Hercules Engine News
by Glenn Karch
Hercules engines powered many different kinds of equipment. A complete drag saw unit could be purchased from the Hercules Company. The original Hercules drag saw unit made its appearance in 1921 and was continued through 1928. In 1929 part of the operating mechanism was modified. The original had a hand operated lever on the end of the engine crankshaft to engage and disengage the clutch mechanism. The later version had the clutch located as a part of the large drive sprocket on the saw mechanism itself.
The engine on a drag saw was normally the 1 1/2 or 1 3/4 HP size There were some modifications to the engine. The off side flywheel had a disk hub which provided one of the clutch surfaces. It also had a longer crankshaft with a tapped hole in the center for fastening on the clutch mechanism. Some of the drag saw engines were equipped with a special fuel mixer with a valve in it that prevented gasoline from running through it when the engine was at a steep angle. Sometime later, the fuel tank was relocated from in the engine base to a location at the front of the engine and below the mixer. The original type drag saw is shown above powered by a l 3/4 HP kerosene engine Normally the drag saw was driven of a speed of about 90 strokes per minute.
The illustration below is the later version of the drag saw with the driven gear clutch operated by a hand wheel. It is powered by a l 3/4 HP model X Kerosene engine. Sears, Roebuck & Company sold very similar drag saw outfits powered by the appropriate Economy brand engine. Drag saws were offered in the catalogs from 1921 through 1931. The price for the complete outfit ranged from $89 to $95 during that time.
From time to time Hercules put out special saw and drag saw folders illustrating and explaining the advantages of their saw and how much time it would save a wood cutter.
During this same tune period, the Phillips Drag Saw Company utilized a Hercules built 1 1/2 HP engine to power saws of their own design. It used the standard engine without the modification mentioned earlier. The engine had a Phillips tag substituted for the normal Hercules tag; however, the regular Hercules serial number was retained.
The picture below was not in the original GEM article but I thought it is relevant.