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Unisaw Rehab #7: Reassembly and Test Cut

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Blog entry by Don Broussard posted 349 days ago 1088 reads 0 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Belts On and First Finish Coat Done! Part 7 of Unisaw Rehab series Part 8: More Parts Received »

Made some more progress today. I lightly sanded down the first spray finish coat and applied a second coat—looks pretty smooth.

I put the top and wings face down on my workbench and attached the wings to the top. I carried the top (don’t think I have a hernia—yet) and laid it gently on the base. After putting the bolts attaching the top to the base finger tight, I mounted a 10”, 72 tooth blade on the arbor and aligned the miter slots to the saw blade with a combination square.

I disassembled and cleaned up the fence, then repainted the metal fence parts with the same Rustoleum Smoke Gray spray paint that I used on the base. With the sacrificial fence removed, I sanded and planed a new edge on it then reinstalled it to the fence without any finish on it.

I hand sanded then polished the hand wheels on a buffing wheel and reinstalled them.

I reinstalled the electrical switch and original switch plate and reinstalled the front and rear rails. I was not able to straighten out the small bend in the rear rail, so I simply reinstalled a problem. I know I’ll have to resolve this sooner rather than later . . .

Finally, I cleaned the insert and the two pointers (one on the fence and one on the angle indicator) and painted them all bright red.

When I first plugged it in, I am glad the blade area was clear, because the saw came to life with the switch in the “OFF” position. Looks like I’ll be replacing that switch tomorrow! I did make a test cut in 4/4 cypress, which I realize is not a real challenge for a saw, but it was handy. The saw is very smooth, and MUCH quieter than my Craftsman 113 saw with similar horsepower. The blade height and angle mechanisms are very smooth, even without additional lubrication on the gears and mating parts. I’ll pick up some dry lubricant as recommended by other experts here on LJs.

I didn’t do anything to the motor because I was scared to mess it up. If I end up having to break down the motor for a cleaning or repair, I’ll put some work into prettying up the motor. I did polish up the Marathon Electric logo on the end bell.

Plan for the day tomorrow: pick up a new switch, some dry lubricant and start making a new crosscut sled. Longer term plan is to renew the top by wet sanding with finer grit sandpaper—I’d like to get a shinier finish than it currently has. I think I’ll try baby oil like LJ HokieMojo suggested in Part 1.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!



22 comments so far

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10538 posts in 1287 days


#1 posted 348 days ago

That was a very worthwhile expenditure of your time. I knew you would have it humming and looking good!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor's profile

Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4930 posts in 1905 days


#2 posted 348 days ago

Every time i watch your progress it reminds me of my old 1947 Unisaw and sure brings back some good memories. Can’t wait to see the completed saw with a bit of sawdust on it…Nice job…!

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work.

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

1809 posts in 848 days


#3 posted 348 days ago

Thanks, Andy and Greg. It was pretty cool when I made that test cut! I impressed myself!

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Don W's profile

Don W

14606 posts in 1164 days


#4 posted 348 days ago

I somehow missed this whole series. What a great job you’ve done.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. - http://timetestedtools.com

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

1809 posts in 848 days


#5 posted 348 days ago

Thanks, DonW. It’s been very gratifying to bring the old saw back to life. She’s a “working girl” again!

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6747 posts in 1748 days


#6 posted 348 days ago

The saw looks great man, nice job!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

1809 posts in 848 days


#7 posted 348 days ago

Thanks, Maur. I’ll share an Abita Pale Ale with you to celebrate (from a distance).

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

1809 posts in 848 days


#8 posted 348 days ago

By the way, I never did find the model number on this saw. I e-mailed Delta with the serial number and they wrote back that it is a Model 1450 and was manufactured in November, 1954. Now I know the model number so I can order a new arbor nut, arbor wrench and a dust door. I was able to locate the operating manual for this model online—it’s only 8 pages long, and most of those pages are devoted to assembling the new saw out of the box.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View cpd011's profile

cpd011

73 posts in 1834 days


#9 posted 348 days ago

Looking great Don. I bet it sounds wonderful. It’s amazing how quiet those old machines are. I would’ve liked to see the smile on your face (after the initial surprise) when you turned it on.

View Buckethead's profile (online now)

Buckethead

1891 posts in 465 days


#10 posted 348 days ago

What a beautiful baby girl!

A proud papa.

-- Bucket, any person that spends 10k on a bicycle is guaranteed to be a $@I almost started to like you. -bhog

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13337 posts in 2269 days


#11 posted 348 days ago

Nice job on the Unisaw.

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4342 posts in 889 days


#12 posted 347 days ago

Congratulations on a great save and fine restoration job! IMHO the old machines like you just brought back to life have so much class and character they make woodworking a whole new experience.

P.S. Have an Abita for all of us LJs who can’t get them where we live and in celebration of a job well done!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View ShaneA's profile

ShaneA

5245 posts in 1195 days


#13 posted 347 days ago

Turned out really nice. Congrats on a sweet saw. Hopefully a great relationship is beginning.

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

1809 posts in 848 days


#14 posted 347 days ago

Thanks for the nice comments, y’all! It does sound really nice and quiet.

@cpd011—I should have taken a picture of the big smile on my face when I first cranked her up with her new belts on—way cool!

@bucket—True dat! Now I feel bad about calling her a “working girl”.

@BeginningWW—Thanks. I would encourage others to do the same if the opportunity arises.

@Hillbilly—Very solid and lots of character to be sure! She’s a veteran already.

@ShaneA—I think this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship!

The found Unisaw did not have the miter gauge when I got it, so I picked up an Osborne EB-3 miter gauge off of CL today for $65. Looks like a good fit for the Unisaw.

Request for opinions: In Post 1, I mentioned that the previous owner was a 2-time Purple Heart Winner for his service in Vietnam, and that I wanted to honor his memory in the rebuild. I did leave his paint pen writing of his name on the cabinet, but I also want to do something more visible. I was thinking of changing the sacrificial fence from the current piece of oak to a piece of purple heart. Whatcha think?

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View Grandpa's profile

Grandpa

3044 posts in 1272 days


#15 posted 346 days ago

Looks like the saw we used when I was in high school. I do remember once when we were getting ready for an open house and we needed to make things pretty, the instructor brought in some brake fluid and has us wipe the table down with it. I have never seen this since but it didn’t hurt the saw or harm any wood or finishes the next year. I have never used this but it looked good for the open house.

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