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Two-Man Chainsaws Always Draw A Crowd
When Bob Brommerich starts up one of his vintage two-man chainsaws, a crowd is sure to gather. The 65-year-old first used a Mall saw when he was 8 or 9, holding onto one end to help his father cut hickory staves. Now Brommerich offers entertaining demonstrations at threshing shows and antique events.
  “We have a lettered trailer that houses 10 running saws and memorabilia of the literature and hardware that it took to maintain these saws back in the day,” says Brommerich.
  His saw collection got its start 12 years ago when he bought back the Mall chainsaw his father, Bill, had sold to a tree service. He and other family members and friends started demonstrating at shows traveling from their home in Winona, Minn. People who saw the demos began to offer to sell him their saws. Most are family saws, and he usually doesn’t pay a lot for them because they’re not in good shape. He spends an average of three mos. to get them running.
  His most unusual saw, called a bow saw, came from an 87-year-old.
  “I have never seen another one run,” Brommerich says, noting it’s in good shape and is always a big hit at events.
  Running a two-man saw isn’t for the faint-hearted. “They are scary to look at. People call them man killers,” Brommerich says. He explains that both ends are dangerous, and that the bar end holder has to be steady or the chain can grip and kick backwards.
  When the Brommeriches cut with the saws, they keep the crowd back with a barrier chain, wear protective gear and take other safety precautions.
  Brommerich admits he’s fascinated and in awe every time he starts up one of the saws. Joseph Mall first manufactured the saws in Chicago to clear airstrips in the Philippines during WWII. After the war, farmers purchased the saws to cut firewood.
  Many people have never heard of the two-man saws and are intrigued at the demos. Those that once worked with them love to share stories with Brommerich.
  “It’s hard work. At the end of the day we are sweaty and dirty,” he says. “I have to compliment the help that joins me in this effort to educate about the way it used to be.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Bob Brommerich, 22878 Pleasant Ridge Rd., Winona, Minn. 55987 (ph 507 454-5084).

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2013 - Volume #37, Issue #2