Inside the Wadkin cabinet saw

May 2003

Cabinet saw, still at the
previous owner's workshop

At the previous owner's workshop (fence removed)

My plan is to put it into service pretty quickly, not to spend time restoring it. I'll probably clean the dirt out and strip it a little, just to check the bearings for wear or play, and to re-grease them. I'd also like to fit a riving knife and some guarding.

If I had more time to write about this stuff, I'd have spent more time restoring it.

Power orignally came from a 3 phase motor, but it's already converted to single phase. The starter is some ancient thing, and I really want to fit a kick / paddle stop button.

The cast-iron table is 28" by 40", cast in three sections; 10" + 20" + 10". There are two mitre slots, but they don't fit any mitre gauges I already have.

The fence runs on heavy steel rods, front and back. Unlike my lastsaw, the fence clamps at each end from one lever, and it holds itself square.

View inside the cabinet

View inside the cabinet

Maker's plate - Wadkin Bursgreen of Leicester

Maker's plate

It's a 1962 saw. Later AGS saws switched to a squarer steel sheet cabinet, rather than the rounded cast-iron form. Does anyone know when they first started making this saw ?

Retailer's plate - Wilkinsons of Bethnal Green, London

Retailer's plate

Getting in there and dirty. I did very little to this saw; cleaned the bearings, vacuumed the dust out, and re-lubricated it.

Trunnion mechanism, before cleaning

Dusty, as bought

Trunnion mechanism, after cleaning


There are a few differences from US practice. The case is in 3 parts; the top and base are of solid cast-iron. The tilt trunnion bearings are machined directly into this upper case, rather than into a bolted-on braket.

Trunnion mechanism, tilted

Trunnions, tilted over.

Internal components

Tilt adjustment scale

Tilting scale

Tilt screw

Tilt screw

Tilt screw

Tilt screw

Tilt end stop, from the outside

Tilt end stop

Unlike the US Unisaw, the tilt stop screws are adjustable from outside the case.

Tilt end stop, from the inside

Tilt stop screw (inside)

The tilt stop screw projects through the case. This also shows the tilt shaft, and the worn endfloat shim.

Gib screws for the blade height trunnion

Gib screws for the blade height trunnion

Again unlike the US, the blade height adjustment is by sector trunnion bearings, not axle bearings. A set of guide screws control movement.

Arbor bearing

Arbor bearing

Welded repair to trunnion bracket

Welded repair to trunnion bracket

One thing I was less than happy to find under the sawdust was a crack in the blade trunnion, repaired by a weld. It's a nickel rod weld though, and has presumably been there for 20 years, so I guess they knew what they were doing.