MOTHER OF ALL LION TRIMMERS
An elegantly simple 19th-Century device gets a new life.
SHOP OWNER: Jeff McVey
LOCATION: Boise, ID
Here are some pictures of my ancient (circa 1892) American Machinery Co. No. 2 Universal Trimmer after I completed the restoration.
It was a mess when I got it. I blasted most of the parts with plastic media, and polished the table with Scotch-Brite.
I sent the knives out to the Pootatuck Corp., makers of the current Lion Miter Trimmer. They did an excellent job, especially with their hand honing. This sucker will now cut off pieces the full width of the end of a board -- and only 20 thousandths of an inch thick! After trimming, the wood is left as smooth as glass.
I'd guess the trimmer weighs about 250 pounds. The handles on the capstan wheel are steel, rather than the wooden ones that are typical on later (post-1900) trimmers.
This one also lacks some of the features (wing locating pins, knife carriage gibs, steel pinion gears, etc.) that are found on most of the larger 20th century machines. However, I'm not in the pattern making business and it suits a hobby woodworker just fine!. . . Jeff McVey
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