Reed Prentice 1200B
Reed-prentice (Craftsman) 1200B was the first chainsaw Sears offered in the wide distribution (stores/catalogs). It was made by Reed-Prentice who was in on chainsaws when they were first being made commercially. The saw was made from 1946-1948 and it found its' way to every part of the USA as Sears knew how to get products out to everyone.
The saw as a man saw would have made huge impact for use, but if you have ever seen one or picked one up it is easy to respect any one using it as a one man. It was also available as a two man with the helper handle capable of being bolted to the end of the bar. This was an all position cutting saw with the pressurized tank feeding a crank valve intake. This was a huge jump in fuel systems to be able to get rid of the "swivel head" or rotatable transmission from early saws. The principal on the fuel system is pretty simple, the gas tank is pressurized from the crank and the fuel is delivered through a cavity on the crank as it turns. A lobe or cavity along side of the crank takes the fuel directly to the bottom side of the crankcase and it is forced to the top on each rotation. It will run with minimal effort if the "crank valve" is clean and free from seeping, but if the "crank valve" is tarnished/corroded/ect. the fuel delivery will be off, causing it to flood continuously. The handful I have fixed on these have been a complete tear down. Bearing, seals, ect. are pretty common and easy to locate at bearing distributors so that is a plus.
Running the saw is comparable to a mid size 2-man saw, slow and steady with some TORQUE! I have been asked a good many times as to what bar/chain the saw originally came with. I have seen both scratcher or chipper chain on a variety of different bars. (3 wide belly bars and 2 narrow belly bars.) I think the early ones came standard with the wide belly scratcher chain and a helper handle, and the later ones were being set up and sold with the narrow bars. A true 1200B bar had a hollowed out bar or chambers running to the rails for oil, pretty cool delivery system for its' day. Other differences I have seen are in the ignition system where some were "advance-able". I think this was either an early variation or a later variation to help with the saw being VERY easy to flood if not started correctly. All in all it is a very cool looking saw. If there is room on the shelf for one it is worth having.
1200B starting using instruction plate.
Vintage Reed-prentice 1200B (craftsman) chainsaw
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