Mike Acres, a dedicated chain saw collector and guy who's spent a lifetime in the chain saw industry, deserves all the credit for setting up this informative website for vintage chain saw enthusiasts. But, the Chain Saw Collectors' Corner actually germinated about 20 years ago--when computers had 20 megabyte hard drives and the Internet was science fiction.
It was the mid-1980s and I was immersed in my job as editor of Chain Saw Age magazine--the leading trade journal for the chain saw and related equipment industry. At that time, I was primarily concerned about chain saw technology, marketing issues, and most of all, safety. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) was threatening to develop a mandatory chain saw safety standard. The industry was under assault by product liability litigation. And, sales were half of what they'd been during the post-energy crisis boom of the late '70s.
Yet, amid these crises, and all the hubbub of producing a monthly trade magazine, I became aware of large, but quiet group on the fringe of the industry. They were guys who bought, restored and chronicled the history of vintage chain saws. They sought CSA's earliest issues ('50s & '60s) as collectibles, trading stock, and tools for documentation. OK, I'll admit it--at the time I thought they were all a little nutty. But in 1985, as I worked to departmentalize the magazine, I thought, "Why not?" So CSA installed a regular department called "Collectors' Corner," which featured an international directory of collectors and occasional articles showing some of their restorations.
Though CSA's target audience was chain saw dealers, with many distributor and manufacturer subscribers as well, I always felt that the "Collectors' Corner" was a worthwhile department. Many of the most dedicated collectors were not dealers, but most of the dealers I knew were closet collectors. Some displayed old saws on shelves and from rafters. Others kept them buried in backroom bone yards. I could sense a passion for history and the machines that paved the way for today's modern designs.
Chain Saw Age was published in Portland, Oregon, and in the 1980s was circulated to over 20,000 subscribers around the world. "Collector's Corner" continued to grow as more and more enthusiasts added their names to the directory. The CSA "Collectors' Corner" was a welcome clearing house, where collectors could trade information and equipment with colleagues from near and far. It was an initiator of useful, helpful communications--the ultimate goal of any good publication.
In 1991, Chain Saw Age was sold to anew publisher, and a couple years later the name changed to Power Equipment Trade. With its new focus on the entire outdoor power equipment industry, there was no room for a department dedicated to chain saw collectors. So, "Collector's Corner" fell by the wayside.
But in the years since its demise, a far more powerful and pervasive communications medium emerged--the Internet. Once this medium was in place, all that was needed was an individual with a little computer savvy and a big commitment to the hobby of collecting and restoring vintage chain saws. Of course, that individual was Mike Acres, and this site is the culmination of his efforts (and 40+ years of chain saw expertise).
But, Mike can't do everything. He's created the format and provided lots of good information. However, for this site to achieve its full potential, it needs your help. Start by logging in your contact information, so you can open the lines of communications with others who share your interest in vintage forestry equipment. Contribute. Dig through your vintage manuals and literature and submit data where it is needed. Send photos of your favorite restorations. Offer tips on tools, techniques, or ways you've created non-existent parts to complete a restoration. Mike has provided the electronic toolbox. Now it's up to the collecting community to fill it full of useful tools.
Former CSA editor Ken Morrison remains involved in the power equipment industry, serving as a regular contributor to Power Equipment Trade magazine and a private technical/marketing communications consultant for several chain saw and small-engine related manufacturers. He also manages the Chain Saw Age back-issue archive, which includes hundreds of issues dating from 1952-1990. Morrison plans to make these issues available to interested collectors via this website in the near future.
During the 1980s, the trade magazine Chain Saw Age contained a regular department for those working to preserve industry history through acquisition and restoration of vintage chain saws and related forestry equipment.
The author, Ken Morrison with his one-saw collection, a barely-used '84 Echo CST610EVL. What makes this saw collectible? It was the last twin-cylinder production chain saw and was only available for a couple years.