine where there is a spring fitted,it fits on to the bottom of the arms and joins a rod to connect it to the bottom of the rear leg, this is missing on mine and i need a picture of it to see how it all fits together
 

scrimper

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You are very lucky to have a Suffolk machine, they are as rare as 'hens teeth', I have never seen one. I don't know much about this model other than it was introduced in 1917 and as far as I know they did not make that many and certainly by 1927 it was no longer in their handbook. I have a picture and will post later in this thread I will look at my hobbies literature to see if I have any more. It looks to be a very well built machine of heavy construction, I am very envious. :)
 

AES

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There yer go tripod, I said "scrimper" would know at least "a bit".

@scrimper - good to see you back mate. Hope you're "recovering a bit" now after your loss. We do sympathise, my wife found a stray mongrel puppy as a puppy, just bunged down a concrete monsoon drain when we lived in Singapore, and we (and the vet) doubted she's make it (the dog)! 5 years later we brought her home fit & healthy with us and she lived another 12 years before we had to put her down. No dry eye in the place!

Sorry for thread drift tripod.

AES
 

tripod 59

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No probs AES, for your help, hiya Scrimper,i have a picture of the saw which is in the book the hobbies story but it doent show the back part of the machine,looking at it the spring attaches to the bottom of the arms and then is connected to the bottom of the rear leg by a metal rod which i think has an eyelet at the top to connect the spring to,also the bottom blade clamp is missing so i will need to try and find out what it looks like, other wise it is complete, its a big machine,and very heavy being solid cast, should look great when restored :)
 

Rhyolith

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Could you post a picture of your fretsaw? I have never seen an Hobbies Suffolk!
 

AES

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Blimey, that really IS a big lump tripod. Must weigh a ton!

Simply a "WAG", but at 1st I thought that maybe that bent rod towards the back in the sideways pic should be straightened to hang the spring between it and that little lump under the top arm. But then thinking about it a bit more, I don't see how that big wing nut right at the back of the top arm would act to vary the tension of the spring, so that's probably NOT the answer. So no idea, sorry - but it'll look dead good when it's all smartened up & painted.

BTW (thread drift again, sorry) Buckfastleigh must ne a nice place to live. I used to go there sometimes years ago to look at the steam railway, but from the prices they charged in the Refreshment Room I always called it "Fast Buck Leigh" - sorry.

Good luck with the saw.

AES
 

AES

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AES":9w6oifpm said:
Blimey, that really IS a big lump tripod. Must weigh a ton!

Simply a "WAG", but at 1st I thought that maybe that bent rod towards the back in the sideways pic should be straightened to hang the spring between it and that little lump under the top arm. But then thinking about it a bit more, I don't see how that big wing nut right at the back of the top arm would act to vary the tension of the spring, unless through some sort of (missing) bell crank arrangement, so that's probably NOT the answer. So no idea, sorry - but it'll look dead good when it's all smartened up & painted.

BTW (thread drift again, sorry) Buckfastleigh must be a nice place to live. I used to go there sometimes years ago to look at the steam railway, but from the prices they charged in the Refreshment Room I always called it "Fast Buck Leigh" - sorry.

Good luck with the saw.

AES
 

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Thanks, thats a beauty! A far cry from the little common variety hobbies fret saw I have in the "to be restored at some point" pile.
 

tripod 59

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Hiya AES,its quite a fret saw, it took two of us to pick it up and had to be taken appart to get it into my car,the two rods at the back of the arms both have hooks on them and join together, the spring attaches under neeth them on a small eye let,it seems by the only picture i have of it,its quite a long one joind the the bottom leg by a rod so i guess the rod has an eyelet on it to allow the spring to be attached to it.
The railway is still going strong and still charging the same prices for refreshment so i think your name for the town still seems quite apt lol, its quite quiet living hear though we have the advantage of living in the dartmoor national park, and being about 30 minitues away from the beach, will let you know in future posts how the saw is going
 

tripod 59

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Hiya Rhyolith,its supprising how big the saw is and should look quite nice when restored, think the original colour was black,but i will have to look into it a bit more to see if this is right
 

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Hullo again tripod. Have you got the book I suggested "The Hobbies Story" in a previous post?

I was just reading it again yesterday and came across 2 (conflicting) statements about the introduction of the Suffolk machine, plus what I THINK are 2 pictures of it (from 1907, so they aren't brilliant quality).

Anyway, if you haven't got that book just send me a PM with your home E-mail address and I'll scan the relevant pages into a .pdf for you and send them as E-mail attachments.

HTH

P.S. according to that book, "scrimper" was right, Suffolk machines (and the companion Norfolk model) are indeed as rare as hens teeth - they were only made for a short period, and although very high quality, they were very expensive for the time.

AES

Another PS as an Edit: A pity you're relatively far away from E Anglia because the above book says they now have a Hobbies Fretwork & Crafts Museum, in E Dereham I think. The book doesn't say if they've got a Suffolk machine in there though, and from here I doubt I'll be visiting it in the foreseeable future!

AES
 

tripod 59

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Hiya AES, Yes i have the book tks,its a very good read,the machine on page 43 is the norfolk,which came out in 1904,the suffolk which is on page 58 is the suffolk,basically the same machine but came out a little later,it showes the spring a little better on the picture of the norfolk,though the bit i need to see is hidden by the drive wheel. i have tried ringing the museum about another hobbies fret saw i have called the idl but i am not to sure if it is still open or not as there is no reply from there,many thanks for your help on this AES,hopefully ill get a better picture soon,ill keep you posted
 

scrimper

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AES":95gyvmw3 said:
Another PS as an Edit: A pity you're relatively far away from E Anglia because the above book says they now have a Hobbies Fretwork & Crafts Museum, in E Dereham I think. The book doesn't say if they've got a Suffolk machine in there though, and from here I doubt I'll be visiting it in the foreseeable future!

AES
I may be wrong but I have a feeling that the Museum is no longer part of the present Hobbies Company, it was started by Robert Stroulger (one of the son's of Ian Stroulger who reformed the Hobbies company after it was wound up in 1969) But I understand that Hobbies is now run by another family when they moved from Dereham to Raveningham, no mention is made by the present company about a museum so I presume it was kept private or closed when the Stroulger family ceased to run Hobbies. If anyone knows if the museum still exists I would be most interested to hear.
 

Scrollerman

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scrimper":2u2nf3xo said:
AES":2u2nf3xo said:
Another PS as an Edit: A pity you're relatively far away from E Anglia because the above book says they now have a Hobbies Fretwork & Crafts Museum, in E Dereham I think. The book doesn't say if they've got a Suffolk machine in there though, and from here I doubt I'll be visiting it in the foreseeable future!

AES
I may be wrong but I have a feeling that the Museum is no longer part of the present Hobbies Company, it was started by Robert Stroulger (one of the son's of Ian Stroulger who reformed the Hobbies company after it was wound up in 1969) But I understand that Hobbies is now run by another family when they moved from Dereham to Raveningham, no mention is made by the present company about a museum so I presume it was kept private or closed when the Stroulger family ceased to run Hobbies. If anyone knows if the museum still exists I would be most interested to hear.
Hi AES & Scrimper. After reading your posts I was intrigued about the 'Hobbies' story and especially the museum. I did a quick search but found no reference to an existing museum run by Hobbies.
However, I did find a very informative timeline of events about Hobbies in the link below :

http://www.dollshousespastandpresent.com/issue22sept2014p9.htm

Note the quote : "In 1993, Robert Stroulger had set up a Hobbies Museum in Dereham. The contents of the museum, as well as the archive of Hobbies’ designs, were also sold to the new owners, and are now in storage."
1993 was a long time ago so maybe there is newer info somewhere but thought you might find the site interesting reading.

Scrollerman
 

AES

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Tripod, you wrote: QUOTE: Hiya AES, Yes i have the book tks,its a very good read,the machine on page 43 is the norfolk,which came out in 1904,the suffolk which is on page 58 is the Suffolk. UNQUOTE:

Yup, that's it exactly (what I would have scanned for you). Glad you've got it. BTW, did you notice the prices? They were a LOT of money for an ordinary working man to spend in those days.

Thanks also scrimper and Scrollerman for the info re the Museum. Pity about that, I do have an ex-RAF mate who lives in Attleborough, not so far from Dereham, so it was at the back of my mind to perhaps visit "one of these fine wet days".

The book referred to is dated 1998, so clearly a lot has happened since then. Also the author is "just" a local historian, and from the feel of what he writes I feel he has only a little general interest in the machines themselves, so there is not as much detail on the machines as I would have liked.

Also I am FAR away from being a Hobbies expert (or a scroll saw expert come to that). My interest is purely nostalgia as the 1st ever time I used a treadle fret saw was when I was about 10 years old, still at Primary School (I guess it must have been a Gem or an A1 model?). I also well remember my nose pressed up again the local shop window lusting after some of the stuff on display from the then-current Hobbies handbook. "Ahhh, those were the days"!

Anyway tripod, I think you're very lucky to have got hold of your machine and I really look forward to seeing the fully refurbished machine here (don't forget the unwritten Forum rule - "no pix and it didn't happen"). :D

Best of luck with it mate, sorry I can't help more.

AES
 
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