J. A. Fay & Egan Rip Saw for Sale - Located in Southeast Iowa

J. A. Fay & Egan Rip Saw for Sale

Price $1,400
Blade Diameter Up to a 22″ blade
Motor 5 hp. 3-phase
Condition Excellent
Year of Manufacture Pre-1910, but late 1800s is best guess
Dimensions 36″ X 64″ table top
Estimated Weight 2,000 lbs
Location Donnellson, Iowa
Shipping / Pickup You pick up or arrange shipping. I can load on a flat bed.
Payment Methods  Cash before loading


Saw Parts Included at No Additional Cost

Below is a detailed description for each component that is included as part of the asking price. Combined they are worth over $1,300, but they come free when buying the saw.

J. A. Fay & Egan Rip Saw Parts

Market Value

Custom-made Cage and Dust-Capturing System


Custom-made Lower Blade Guard $200
Vintage Saw Blades
Flange-mounted Ball Bearings
Vintage Splitter (possibly original)
Custom-made Splitter / Anti-Kickback Device $75
Angle Iron for Lining up Table Extension
Spare Hand Wheel
T-Slot Extension
Original Fence
Crown Molding Fence
Brett Guard $100
Forrest 16″ Woodworker II Rip Blade $180
New Drive Belts and Spare $100

Rip Saw Description

The saw was built to run off of a line shaft. This has been converted to being driven off of a 5 hp. 3-phase motor, which I am currently using to run the saw. If you do not have three phase at your shop, it is easy to install a phase converter if you want to continue to use the included motor, or you can install a 5 hp. single phase motor, also.

The saw has a Serial Number of 90109.

There is a jack shaft mounted to the floor on the back side of the saw. Originally, this jack shaft was longer, extending out past the side of the saw. From this, a drive belt went up to the line shaft to drive it. You can easily replace the drive shaft with a longer one if you wish to restore this to drive shaft service.

You can see the motor, jack shaft, and motor drive belt on the outside, and see the arbor shaft belt directly behind the saw blade driving up to the arbor shaft. In this picture you can also see the cage I built to keep things out of this drive belt arrangement. I invested over $700.00 in the cage and dust capturing system for the saw.

Included Parts for the J. A. Fay & Egan Rip Saw

All parts listed here are included as part of the saws selling price.

Custom-made Lower Blade Guard

This picture shows the lower blade guard I had fabricated. Normally the blade would be exposed below the table top (without this lower collection unit installed). This system works well for capturing sawdust coming off of the blade. There is still some dust that is thrown to the front of the saw as on most table saws. It also is a necessary safety enhancement. There is a large mesh screen in the bottom of this to keep big chunks and strips of wood from going into the dust collector piping.

Original Saw Blades

These are the original blades that came with the saw. They include several blades along with a dado blade set (at least I think that is what it is for).

Flange-mounted Ball Bearings

These are flange mounted ball bearings that were placed on the arbor shaft. I wanted to restore the saw as much as possible but the original Babbitt bearing housings for the arbor shaft were missing (This is the highest speed shaft and was probably converted when they wore out.) I had bronze bearings made up for the arbor shaft to take it back to near original, but in retrospect, the ball bearings were probably a better solution. The bearings are in good shape and can easily be re-installed should you choose to do so.

Vintage Splitter (possibly original)

This is an interesting piece but I am not sure if it is original. The picture in the Fay & Egan catalog does not show any type of splitter or blade guard at all. There are mounting holes behind the blade however and this piece fits into those holes. When I picked up the saw, the splitter was installed in that location (without the guard piece.) The problem with this is that you had to adjust the splitter each time you raised / lowered the blade. Also, there was no kick back protection. As a result, I made a custom splitter / kick back system and installed it on the saw. You do not need to adjust this when adjusting blade height.

Custom-made Splitter / Anti-Kickback Device

This shows the permanent splitter / anti kick back device I made up for the saw. It works perfectly and I have not had to do anything with it since I first installed it and lined it up.

Angle Iron for Lining up Table Extension

This is a piece of angle iron included with the saw. It was bolted to the side of the table so that a table extension could be lined up with it.

Spare Hand Wheel

This is a “spare” hand wheel that looks nearly identical to the locking wheel on the front of the saw. I have no idea why it was with the saw, but it will remain with the saw.



These are two wrenches that came with the saw. I am not sure that they are original – the picture in the catalog shows some others, but these are vintage wrenches and go with the saw.

T-Slot Extension

This is a shop-made bracket that easily bolts up to the saw. Its function is to extend the T-slot so you can move the fence further from the blade. I believe it may have been added so that the user can do sheet stock with it. I removed it since I was only ripping boards and had added a table off of that side of the saw.

Original Fence


These pictures show the fence for the saw. I am nearly certain that it is the original fence. In fact, I am relatively sure the wooden parts (not including the added board on the inside of the fence) may be original. In the pictures you can see the dovetail construction and the years of wear on the top of the fence assembly. For your information, I never used this fence in my shop. I purchased and installed a nice cam lock fence for the front of the saw which I have since sold. It may be possible to get this again if you are interested. The buyer installed it on a saw, but subsequently bought another one with a fence already on it. It was a heavy duty HTC fence built with the square style fence common on new saws.


The original fence is not reliable for use because it has loosened up over time. There are several options however:

  • Buy and install a cam lock fence on the front of the saw (this worked great for me).
  • Make up another fence unit using the original as a pattern and save back the original fence.
  • Use the original fence as a pattern for new wooden parts and attach them to the original fence hardware. If you do this, it will be a fully functional and usable fence.

Crown Molding Fence


This piece came with the saw and it took me a while to figure out how you could possibly use this when the T-slot is perpendicular to the fence. I believe you can attach it to the sub-frame of the other fence and then push boards diagonally across a smaller saw blade to make Crown Molding. This was a common practice in that time period. I have never attempted to do this however.

Brett Guard


This is a very well made Brett Guard. This guard moves in and out, as well as up and down. I did cut off the two guide rods on it as these stuck out in the walkway creating something to “run into” every time you walked by. The guard is fully functional with the shorter rods however and is a good addition to the saw. It is not original equipment.

Forrest 16″ Woodworker II Rip Blade (excellent condition)

These two pictures show that there is a nearly brand new Forrest 16” Woodworker II rip blade installed on the saw. This is a $180.00 blade. It is sharp and in perfect condition. The original saw advertisement indicated that the saw normally is run with a 20” saw blade. There was not one with the saw when I got it and the 16” blade allows for 4” wood to be cut – enough for me! That being said, the tip speed of the 16” blade seems to be a bit slow, but not enough to cause a problem.

Spare Belt Drive

This shows a brand new drive belt for the saw. I had both of the belts that are on the saw made up new also. The only thing missing is a piece of cat gut which you can get at a bearing supply house. This is what is slipped through the metal ends to splice the belt together.

Research on the Saw’s History

I have an early model J. A. Fay & Egan Co “No. 2 Improved Standard Ripping-Saw Table” for sale. I acquired this saw as a restoration project and have done some research on its history. I acquired an old Fay & Egan Catalog Third Edition, which has a picture of the saw and its description. I have learned that the “No. 2 Ripping-Saw” had been converted to a T slot parallel to the blade as well as ball bearings by 1910. This saw has the T slot perpendicular to the blade and also has Babbitt bearings.

The saw originated in Niota, Illinois in a carriage factory which was started sometime around 1875. The story that I was told is that there was a very large log jam on the Mississippi river as logs were being floated down from upper Minnesota one winter. The log jam was torn apart and many logs were piled along the Illinois side of the river. At that time a person started the carriage shop taking advantage of the large quantity of free logs. It is believed that this saw is the original saw from the carriage shop.

When I first viewed the saw it had been relocated to an old lumber yard in the same town, was nearly buried in saw dust, and had a rough chicken wire fence around it for a guard. I picked up all of the pieces I could find associated with the saw and brought it home. I then started a restoration process to bring it back to near-original condition as well as to adapt it to my shop by adding safety features and a cam lock fence to the front of it. I have since sold the cam lock fence.