Vintage Woodworking – Boice-Crane Company 3500 Table Saw

Boice-Crane began manufacturing woodworking machinery for lay carpenters in December 1926 when WB and JE Boice associated their business with HG Crane. At the time of the merger, two plants were in operation. HG Crane owned the Adrian plant and JE Boice owned the Toledo plant.

The Boice-Crane Company made lightweight tools for the average consumer with only a few products developed for the industrial field. After the business failed in the 1980s, Wilton Corporation purchased the drill press production line and Comet Engineering Incorporated purchased the radial arm saw production line. Gothenburg Manufacturing Company took over the parts business and supported the spindle sander, belt sander, and jigsaw until their company went bankrupt, too.

The Boice-Crane 3500 table saw was manufactured sometime between the late 1960s and early 1970s. It had a 1 1/2 horsepower motor that was 220 V. The 10-inch blade was raised, lowered and tilted with the controls located on the front of the cast iron clad cabinet. This cabinet type table saw was powered by a triple belt system. The table size was 36 inches by 27.5 inches and this could be expanded to 63 inches with the extension table. It comes equipped with a steel guide and a blade guard.

After searching various sites offering old manuals and parts lists, I was unable to find a specific manual for this particular table saw. However, the Model 3500 had many of the same features as the previous Boice-Crane 2500 series table saw. The saw blade is tilted with a rotating crank that leaves the table stationary. A dial indicates the degree of the angle to provide an accurate way to measure your cut at an angle. Hand levers lock the saw and fences in place for safety against slipping. Gearboxes are fully encapsulated and packed with grease for longer use. Large tables were built for higher load capacity than most other table saws. The hood guard slopes with the blade for added safety. Other safety features include a large divider with two anti-kickback dogs to prevent both pieces of wood from being thrown forward. The motor located separately in the steel-lined cabinet reduces vibration that could interfere with good quality cuts.

Since the Boice-Crane 3500 Table Saw is considered an antique piece of machinery, it may not meet modern standards for safety and quality. Anyone interested in restoring this antique table saw may have a hard time finding the right replacement parts because the companies that bought the different lines have gone under, too. However, with the World Wide Web at your fingertips, you can probably find someone with a similar interest in antique woodworking machinery who can point you in the right direction.

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