My new old Wadkin 10 AGS

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Fighting the World
31 Jul 2018
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Hello everyone,

I'm relatively new to posting here but have been reading for a while. My thanks to all who's articles and discussions have been of value to myself and others over the years.

A couple of weeks ago I acquired what I consider to be my first "proper" bit of kit. As the title says, a Wadkin 10 AGS. From the test number and this fine link she appears to have been made in 1960.

I had been bidding on various saws on ebay over the last months but was never lucky enough to win an auction. My trigger finger is not as quick as it used to be!

Anyway, I bit the bullet and made a best offer on a "Buy it Now". The saw looked to be in relatively good nick and the seller was really helpful, although the splitter and crown guard were missing but I can sort this. I paid a little more than I wanted to but this one could be delivered on a pallet. Once I'd factored in the cost of hiring a van and driving the length of the country, (these things never seem to come up locally) it actually worked out pretty well. All in delivered I was down £610 at the end of the day.

Here she is in the auction listing.


There was a minor cock up in delivery. The lorry blew it's clutch about 20 miles from me and had to be towed back to base. This was on a Thursday and they couldn't re-deliver until the Monday. A whole weekend of pacing. I was itching to start playing. As the machine was fitted with a three phase motor, I'd ordered a cheap Chinesium VFD from ebay in advance (HuanYang if anyone is interested). This had turned up on the Friday so I got it all hard wired in to the CU in the garage over the weekend to try and cure that itch.

Finally, Monday morning came. The driver was late (not his fault). They'd loaded the truck buttocks about face and I was supposed to be at the back, first drop, but they'd stuck another large machine behind and he'd had to deliver that first. The driver was great and dragged it down the drive and into the garage on a pallet truck for me.

And now in my posession.



So now I'm late for work and had to dash before having a play. Arrggg.

Home from work at last and straight out to the "shop". Now, even though this saw was sold as working I thought it best to give her the once over before spinning up a wheel of death to 3000+ RPM. The spindle rotated freely, and although there was some play and sticking in the tilt and rise and fall mechanisms, all seemed sound enough. I'd pre configured the VFD so started stripping off the the old 3 phase DOL and wiring into the motor. The original DOL to motor wiring was a little charred from over heating on one phase at the motor end from a corroded terminal. Cleaned up the terminal and installed some new SY cable to go from the VFD to the motor (including an earth to chassis which was not present in the original wiring!).

Now the moment of truth. She ran! For about 30 seconds. A rather nasty rumble from the spindle bearings so I shut her down.

Oh well! I like a project.

Now at this point you'll start to realise that I don't do things by halves. I could have just taken the spindle housing out and changed the bearings. But where is the fun in that! So out came the old whitworth socket set I'd inherited when my grandad passed away and two hours later the saw had "thrown up" all over the garage.

These pics are a couple of days later with work under way.



Please don't judge the mess!

I'd decided somewhere along the way that this would become a full overhaul with a re-paint.

Unfortunately, in my exctitement I haven't photographed much of the dissassembly. Mostly just some "remember where this was attached" pictures for my own reference to accompany the original manual I found thanks to links on this site. However, as this is progressing I am trying my best to photograph more and more so that I can post my progress here. I hope to be able to document the assembly in as much detail as possible.

The last couple of weeks have been spent rebuilding the spindle, de-greasing and paint stripping and of course buying a few essential tools (bearing separator, imperial drift punches, BSW taps and dies etc.) to get the job done.

I'm having a great time, like the proverbial pig in s***.

Here are some of the progress pictures I have managed to take along the way.


Disassembly underway.


Dirty insides!


Spindle off.


Spindle all cleaned up with new bearings for re-assembly.


Spindle pressed back together. Will press into housing when painted.


Hours of back-breaking paint stripping.


Down to the iron.

Thanks for taking the time to read. More to come.

Lovely saw! Great pics.

Regarding the paint stripping. When I strip my machines I use a heavy coat of synstryp paint stripper then cover in plastic leave for 20mins and can back. Just wipes off usually.
Sometimes I break out the pressure water to do fiddly bits after I have applied the stripper.
Hi SkinnyB,

Thanks. I tried a couple of different strippers and household products to no avail. Ever since dichloro methane was banned from paint strippers they are mostly pretty lame these days. Then by happenstance I left the spindle casting in the degreaser. Two hours later it has dissolved the paint off. Happy days! Unfortunately for me a little late in the process....

The degreaser is Remmers Dirt and Grease Remover. Applied by brush it was enough to soften the paint on the remaining parts enough that the wire brush 'n drill took no time at all. Shame I'd already done the big stuff the hard way. :roll:

I'll keep synstryp on record for the next one though :D

Looking good. I rebuilt my AGS 10 only 6 months back and it was cracking fun. Didn’t repaint but the rise and fall and tilt are so silky smooth once clean and fettled you realise just what a lovely machine they are.

Keep up the good work and pictures.

Hi Dave. Welcome to the Wadkin Owners Club. You don't have to be mad to be a member - but it helps :wink:
ManowarDave":bfqt374h said:
...From the test number and this fine link she appears to have been made in 1960...
Your saw is Wadkin-Bursgreen badged. As such it's unlikely to have been made at the Wadkin Green Lane works. More likely at one of the former Bursgreen factories.

The Wadkin dating site (above) appears to only apply to Green Lane products. We think that the first two digits of Wadkin-Bursgreen Serial No.s may be the year of manufacture (mind you, we used to think that about the Green Lane Test No.s, but it turned out to be wrong :oops: ) - and so far that seems to look accurate.

Could you please post a closer photo of your tag?

That dating site is the work of one of the members here: wallace (aka Mark). Check out his latest rebuild - a Sagar sander sagar-disc-sander-restoration-t118354.html

And beware: old iron is addictive. I now have six (smaller) Wadkins in my two car garage (and no cars :oops: ).

Cheers, Vann.

Thank you. Any tips on fettling the tilt and rise and fall?


I'm not quite at the point of wearing my underpants on my head and sticking pencils up my nose but it's a close run thing. :D

Here's the close up of the plate as requested.

I love finding out the provenance of the things I own. Any history much appreciated.

I've been following wallace's sander thread. It's a Behemoth. I don't think my garage will ever be lucky enough to house one.

Speaking of garages, I know what you mean. I have an old concrete prefab double. It has an inspection pit but it's never seen a car since I moved in.

ManowarDave":6ojccqma said:
...I'm not quite at the point of wearing my underpants on my head and sticking pencils up my nose but it's a close run thing...
Wot? You mean that's not normal behavior?? :oops:

Yeah, the best I can suggest is that your AGS was made in 1962. I was lucky with my PK - I got the original packing slip (dated September 1945) with mine, and some correspondence. I was even able to tell which ship it came out to New Zealand on (MV Port Phillip).

Cheers, Vann.
Crackin job, its amazing how lumps of old iron keep grown adults entertained for hours. I've not had the chance to play with an AGS yet.
What colour are you going to do it. did you keep a bit of original painted item to get colour matched.
I must have rebuilt around 20 AGS saws, if the worm drive isn’t worn all that is necessary is a clean and lubrication. They normally haven’t had a clean or any maintenance since they were first bought!
Great to see you rebuilding this, it's the same model as mine. Let me know if you want a tracing of the splitter. Here's a pic.


I do have a crown guard also, though if I didn't I'd probably go for one with a good dust port, such as the Shark Guard or a similar DIY version. Worth thinking about dust extraction while you are rebuilding. The motor on mine has been enclosed, which keeps it cleaner, and I plan to put a dust extractor at the bottom with an angled board inside to collect the dust by gravity.

Keep us posted!



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Thank you. I wish you hadn't asked about colour, I know it's controversial. :D :D

I've not gone original and I've already started painting now so it's too late to go back!!

The colour scheme is:
White for the inside of the body casting and inside of the lower sheet metal work.
Metallic Royal blue for the feet, outside of the main body cast and motor.
Metallic Gold for the outside of the lower sheet metal work, adjustment wheels, motor mount and trunnion retainers.
Silver for all the internal cast pieces.

Sounds like a right mish mash I know, but I mocked it up in Gimp on some of the photos and in real life I'm quite pleased with how it's turning out.

I hope to have all the painting done by the end of Friday as I'm off on Hols for a week and everything can have a good harden without me jumping the gun and putting it together too soon.


There is a little wear including a small amount of burring on the tops of the worm "teeth" which needs polishing out. We'll have to see when it goes back together.


A tracing of the splitter would be most welcome. I have already found a tracing of the riving knife online which I believe is from the later model and drawn this up in CAD. 10AGSrivingknife.dwg for anyone who requires it. This is currently being laser cut at a local firm. It would be good to be able to do the same for the splitter too in case the riving knife does not fit.
I will get you a tracing. I thought I had one but the file is corrupted.

However, I am 99% certain that the RK from a later AGS10 will not fit yours. It fits on a parallelogram structure which allows it to rise and fall with the blade. Ola of this forum has designed and built a modification to allow our type of machine to fit such blades, but I haven't made it yet. I can't read a dwg file, sorry.

Thanks. It looks as if it would probably fit for the riving knife, but the Wadkin Crown Guard would not fit. Not that that matters, there are better designs now. As you've ordered it now, try it and see.


My fettle was a complete disassembly, a thorough clean of the worm gears, polishing all the rust off the shafts where they penetrate the cast housings, a clean and lube of the roller thrust race (item 46 on drawing). Upon reassembly some adjustment of the collar on the canting shaft was required to ensure minimal play without any binding.

After several months of occasional use I can feel there must be sawdust accumulation in places as I can no longer spin the handles and drop the blade I have to put in a little effort.

Progress update. - Filling holes and the trick with Hammerite

The folded steel section had accumulated a number of extra holes over the years. The obvious ones were where an isolator had been fixed on next to the DOL. The rest I assume were where a dust chute had been cobbled/riveted in. One of the chaps at work was kind enough to weld these up for me over a lunch break or two. There were also some additional holes drilled into the feet and main casting. These were remedied with some epoxy putty.


As well as the welded up holes you'll notice in this one the utter s**t job I did brushing on the first coat of white on the inside. Not at all happy with that. Did some googling and found the best way to apply was a gloss roller. The other handy tip I picked up was warm the paint tin in a bowl of hot water for a minute or two before applying. The application is much smoother and more even. The brush marks were soon covered up to a satisfactory level.

A little painting out of the way now. Two coats on the blue and three on the white and gold.

The main cast body.



The feet and adjustment wheels.


The sheet steel section.


I still need to paint the internal castings, hopefully before the end of the week.
Well, apologies for the delay. Had a nice break though. Unfortunately due to the bad weather we came home a day early.

On the upside, due to the bad weather we came home a day early and I got to crack on with the saw!

So before we went away I managed to get all the internal cast pieces painted and now everything has had a good week to go off.

I've managed to get quite a bit done over the weekend and thankfully, reined myself in enough to take plenty of photos. (Warning, the following is rather image intensive.)

So without further ado, on with the rebuild.

First order of the day (well Friday evening) was remove all the dung from the threads. Old paint from stripping, new paint from over zealous application and general accumulated crud.

This was followed by removal of any paint that made it onto machined surfaces by scraping with a blade and stoning.

With the prep done it was time for a well earned large scotch and off to bed.

Saturday morning, 6:30am clad in my "high-viz" dressing gown and safety slippers. :D Now the fun part, putting things back together!

The feet set out.

The sheet steel section in place.

And bolted in place with the reinforcement plates.

A close up just because I like the contrast.

The Wadkin badge gets attached.

The main cast body gets bolted on. Cooking on gas now!

A break for breakfast and a change of attire. Properly dressed I got on with assembling the inner workings.

Attaching the racked quadrant to the rise and fall.

And to the tilt.

I had to buy some new roll pins for the quadrant on the tilt. Looks like the old ones had had a bit of a knock at some point in the past.

Bolted on the trapping bracket for the retainer.

Pressed the arbour assembly back into the housing.

And bolted the arbour up to the rise and fall.

Next up, assembling the rise and fall shaft assembly.






Moving on to the tilt shaft assembly. I came a bit unstuck here due to my own stupidity. The holes on the worm and shaft are not dead centre. I was 180 degrees out and the damn roll pin came to a dead stop at the far side of the shaft. Easy I thought, just knock it out, turn the worm 180 on the shaft and stick the pin back in. Only, I knocked it out into the corner behind the shaft rather than making sure it was vertical first. It hit the main body casting, still engaged in the worm and the shaft and due to the corner would not rotate. How the pineapple am I going to push that back through?

Decided a break was in order so grabbed some lunch followed by a general tidy up (<---this is important) and then started stripping down the motor instead as there was a little bit of radial play in the bearings. A very frustrating afternoon with the motor but more on that to come in a later post.

Sunday! and on with the afore mentioned early morning safety attire and out into the garage.

A good nights sleep had proved invaluable and some inginuity struck. By placing my narrowest drift punch lengthways on between the end of the roll pin and the inner corner of the casting and pushing (leaning) on the shaft the pin moved enough to be able to get the next size drift punch in. Same again and again until the roll pin was back in enough to rotate the shaft and drift the pin out straight down this time.

So, assembly recommenced.

Now, where did the roll pin for the end spindle collar go? On the bench? No. Under the bench? No. Rolled under the boards all the parts are laid out on? No! FFS!

Remember that important bit about tidying up. Well, looks like I swept it up.

It took nearly two hours to find that bloody pin...time to get dressed.

Anyway, shaft in and hand wheel on.

Trunnion bracket in.

And tilting.

Rise and fall shaft installed and the ratings plate on.

Rise and fall assembly installed.

Installed the retainer.

Motor mounting bracket on.

Finally starting to look like a machine again.

I'm quite chuffed with the colour scheme although I'm more than willing to accept any crtisism. Doesn't mean I'll change it though :D

The rest of this week will be prepping and painting the table parts, polishing the fence rails and probably dissassembling the fence. I'll pick the motor up when the new bearings arrive which should be towards the end of the week.

Thanks for reading.

That is a proper job you’re doing there, it’ll run like a beaut when finished.


Ps. Must resist, must not mention the paint job. Great finish just wouldn’t go with the rest of my shed colour scheme ;)
Hello again. Apologies for the tardiness in following up on the rebuild. Work and life etc, etc.

Well, trials and tribulations abound.

Let's start with the good news. Picking up from where I left off on the last post...

Got the table and wings stripped and painted.


And then got the table back on the machine. At this point is's all just resting on top, nothing tightend down to the frame.

Followed by bolting on the wings.

Then I got the fence rails polished up with plenty of oil and a some Scotchbrite pads. That involved a rhythmic motion that I'm glad nobody saw. :D

Time to get the table squared up to the blade... I couldn't for the life of me get the blade to 90 degrees. A little (read a lot) of head scratching, crawling inside, poking from the top and found that if I gave the tilt hand wheel a bit of heft the table top lifted a smidge. That's not right! The trunnion bracket was making contact with the table.

I couldn't believe there was that amount of interference before I took it apart. I mean I could only get to 87ish degrees. So back to the pre-disassembly photos. No help there. For some reason you never have a photo of the bit that is going to cause you an issue. You don't know what your're not going to know eh?

Right, two steps back. The table has to come off.

A little investigation and it looks like the washers I had attributed to going between the nut and the main body were actually shims between the body and the table as evidenced by the witness here.

Well, I like to have a washer under the nut where possible so kept the originals for that purpose and dug out some M10 stainless washers and placed these on the four corners.

Lugged the table back on and....success. No more interference. On with squaring up. Got a dial indicator with a mag mount on a 3/4" wide parallel to fit in the mitre slot. A couple of thou play in the slot but got round this by pulling up to the inside edge.

Much jiggery pokery later I realised that the blade (came with the saw) was more like a salad bowl. Nearly 40 thou difference over one rotation. That's a millimeter!! OK, there were two more blades supplied with the saw. Second was as bad as the first! The third was worse!! Looks like some new blades will be ordered. Any recomendations welcome although I can already hear a faint "FREUD" rumbling in the distance.

Back on with the first blade and marked a single point to clock up on, then rotated the blade and moved the dial indicator to match up with the same spot on the blade. A gentle tap on the side of the table here, a tremulous nugdge there and was rewarded with less than a thousandth on an inch from front to back.



On with the nuts and washers underneath and gently nipped them all up checking occasionally with the dial indicator that nothing had moved. Once everything was tight I had lost about half a thou. Not bad in the scheme of things. :D.

So now on with getting the fence done. Not so many photos here. Not overly complicated inside but fiddly to assemble and effin' and jeffin' took priority over snapping pics. However, the few I took come next.

The cast front bracket all stripped back. Possibly the most akward due to size and shape but got there in the end.

And painted.

The back bracket painted.

And a couple of the assembled fence on the saw.


I have to admit to a small but warm smug feeling at this point but I'll keep it to myself.

Now on to what has been my main bane. The motor!!

It came off the machine easily enough and the fan cover was a cinch to remove.

That's probaby the best that can be said. Upon inspection there was some radial play in the bearings so it was going to be a full strip down rather than just a paint job. Out came the bearing puller to remove the pulley...or so I thought. Would it budge? Would it pineapple!

Multitudes of different release agents, heat cycles under tension with a blow torch and finally graunching the twittery out of the bearing puller to the point I comletely mashed the tip of the extractor and bent the lead screw and eventually got some movement. Never in my days have I come accross a part so firmly stuck on a shaft but at last I got it off!

Carrying on, a quick snap of the wiring for reassembly reference.

The next thing it threw at me was a broken foot. Looks like a previous owner had shimmed the motor on the mounting bracket with a 3mm thick aluminium plate. I suspect they had belts that were too long. It was wedged in unevenly and the force of bolting it up must have cracked the foot. From the rust in the crack it had been like this for some time.

Into some evapo-rust overnight to clean the crack which worked a treat. I didn't fancy getting such a thin section of cast iron welded up so resorted to an encapsulating epoxy resin we use a work for potting electronics. Epoxy applied and clamped, just like a good ol' glue up. Dressed back the squeeze out and hey presto, good as new.

I'm not too concerned with strength as the crack was directly through the fixing holes and the foot had remained in place all this time with the bolts bearing on both sides. In fact the crack hadn't become apparent until the bolts were removed. Even so the epoxy held up to some small applied force so I'm happy it'll last the distance.

A lick of paint to tart it up.

The bearings popped off easy enough, even with a slightly distorted puller! Open 6203's. Not going down the open bearing route as greasing a motor is a royal pain. Too much and it can be another strip down. The next road block was me ordering 6203-2rs when I meant to order 6203-zz. I'm not a fan of rubber seals on motor bearings due to the increased rolling resistance so waited it out until the zz's arrived.

While I'm waiting on the right bearings everything else gets a bit of attention.

At some point there had been some water ingress and there was rust on the inside of the casing. I dumped the entire stator into evapo-rust overnight (there's nothing on the data sheet that will touch the enamel on the windings but I did a test with some transformer wire first). Rinsed with warm water and then did a thermal cycle at 80°C for an hour in the oven to drive the water out.

Not wanting to risk slipping with the wire brush and damaging the windings, the outside of the case was scraped with a blade to remove the paint. Due to the curved surface this was quite easy and the paint chipped of nicely.

The pulley and all the fixings got a bath in evapo-rust.

The rotor was in good nick so it was just a case of polishing up the shafts to take the pulley and new bearings.

All the parts then got painted.

Bearings arrived and on with reassembly.

The foot was bolted on.

The wires got some heat shrink as some of the insulator was starting to crack.

The terminal box was reassembled.

The new bearings were pressed on to the rotor (remembering to put the correct retaining plates on the shaft first :D ).

The rear bell cap was installed about the bearing.

The rotor fitted.

The front bell cap on and the wavy spring greased and inserted.

Capped off with the retainer. A bit fiddly lining up with the threaded holes on the internal retainer which is free on the shaft.

The fan on.

And finally the fan cover and the pulley. The pulley went on a lot easier than it came off :D .

All connected up for a test run. A little dutch courage on the left for luck!
10AGSmotor21.jpg ran up. Sweet as a nut. Sounded beautiful.

So onto installing the motor to the saw. In hind sight this would have been a lot easier with the wing off the table but I'd spent a bit of time setting that bob on level with the table so I employed a few blocks of wood and a car jack to lift it into place. New belts were fitted and everything was bolted up.

And a shot from underneath.

That's everything up to date so far. Next up will be running up the motor whilst on the saw and sorting out the riving knife and a guard of some description. There are also dust collection plans on the horizon.

The riving knife I had laser cut locally is definately for the later AGS and does not fit. MusicMan, if you are still following the rebuild, that scan and some dimensions of your RK would be much appreciated.
It's looking lovely! :D I would never have thought of gold and blue as a good combination for colours but it works really nicely here, even looks a little like something out of a 1960s sci-fi. I've always wanted to have a play about with one of these little AGS saws as they look solid as anything and they do fix up really nicely, But I reckon we'll run out of ones to do up if people on the forum keep doing them up! :lol: They're already getting pricier every time I look.

Interesting point about the rolling resistance being less on ZZ bearings as opposed to 2RS, I suppose it makes sense but surely it doesn't matter too much in something that's under power?

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