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Howard C. Riker collection of mechanical engineering student projects

 Collection — Object: 1-2
Identifier: RITArc-0356

Scope and Contents

This collection contains two tools designed, patterned, and machined by Howard C. Riker, a Mechanic Engineering student at Mechanics Institute (MI) in the late 1920's. The 8 inch table saw is comprised of a cast iron frame and a cast iron table measuring 14 x 16 inches, and stands 8 inches tall. The table adjusts upward to reduce the minimum depth of cut to zero. The table also tilts sideways so angle cuts can be made. There is an adjustable rip fence and an adjustable cross cut fence. There is also a 10 inch diameter aluminum sanding disk, which can be fitted onto the 5/8 foot diameter drive shaft. The unit is belt driven to an external motor.

Howard Riker used this saw throughout his entire life. It was then passed to his son, Lawrence Riker, who used it several more years in his home workshop. Stamped on the front edge of the cast table is "Howard C. Riker RIT 1929."

The grinding or buffing wheel arbor is another student project completed by Howard C. Riker. He first made the mechanical drawings, then the wooden patterns for all of the cast parts, and finally machined all of the several parts to complete the unit. The horizontal arbor shaft is 5 1/4 inch above its mounting surface, which is 11 inches long. Cast into the front of the frame is "Made by Students." On the back side it says "Mechanics Institute, Rochester, NY." The original flat belt pulley is missing.


  • Creation: 1925-1928


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Biographical / Historical

Howard C. Riker, a student of Mechanics Institute, School of Industrial Arts, graduated with honors in 1928. He was a member of the Henry Lomb Society for having the highest average in his senior class. He worked as Mechanical cooperative student at The Gleason Works in Rochester, New York starting in September 1925. This led to a permanent position, and Riker worked there until his retirement in December 1965.

Riker's son, Lawrence C. Riker, also attended Rochester Institute of Technology in the Mechanical Drawing program and graduated in 1954. Both father and his son had professors Harold J. Brodie for mechanical drawing and Sherman Hagberg as shop instructor.


2 Item(s) (Table Saw Grinding Wheel Arbor)




Collection includes an eight inch table saw and cast iron grinding or buffing wheel arbor designed, patterned and machined by Mechanics Institute (MI) student, Howard C. Riker. Mr. Riker was a student in the School of Industrial Arts, and graduated in 1928. These pieces were made in the Engineering drawing and mechanism class.


Each piece is setting directly on Shelf 226.

Physical Location

C.S. N. Shelf 226

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated to RIT Archive Collections by Lawrence C. Riker in January, 2012. Accession number(s): 2012:011

Related Materials

Drawings of these pieces can be found in the 1942 edition of the Rochester Technical Series Engineering Drawing and Mechanism curriculum by Harold J. Brodie.

Chris Nilsen photograph of Mechanical Engineering Class of 1958

Physical Description

These pieces although not very large, are relatively heavy. Use care when lifting.

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in March 2012.

Howard C. Riker collection of mechanical engineering student projects
RIT Archives
Jody Sidlauskas
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA