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dtsman 01-01-2011 09:56 AM

ALTA Antique Saw
Just saw a saw I never seen before in an episode of the 3 Stooges.

It appeared to be a worm drive circular saw about 10" maybe. Said ALTA on the side of it real big and it did not look like a fake label. Googled it and could not find it.
I like picking up old tools from yard sales, but have never seen this brand before.
Did it exist?
Where are they now?

Houston, TX

Mr Chips 01-01-2011 10:34 AM

Are you sure it wasn't ATLAS? Atlas Press ( based in Kalamazoo, mi) used to make various power tools under their name, the craftsman name, and the power king name. If that's the company you are thinking of, I think Black and Decker bought them in the 1960's or 70s

Mr Chips 01-01-2011 10:37 AM

ok, did a little Googling and found this article

Mr Chips 01-01-2011 10:52 AM

if you are a collector you might like this, current bid price is $10

dtsman 01-01-2011 11:45 AM

It was defenitley ALTA. I rewound and paused the tv to look at it more closely to see if it may have been a studio label covering the original label, but I could see the ALTA name plate was rivoted to the top part of the guard. Maybe they did alter it from Atlas to ALTA for studio reasons. Should have took a picture.
It was a large two handed saw. It was longer and larger than the Fred Wappat pictured above. I'll keep looking for a picture that would be similar and post back.

Houston, TX

Mr Chips 01-01-2011 06:24 PM

svcmax 01-01-2011 07:57 PM

I've been wondering myself.
Look around 3:15

dtsman 01-01-2011 08:20 PM

That's it svcmax! That is the scene I saw.

So, back to the original question.
Who is ALTA, and where are they now?
Did they make other tools?
Are they collectable?

dtsman 01-01-2011 08:36 PM

I extracted the picture.

Mr Chips 01-01-2011 09:26 PM

Looks exactly like the drawing in the patent filing. the little bit found on google links Alta and Wappat on a few items, so it's possible a trade name or partner of wappat. not much info, that's for sure

dtsman 01-01-2011 10:14 PM

Thanks Mr Chips.
(Oh yea, love your signature)

Me being a "Tim the Tool Man Taylor wanabe" and seeing a tool I never seen before sparked my interest and curiousity.
We are all making progress here, and I will keep the thread up to date with my findings. I just emailed a website called Vintage They do tie Wappat and ALTA together in one article for door planers and mortisers, but still no saw info.

Hopefull they may have some specifics and history of this. I am on a quest for information and education.


Remember,If the women don't find you handsome,
they should at least find you handy.
(Red Green)

hvaclover 01-02-2011 02:13 AM

There are guys who like tools and then there are the guys REALLY like tools. That's us guys who will be on our way to a hot service call and slam the brakes on if we see a yard sale and look for that old power tool.

I have a collection of tools that I don't use but want to keep as a reminder of what this country used to make.

My 35 year old son will carry on where I left off.

BigJim 01-02-2011 06:28 AM

Why not try a google for AMC as that name is on there also?

dtsman 01-02-2011 07:31 AM

Vintage Machinery returned my email with the following information.

" Alta saws were made by Fred G. Wappat, also known as the Wappat Gear Works:
Wappat saws disappeared from the market nearly 60 years ago, I'm afraid. "

" The Alta name was used only very briefly1927 through about 1930, so far as I can tellalthough the Alta name lived on for quite a few years on their price lists for parts. "

Who would have thought I would have learned something new from a New Years marathon of the Stooges?

eworbit 01-05-2011 03:07 PM

Thanks dtsman. Saw this the same time you did on TV and was mesmerized by this saw Curley was using. Hopefully someone will put up a video on the saw. Looks like this saw fascinated us both enough to join this list.

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