Vintage Clearing saw from the Midwest


Don't make me chop you
Feb 4, 2006
N.E. Illinois
Can we stand another old Homelite gear drive thread?? Sure why not :D We can't let the guys out there on the left coast thinking they have all the big old saws, we here in the midwest can hold our own :D :P Just kidding.

Lady Luck was on my side last night in my attempts to get a gear drive saw to add to my collection. I decided to give it a shot after three years of having this saw in a box of parts with this clearing bow bar. Kenny or Tree Spider had a pic of a old Homie on his website that I swiped of a bow saw similar to this one, every time I looked at that pic I just had to have a saw like that.

After finally getting a good ignition and the rewind working the way it should which always seems to be a problem in these older saws, along with a whopping 150 lbs compression and a good carb. This saw sprang to life with a little prime on the second pull and actually idled and accelerated to suit me. Didn't run it that long just long enough to know it will be a good one. Not going to push my luck and bring this saw back slowly, who knows how long it has been since it ran last.

I haven't fixed the crack in the gear oil case , I'll get to that later, I just had to finish putting it together to see what it looked like.

Check out this old Homelite 775 G beasty, I even have a regular bar which has a decent 1/2 chain like the bow does. Looks like I will finally get myself a running gear drive to try out. It has been a hard fought fight, I think I can almost run up the victory flag.:/:

Anyone know what size file is used to sharpen these 1/2 chains??? Will 7/32's do the job???
Old Homelite's actually were light, compared to the DAvid Bradleys.
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:lol: :lol: These old saw make you appreciate what we have to work with today. My grandfather gave me an old David Bradley with a 24 in bar that I used when I first started out, good thing I was a young man back then. I couldn't handle that thing now. I actually used that thing up in a tree a few times.

I just wished I hadn't of sold it, the guy I sold it too screwed it up good by trying to take the clutch off the wrong way.
Old Homelite's actually were light, compared to the DAvid Bradleys.
That's a fact.They look like they weigh a ton but they don't .I get a chuckle when people compair big saws,old and new.They talk about how heavy an old Mac or Homey is compaired to a big Stihl or Husky.Fact is the the Mac 125,Homey 2100 ,Husky 3120 and Stihl 084 all weigh within a pound of one another.That shoots that myth in the foot.
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Thanks Al, your al-----ways so helpful.

Gotta question for you.

I know you have had experience with these bow saws. The saw I have pictured, with the clearing bow. Can you cut with bottom part of bar like a regular bar or do you use only the nose with the spike ???

I have been on a bow saw kick as of late, I also have a Homelite with a regular bow on it. Nasty looking saw. But I haven't had any time to cut with it to try it out. Our woodpile is such a jumbled tangled mess I don't want to try and cut with one of these bars because of the nasty rep they have for kickback. I am waiting till I can get a good log out in the open where I can stand off to the side before I try to cut with either of these bars.
Way back when,granny's farm early 60's,the bow had a guard across the top of it.We just hooked the spike and shoved the thing through those little 6 to 8 inch osage oranges being cut for fence posts.I don't recall ever using the bottom but you really shouldn't get any kick-back being on the straight section.
I apologise if you have already covered this but what was the idea behind the bow configuration?
It cuts thru wood like butter and is about impossible to bind, but it's dangerous as hell. It's mainly for stuff like pulpwooding and ground cutting.
Looks good Larry glad to hear you got her running.
See Ya
Nice saw AX-Man!

I have a 700d, unoficially the loudest saw on earth. If I can ever get the muffler right Ill try it out, but as for now it rattles my eyeballs too much to use, thats with ear plugs and muffs on!

They talk about how heavy an old Mac or Homey is compaired to a big Stihl or Husky.Fact is the the Mac 125,Homey 2100 ,Husky 3120 and Stihl 084 all weigh within a pound of one another.That shoots that myth in the foot.

You are correct AL!

My 750 is within one pound of the 3120, gives up 10cc (?) and will not only out cut it with a properly sharpened chain (.045-.050 rakers) but will definatly out live it.

Its better looking and sounding too IMO.

The 750 Homey I do believe was the last of the big pro saws that Homelite built.Every so often one pops up at the saw races and on occasion takes home the bacon.

Back in the day,Big Dave built some up that swept the competition in the mid west.

Subject wise I think most people just assume heavy because that's what they have been told .Reality is somewhat different.No big deal one way or 'tother.
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Thanks Wolf, you too Mike :D

I have on of those 700 D 's also that runs, not too bad a saw for an old time Homelite. I hate to cut wood with though it has an oddball chain on it. 7/16's I think is what is on it and where to get chain in that pitch is beyond me. So it just sits on the shelf looking purty with the Macs I have , just another reminder of how saws were from another era.
That is a chain that is very rare, I have a loop of used 7/16" that is part of my collection, other than that I've not seen any. You might check over on the CSCF and see if anyone might have any. Good luck and if I hear of any I'll let you know.
See Ya
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I should have asked this question when I was asking about the file size.

What are the depth gauge settings for this 1/2" pitch chain??

I have some old depth gauge tools here that go up to .040, that has to be close or .030 thousandths for sure.

I got the crack in the gearoil case fixed and had the saw out doing a few cuts even though the chain was very dull. Even with the dull chain it didn't fall flat on it's face , the saw kept pulling that bow bar into the wood, slowly and steadily but very loud :D . The carb still needs a little work which will be an improvement. I didn't put the new kit I have for it in yet just wanted to see where I was at with the saw before using the new kit.

I guess I can now say I have unofficially cut with a gear drive and a bowsaw. I also had my other bow saw out in the woodpile using it, like Butch said earlier it is really smooth cutting with no pinching, definitely different but nice once you get used to it.

My hat is off to those oldtimers who used these geardrives, had to be a workout using these saws. Not just the weight but getting them started is a tussle with no decomp to relieve the compression. I guess it beat using a two man saw, a hand bow saw, along with an axe
What are the depth Gage settings for this 1/2" pitch chain??
I have some new 1/2" .Give me a day or so and I will measure it. I'm thinking 30 thou ,though but I'm not sure.

On my big saws I don't tug and jerk on them a dozen times after they've set a while.Out comes the old primer bottle on a cold start.I do have an old Mac though that believe or not will putt with usually no more than two pulls if it has been used within 3 or 4 days previous.A rarity indeed.
Get a pc of you cutting with them and make it offical.
See Ya
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Thanks Al, that is what is on this saw, Oregon # 10.

Mike, I'll get some pics soon, I need a someone else to run the camera which isn't a problem and get the carb straightened out a little on this saw before I run the saw again. Hope I don't screw it up:lol:

I'll get pics of both bowsaws cutting, hopefully next weekend. Work comes first, we all know how that goes.
When you get around to the pics ,start a thread.I have a couple of vid downloads with a few oldies doing their thing myself.:D